‘Diverse habitat’ of the Powder Islands now protected

By P199 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By P199 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

CBC News, Thunder Bay

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has taken action to protect some pristine islands on Lake Superior’s north shore.

It has purchased the 162-hectare Powder Islands, near Rossport, through the federal government’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.

The islands are home to some rare species of plants and animals, including the bald eagle and a blue wildflower called Franklin’s scorpion-weed.

The Nature Conservancy regional vice-president for Ontario, James Duncan, said the two islands boast a spectacular diversity of habitat.

“Every corner you turn, there is a slightly different habitat — from cobble beaches to cliff faces to sand shorelines.”


Salmon population declines

by Michelle Merlin, Traverse City Record-Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — Fishermen and environmental officials alike have noticed populations of salmon are scaled back from previous years.

This year Cameron Garst, owner of Showtime Charters, has been more focused on catching trout after what he estimates is a 40 percent decline in salmon in Grand Traverse Bay.

“It has not affected business, but it’s frustrating that I don’t have the salmon fishery I used to have,” Garst said.



Pink salmon, sea lamprey surprise catches in local rivers

PinkSalmon1by D’Arcy Egan, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Steelhead trout start to leave their summer waters of Lake Erie at this time of year and head up the Northeast Ohio rivers and streams. When aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec of the Cleveland Metroparks surveyed some of those waters in recent days, he found some surprises.

Durkalec and his crew were checking Euclid Creek during an electroshocking survey on Sept. 19 and were delighted to find a pink salmon, especially such a big one.

“I looked up the Ohio pink salmon record, a 3.06-pounder that was just over 20 inches long caught (by Andy Janoski of Chagrin Falls) from Conneaut Creek in 2004,” said Durkalec. “The pink salmon we caught and photographed was bigger than that.”


ABM Announces Fall/Winter Dates of Operation & Rates

CLAYTON, New York (September 29, 2014) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, New York, has announced its Fall/Winter dates of operation. The ABM also announced that the Workboat Show originally scheduled for Saturday, October 11 has been cancelled.

The ABM will again lengthen its operating season into December with a Fall/Winter calendar beginning on Tuesday, October 14 and extend through Friday, December 19. The Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday.

Also, the ABM will again launch “B is for Boat,” an education-based program featuring nautical-related books and crafts for pre-school age children. The program will be offered weekly on Monday mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. beginning on October 20.

The extended calendar will take the Museum through more than 200 days of operation in 2014.

Fall/Winter Dates of Operation

Tuesday, October 14                                      Fall/Winter Season Begins
Friday, December 19                                      Museum and Bowline Boutique Close for the Season

Hours of Operations

Tuesday-Saturday                                           10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, Monday                                              Closed
Fall/Winter Admission Rates

Adult                                     $8.00                                     Youth                                    $4.50
Child (under 6 yrs)           FREE                                      Groups                                 Call for pricing

Active Military & Immediate Family       FREE
Retired Military                                               FREE
Military Spouse                                                                $7.00

Note: Select summer season discount offers do not apply

The Bowline Boutique will also remain open through December 19, allowing for visitors to shop during the holiday season.


Three Fountains Win 2014 Super Boat National/Florida Championships At Season-Ending Offshore Powerboat Race in Clearwater, Florida

Absolutely Not_2014 Superboat Vee National Champion 2Washington, N.C. – Sept. 28, 2014 – Fountain Powerboats, a division of Baja Marine, is proud to announce that three Fountain race boats won 2014 National and Florida Championships in their respective Super Boat classes at the 6th Annual Super Boat National/Florida Championship in Clearwater, Fla., on September 28. The three boats – the Fountain 40′ Instigator in the Superboat Extreme Class, Fountain 30′ Absolutely Not in the Superboat Vee Class, and Fountain 38′ Black Pearl in Production 3 – all clinched their No. 1 rank as national and Florida high points leaders for the 2014 season at the Clearwater race. (For official results, please visit superboat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/8-24-14_National_Results.pdf.)

“Our heartiest congratulations go to all three Fountain teams,” said Baja Marine CEO Johnny Walker. “It was particularly exciting to watch the Absolutely Not team be crowned National Champions this year after coming back from an extremely rocky start to their season.”

Absolutely Not, the Fountain 30′ Lightning SVL custom-built in 2013 by Fountain Powerboats for team owner/driver Mark Gibbons of Port Washington, N.Y., retired from the first race of the season, the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix in Englewood Beach, Fla., on April 13, due to mechanical problems. Much worse, the boat barrel-rolled during the second race, the 5th Annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on May 18. Gibbons was hospitalized with a serious shoulder injury suffered during the accident.

“I never quit, my team never quit, and Johnny Walker never quit,” said Gibbons. “Johnny took the boat back to Fountain and had it ready for the next race in Sarasota.”

On July 6, with Gibbons at the wheel, Absolutely Not came in fourth in the Superboat Vee Class at the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix in Sarasota, Fla. The Absolutely Not team went on to win its class in the Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix in Michigan City, Mich., on August 3; the Thunder on the Gulf Super Boat Grand Prix in Orange Beach, Fla., on Aug. 22; the Thunder Run Super Boat Grand Prix in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 24, and the final race of the season in Clearwater.

Gibbons says he is grateful to his team members, throttleman Tommy Palasciano, rigger/alternate throttleman Jerry Haney, and mechanic Dane Efertz, for staying with the race program throughout the season despite its rough start. “They made every effort to stick with us through disappointment and through celebration,” he said. As for Walker and his team at Fountain, Gibbons said, “We could never have done it without them. Now, we are focused on winning the Super Boat World Championships in Key West in November.”

“The Absolutely Not team are great people. They were committed to do their best when we teamed up, and they did just that,” Walker said. “Everyone here at Fountain responsible for building the boat is very proud and happy. It was a victory for all of us.”


LIfe Jacket Type Code Labels Go Away

1046ANNAPOLIS, MD. September 30, 2014 — In a move that’s expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme  — Type I, II, III, IV and V — that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. Chris Edmonston, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety President and Chairman of the National Safe Boating Council, said, “The boating safety community believes this move by the Coast Guard will help lead the way towards more comfortable and innovative life jacket designs, help boaters stay on the right side of the law, lower costs, and save lives.”


Lakes Michigan and Huron surge to highest water levels in 15 years

by Andrew Krietz, MLive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After almost two years of historically low water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron, they’ve recovered to heights not seen in 15 years.

All the added water prompts this new concern for beachgoers: large waves that crash onto West Michigan’s piers have a greater potential to sweep people into the lake.


Great Lakes in unprecedented danger, Chicago mayor says

By Olivier Aumage (Photo taken by Olivier Aumage) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Olivier Aumage (Photo taken by Olivier Aumage) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

by Dan Egan, Detroit Free Press

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for Congress in 2002, he vowed that protecting the Great Lakes would be high on his agenda. The primary concerns at the time were environmental damages wrought by invasive species such as zebra mussels, as well as urban and industrial pollutions.

Twelve years and three jobs later — Emanuel went from Congress to chief of staff for President Barack Obama before becoming mayor of Chicago in 2011 — the Great Lakes have received $1.6 billion in federal restoration funds.


Researchers ID mystery wreck in Lake Erie

Blade staff, TShipwreck_of_the_Joffreoledo Blade

The National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, in collaboration with its partners the Cleveland Underwater Explorers, has identified a mystery wreck in Lake Erie as the schooner Plymouth that sank in 1852 after a collision with a sidewheel steamer.

In 1996, an unidentified shipwreck of a two-masted schooner was located in Lake Erie, 20 miles off Cleveland. In 2011, the wreck’s existence and location were publicized, and in 2013 and this year, the Cleveland Underwater Explorers performed archaeological surveys to determine the identity of the wreck.

The work was funded by the National Museum of the Great Lakes, according to Christopher Gillcrist, executive director of the museum.


Want to help the Great Lakes? Change your soap

Louise Knott Ahern, Detroit Free Press

Do you wash your face every night? Brush your teeth?

Of course you do. But your nightly beauty routine might be adding to plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, and environmentalists are ramping up efforts to try to get you to change the products you use.

Some of the top Great Lakes scientists, researchers and activists gathered in Grand Rapids last week for the 10th Great Lakes Restoration Conference. One of the main topics of the conference every year is pollution and how to fix it.