As boating season moves into high gear this Memorial Day weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges boaters and anglers to be extra vigilant to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
Boaters need to remove all aquatic plants, animals from their watercraft, drain all water and leave drain plugs and water draining devices open during transport.
This year, the DNR will have up to 150 authorized inspectors stationed at high-use public waters infested with zebra mussels – and 23 hot water decontamination units available to clean infested equipment.
As recreational boaters gear up for a summer of fun on coastal waters and the Great Lakes, NOAA is testing MyNOAACharts, a new mobile application that allows users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot. The app, which is only designed for Android tablets for the testing period, will be released on May 20.
MyNOAACharts, which can be used on land and on the water, has GPS built-in capabilities that allow users find their positions on a NOAA nautical chart. They can zoom in any specific location with a touch of the finger, or zoom out for the big picture to plan their day of sailing. The Coast Pilot has “geotagged” some of the major locations -- embedding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude, directly into the chart so it is readable in the app -- and provides links to appropriate federal regulations. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play™ app store.
NOAA's National Weather Service and National Safe Boating Council partner for national safe boating week
This year, more than 80 million Americans will enjoy boating with friends and family. The National Safe Boating Council and the NOAA's National Weather Service have partnered to support boating safety by creating relevant, weather and safety-specific public service announcements for National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 18 to 24.
"We want boaters to stay safe on the water. The goal of our collaborative effort is to encourage boaters to follow proper boating safety precautions, including ensuring everyone is wearing a properly fitted, USCG-approved life jacket, and being aware of the local weather forecast," said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.
A series of Michigan Sea Grant workshops show growing Lake Huron fish populations and improving attitudes about the Great Lake’s fishery.
The April workshops were held in Michigan at Ubly, Oscoda and Cedarville for anglers, boaters and interested community members.
Researchers from the Sea Grant, Michigan State University, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Science Center gave presentations on invasive species research and fishery management.
“Our spring workshops were pretty exciting, given the drastic ecological changes caused by invasive species in Lake Huron,” said Brandon Schroeder, the northeast district educator for the Michigan Sea Grant.
The unnatural natural world of Lake Michigan fascinates me.
Round gobies were discovered in Lake Michigan in 1994. Since then, the invasives from the Black and Caspian seas have altered the lake’s natural balance and changed fishing. Smart fishermen learned to imitate gobies to catch smallmouth, which have learned gobies make a good food source.
A couple of things stuck with me after interviewing Myers and Adams last week. For one, who was the guy behind Adams holding the fifth smallmouth in the photo?
There was no mystery about their spot: It was ‘‘The Ponds’’ at Lake Street off Gary, Ind. There was no mystery about their basic lure: It was a Poor Boy Erie Darter in Steiger Ice, a pattern from Capt. Ralph Steiger, the young multispecies captain on Lake Michigan.
Another wetter-than-average Ohio spring has experts worried that severe toxic-algae problems will return to Lake Erie this summer.
Storms that drenched northwestern Ohio have so far this year nearly doubled the average amount of phosphorus that washes off farm fields each spring and flows down the Maumee River to Lake Erie. Phosphorus, a key ingredient in fertilizers, helps blue-green algae grow.
Jeffrey Reutter, director of the Ohio Sea Grant Program, shared the data during an Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing yesterday. He said it doesn’t guarantee that a record algae bloom will spread across the lake as it did during the summer of 2011.
The Dossin Great Lakes Museum reopens this weekend after undergoing a five-month, $2 million renovation. The Belle Isle attraction has added new exhibits, updated existing ones and modernized the maritime museum with new technology.
The museum, which opened in 1960, has been refreshed to focus on the waterways of the Detroit area, rather than all of the Great Lakes.
"It's a wonderful museum on a wonderful island, and it had gotten old," says curator Joel Stone. "Some of the stuff that went up on the wall in 1960 was still on the wall, and new things had come in every five or 10 years. The story had been lost."
IJC Releases 16th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality: Notes Significant Achievement but Sustained Investment and Action Needed
The International Joint Commission (IJC) today released a report on how the health of the Great Lakes has changed over the past 25 years.
While sustained governmental and public efforts have measurably improved Great Lakes water quality, rapid reduction in ice cover and the resurgence of some pollutants like excess nutrients are among the indicators currently raising concerns. Based on contributions from a wide range of U.S. and Canadian experts, the report reveals a mix of achievements and challenges.
"With the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement just revised in 2012, both Canada and the U.S. have renewed and strengthened their commitment to protect and restore the Great Lakes," said Joe Comuzzi, Canadian Chair of the IJC. "Tight budgets on both sides of the border mean that cooperation and coordination of clean-up efforts are even more important, and the recommendations in this report can help."
Boating Safety Week begins Saturday and continues to May 24 nationally.
This week of boating-safety awareness began following a 10-year peak in boating mishaps, mainly the result of not wearing personal flotation devices or life preservers.
The majority of boating accidents occur between May and September; public and private organizations now ramp up efforts to increase boater awareness of state safety guidelines as boating season and the National Safe Boating Week begins.
Don’t be alarmed if you notice hundreds of dead fish appearing in and around the various shores of Lake Ontario, there’s nothing fishy about them.
The fish in question, more commonly known as the alewife, is prone to large seasonal mortalities in the Great Lakes as they suffer from a number of stressors that often occur simultaneously in the spring.
PORT HURON, MI -- The Saint Clair River is a major trunk line for commercial navigation. But, is it also possible that it's draining the Great Lakes?
The river partially connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to Lake Erie.
International Joint Commission Public Affairs Advisor John Nevin said Erie’s lower elevation makes the Saint Clair River act as a drain.
“If the Saint Clair River erodes or is dredged, that makes that drain bigger…more water runs out of the Lake Michigan-Lake Huron bathtub into the Lake Erie bathtub,” Nevin said.
WATERLOO REGION — They have no natural predators, eat nearly everything in sight and can take over lakes and rivers like an invading army.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm after a 40-pound Asian grass carp, an invasive species of monster fish that has wreaked havoc in U.S. waterways, was caught by an angler last week in the mouth of the Grand River near Dunnville.
“They have the power to remake an aquatic ecosystem to meet their needs and they just push out the native species,” said Dave Schultz, spokesperson for the Grand River Conservation Authority.