Invasive Species Field Guide

The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and Wildlife Forever have produced a handy invasive species field guide called Invaders of the Great Lakes, available now from Adventure Publications in Cambridge, Minnesota.

The 171-page guide, complete with images and detailed descriptions of headline-grabbing Great Lakes invaders like sea lamprey and round goby and more obscure species like the faucet snail and the threespine stickleback serves multiple purposes. Specific sections are devoted to aquatic, plant and invertebrates. Each species page details how the invader impacts fishing quality as well as specific steps that can be taken to prevent its future spread.

Sunken Treasure: Preserving Michigan’s Shipwrecks

With hundreds of shipwrecks scattered across the bottom of the Great Lakes, divers have access to an unrivaled underwater playground. The freshwater environment lends itself to preserving shipwrecks so well, some ships look ready to board.

Divers tempted to swipe an artifact for their mantle or crank a wheel and pretend to sail away could be fined or even imprisoned. A recent documentary aims to educate those with misguided intentions before it gets that far.


Rising Lake Superior Temperatures Affecting Fish Species


A new study shows that climate change could mean better conditions for some Lake Superior fish species, but worse for others. 

Surface water temperatures on Lake Superior increased by about 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1979 and 2006. That's one of the fastest rates of any lake on earth. The study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin shows that warming has created more suitable habitat in the lake for some fish, like Chinook salmon, walleye, and lean lake trout, but less favorable conditions for siscowet lake trout, a fatty fish that thrives in cold water. 


Great Lakes Water Quality Improved

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," states a news release from the International Joint Commission, a binational board that oversees U.S. and Canadian boundary waters issues.

The Joint Commission's report released Tuesday is an assessment of 16 measures of the lakes in terms of their chemical, biological and physical integrity.

Bill Lays Groundwork for Offshore Wind Development

A bill that lays the groundwork for offshore wind development in Lake Michigan has received preliminary approval in the Illinois state senate.

The Senate Energy Committee unanimously approved Bill HB 2753, which authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to determine the best locations to site wind projects.

Spring Brings Fish Stocking, Regulation Changes

This year’s fishing season is starting on the wheels of stocking trucks, new regulations and programs to attract more participants.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said its $9 million program is stocking 19 million fish – 370 tons – including eight trout and salmon species and four cool-water species, including walleye and muskellunge.

This year, DNR’s fish-stocking vehicles will travel nearly 138,000 miles to more than 700 spots around the state.


Charter Captains Help With Lake Erie Water Testing

Charter captains on Lake Erie have been helping with the testing for toxic algae blooms on the lake by gathering water samples for Ohio environmental researchers.

Harmful blooms containing toxins that can make people sick have plagued Lake Erie in recent years, although blooms in 2012 were milder.


Lakes St. Clair, Erie, On National Top 10 Bass Lakes List

Not too many states can claim to have two spots on any top 10 list. Michigan can, when it comes to the best bass lakes in the country, and that includes the No. 1 spot.

The second annual list ranking the country’s best bass lakes has been released by Bassmaster Magazine. The list appears in the May issue, which hits newsstands today. Michigan’s Lake St. Clair took the No. 1 spot, while Texas' Falcon Lake, which was last year’s No.1, fell to seventh.


Michigan Pulls the Plug on Dams

There are more than 2,600 dams in Michigan, many of which are not maintained and no longer serve a purpose.

Many are considered unsafe due to risk of collapse.  Unmaintained dams deteriorate, threatening homes and property or people who may be downstream, said Chris Freiburger, a supervisor with the fisheries division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“When we look at the number of dams we have and the age that we know of, it becomes a concern,” Freiburger said. “It’s a real infrastructure issue here that needs to be dealt with.”

The state recently targeted six dams to remove or repair. The money required for the work is from general fund dollars, which is tax money that the Michigan legislature allocates.


USCG Station getting $11.3 million upgrade

The U.S. Coast Guard will soon say goodbye to its 100-year-old building in Painesville Township and hello to a new state-of-the-art complex.

In the coming months, the U.S. Coast Guard plans to demolish the existing station and boathouse sitting along Coast Guard Road in Painesville Township and build a new $11.3 million complex in its place by September 2014.

The current facility is 100 years old and is due for more than a makeover, said Commander Lt. Edward Wieland, project manager for the US Coast Guard's Facilities Design and Construction Center.