Bait dumping offers invaders path to Great Lakes

Color photo of Round Goby on rocky bottom. D. Jude, Univ. of Mich., John Flesher, Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Inadequate regulation of the bait fish trade and carelessness on the part of anglers may be allowing invasive species — including widely feared Asian carp — to reach the Great Lakes and inland waterways, according to a scientific paper released Thursday.

MillerCoors to donate $500,000 for South Shore Park cleanup

By Mark J. Heffron (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mark J. Heffron (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

MillerCoors will donate $500,000 to clean up Milwaukee’s South Shore Park, the company announced today.

Chicago-based brewery MillerCoors manufactures much of its product in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee County parks and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences will also assist with the revitalization project, which was first announced last week and will take place over the next five years.

The entities have formed a long-term plan for sustainable improvements to water and beach quality, preserving the park and offering a safe recreational space.

Kincardine natives have been pioneering Great Lakes surfing in the area for over two decades

by Lisa Umholtz, Kincardine News

It may not be the first place people imagine when they think of surfing, but Kincardine has gained the reputation of a great lakes surf mecca.

“People would just laugh,” local surfer and Kincardine native Don Peddie said, recalling the times he’s told people about surfing in Kincardine. “Even right now, [people say] ‘You can surf out there? What are you talking about?’”

Most people don’t even know freshwater surfing exists, let alone know that Kincardine’s Station Beach is one of the best places for it.

Coast Guard shares safety tips, establishes Ohio River safety zones for Labor Day Weekend, Riverfest

610466CINCINNATI — Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the boating season and is known as one of the busiest recreational boating weekends on the Ohio River. With approximately 2,000 boaters taking to the water, the increased recreational traffic presents additional safety hazards.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Cincinnati would like boaters to know special rules are in place for Labor Day and Riverfest and would like to remind people to exercise safe boating practices.

The Coast Guard will be enforcing a no-wake zone, designated anchorage areas for spectators to view fireworks, and a cardboard boat race area. These safety precautions are geared at minimizing the hazards associated with the on-water events and the increased boating traffic.

In addition to a special local regulation, there will also be a safety zone for the fireworks display. This safety zone will result in a river closure.

The river closure will be in effect from mile marker 469.2 to mile marker 470.5 on the Ohio River from 7 p.m. until the end of the fireworks display Sunday. Entry into, transit within, or anchoring in the zone is prohibited by all vessels unless specifically authorized by the on-scene Coast Guard patrol commander.

The no-wake zone will be enforced from 12 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday. Vessels transiting between mile marker 476 to mile marker 464 on the Ohio River and mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 3.0 on the Licking River shall operate at a no-wake speed and may only stop or anchor in one of three designated anchorage areas.

Anchorage 1: Ohio River at mile marker 470.5 to 470.7 and 300 feet from shore on the Kentucky shoreline.

Anchorage 2: Ohio River at mile marker 469.6 to 469.2 and 300 feet from shore on the Ohio shoreline.

Anchorage 3: Ohio River at mile marker 469.6 to 469.2 and 300 feet from shore on the Kentucky shoreline.

Cardboard boat race area: No vessel may transit within 300 feet of the Ohio shoreline between mile marker 469.8 and mile marker 470.0 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday to ensure safety of the cardboard boat race occurring along the Serpentine Wall.

Safety tips for anchorage areas:

Vessels intending on anchoring in the designated anchorage areas should be equipped with a suitable anchor and anchor line.

Boaters should exercise caution in use of the vessel’s battery. Powering a radio or other auxiliary equipment throughout the day may drain a vessel’s battery. A battery jump pack is highly recommended in the event that your vessel becomes disabled.
Safety tips for boaters prior to leaving the dock:

Never boat under the influence. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor of all fatal boating accidents. It is against the law for anyone to operate a vessel on the water under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol by anyone else aboard is strongly discouraged.

Always wear a life jacket. A life jacket is required for each person aboard a vessel, sized accordingly and easily accessible. Children younger than 13 years old are required to wear a life jacket at all times.

Carry a VHF-FM marine radio. Boaters should have an operational marine VHF radio on their boat in order to contact the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.

In lieu of a VHF-FM marine radio, a fully charged cell phone is recommended. In the event of an emergency the Coast Guard can be reached on VHF-FM 16 or at 800-253-7465.

Have a Vessel Safety Check. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks and can be reached at A vessel safety check is the best possible way to learn about potential violations of state and federal requirements. Most importantly, these quick exams can keep your boat and passengers out of harm’s way.

Boaters should be aware of, and obey, all federal and state regulations for recreational boating and navigation.

St. Louis River clean-up project is flowing along

st-louis-river-at-forest-parkDuluth, MN (— Progress is flowing on the St. Louis River clean up

“It’s gonna start on Radio Tower Bay just upstream from here. Grassy Point will be another one, and um, on the Superior side there’s the pickle ponds that will be looked at and Howard’s Pocket,” said Bill Majewski, Chair of the St Louis River Alliance Board of Directors.

The river is listed as one of 43 areas of concern around the great lakes, but extreme contamination has made it a top priority. Clean-up efforts have hit a major milestone this summer.–272632091.html

Invasive fish predator leaving mark on Georgian Bay habitat

Sea_Lamprey_fishby Roger Klein, CTV News Barrie

Anglers taking part in this year’s Salmon Spectacular are not only finding a lot of fish, but also a dangerous fish predator called Sea lamprey.

The sea lamprey is a large blood sucking predator. The invasive species got into Lake Huron and Georgian Bay when the Welland Canal was built in the early 1900’s.

In less than 20 years, the sea lamprey decimated the lake trout populations in the upper lakes.

With more than $150,000 in prizes up for grabs in the derby, all of the fish are carefully weighed, measured and checked over for scars from sea lamprey bites.

About half of the fish being weighed in at the derby today have signs of lamprey attack.

Read more:


by Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)–   Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin have announced $488,000 in funding for a regional partnership to restore habitat in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Commission will lead the initiative and work with state and local agencies on the habitat restoration.

A $488,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will pay for the work.




“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”: Do You Know Weather?

1036ANNAPOLIS, Md. August 27, 2014 – For boaters, sailors or anglers, knowing the forecast and understanding the weather can mean the difference between smooth, sunny sailing or slogging through uncomfortably rough seas. Weather for Boaters, a new online course from the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) and the BoatUS Foundation aims to teach boaters the basics of weather and forecasting so they may recognize and prepare for storms coming their way, interpret cloud formations and wind shifts, learn when to prepare for lightning and thunderstorms, and more.

4th Annual Lionfish Bash Results

South Bimini, Bahamas – August 25, 2014 – Bimini Sands Resort & Marina on South Bimini in the Bahamas hosted The Woody Foundation’s Lionfish Bash for the fourth year in a row on August 15-17, 2014. The popular family spearfishing event led to the removal of 276 lionfish – a non-native, invasive species that is threatening native fish stocks in the Bahamas and Florida – from the waters around Bimini.

The Lionfish Bash is an annual event created to raise awareness about lionfish as well as to benefit The Woody Foundation, a Miami-based non-profit organization that raises funds to aid in the recovery of persons with spinal injuries. Foundation Board Member James “Woody” Beckham, whose severe spinal injury during a college rugby game in 2011 launched The Woody Foundation, attended the Lionfish Bash in person as he has done every year, inspiring all the participants.

The results of the 4th Annual Lionfish Bash:
Largest Lionfish: Rick Rodriguez, shown at left, (36.5 oz.)
Smallest Lionfish: Cody Gunthner (0.061 oz.)
Top Junior Angler: Trace Colson (18.5 oz.)
Most Lionfish Caught, 1st Place: Team Spears & Beers (80)
Most Lionfish Caught, 2nd Place: Team Extra Expense (70).

The fun weekend event included a Captain’s Meeting at the Square Grouper tiki bar, a full day of spearfishing in the spectacular waters around Bimini, and an Awards Banquet at the resort’s waterfront Bimini Twist Restaurant. Most Lionfish Bash participants brought their own boats to the event, but Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center’s 40-foot dive boat, the Dive God, took out a group who did not have their own vessels.

“The Lionfish Bash is one of the most fun and rewarding events we host each year,” said Bimini Sands President and CEO Frank Cooney. “We enjoy seeing Woody Beckham, his family and fellow board members from The Woody Foundation, and watching the fun as the Lionfish Bash participants helped to rid our beautiful coral reefs of these invasive fish.”

“Thanks again to the Cooney Family for hosting The Lionfish Bash,” said Woody Beckham. “Everyone thoroughly enjoys this unique adventure to Bimini. I can’t wait ’til next year’s event!”

Stabenow announces funds to protect Great Lakes

Stabenow,_official_portraitWASHINGTON, D.C. (WKZO) — Senator Debbie Stabenow has announced that the USDA is offering up two-million dollars to preserve water quality in the Great Lakes. Specifically, those funds will be available for farmers and other partners in the Western Lake Erie Basin to encourage water quality protection by way of preventing soil and nutrition erosion.

Another one-million dollars is being provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide resources in the event of a water contamination crisis. The announcement of the funds follows a toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie that kept much of southeast Michigan from using tap water last month.