Invasive Carp Challenge, ‘How You Dune’ Survey, Frankenmuth Catfish

For Aug. 11, 2017

1 – An Invasive Carp Challenge is accepting proposals to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

In June, an eight-pound silver carp was captured nine miles from Lake Michigan, beyond an electric barrier. Michigan is working with other states and Canadian provinces to keep silver and bighead carp – two species of Asian carp – from entering the Great Lakes.

The Invasive Carp Challenge is will accept solutions in any phase of development, from concept to design to field-tested models, which are aimed at preventing invasive carp movement into the Great Lakes.

Written proposals will be accepted online through Oct. 31.

One or more solutions will share up to $700,000 in cash awards provided by the state of Michigan.

2 – The Great Lakes include the largest collection of freshwater sand dunes in the world.

There are about 275,000 acres of coastal sand dunes in Michigan, according to state officials.

Most dunes are located on Lakes Michigan and Superior and made up of wind-blown glacial sand. The diversity of plants and wildlife on these dunes attracts millions of human visitors to Michigan shorelines. And so the state is conducting a survey to gather information on the value and recreation uses of these Great Lakes coastal dunes.

The “How You Dune” survey is online, and asks questions related to the locations of coastal dunes that people visit, their most recent trip to coastal dunes, and costs related to the most recent trip.

Responses are anonymous. The survey can be found at http://HowYouDuneSurvey.com.

3 – There’s more than chicken in Frankenmuth.

fried chicken

Credit: Shelby Bell

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network reports that flathead catfish are making it past the Cass River dam thanks to a fish passage project completed in 2015 and supported in part by network funding.

Researchers have been gathering species that are navigating past the dam thanks to a rock ramp. The ramp reconnects Saginaw Bay fish to more than 73 miles of historically significant spawning areas.

And the researchers have caught what may be the first confirmed flathead catfish above Frankenmuth.

The species was common to the lower southwest area of Michigan but has increased its range over the past 25 years.

The network says flathead catfish are now showing up more commonly in the Saginaw River and have been found in the Flint, Shiawassee, and Tittabawasee rivers. They grow to be 25 pounds or larger, and are reported by some anglers to be the tastiest of all catfish.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

 

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Dark Sky Week, and Another Dam Removal

1This week was International Dark Sky Week.

Credit: Timothy Boocock

Credit: Timothy Boocock

It’s about preserving the wonders of the night sky, and reducing light pollution.

The glow of uncontrolled outdoor lighting can hide the stars from view, and change the nighttime environment.

International Dark Sky Week aims to draw attention to the problems associated with light pollution, and promote solutions to diminish it.

For instance, you can shield outdoor lighting so it doesn’t spread beyond your property, and angle the lighting downward.

There’s also a program called GLOBE at Night, which allows people to document light pollution in their neighborhood and contribute to a global database of measurements.

Light pollution and exposure to artificial light can harm humans and animals, and waste energy.

Research also has found that increased outdoor lighting doesn’t necessarily reduce crime.

The International Dark-Sky Association has designated 16 Dark Sky Parks around the world.

One of them, called The Headlands, is located in Emmet County west of Mackinaw City.


2A dam blamed for a fish kill will be removed with help from a state grant.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced $1 million in grants under a new Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.

The eight projects approved include $272,500 for a Golden Lotus Dam Removal project on the Pigeon River in Otsego County. The work will be managed by Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord.

According to Huron Pines, the money will go to remove the Song of the Morning dam on the Pigeon River. Dewatering of the impoundment will begin this summer, followed by removal of the structure.

Golden Lotus, the property owner, will contribute  $100,000 as well as in-kind services. A new bridge will be constructed and the river area will be restored.

Currently, the dam impedes fish passage. The dam released sediment into the river in 2008, killing thousands of fish. State agencies reached a settlement earlier this month with Golden Lotus.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

 

A Good Dam Investment, Saginaw Basin Photo Contest, and Solar Communities

(The return of) Mr. Great Lakes, Jeff Kart (enjoying summer). As heard on Friday, July 19, 2013, in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College public radio, Q-90.1 FM

1 – Dams that hold back water can be bad news for fish and spawning.

dams shiawassee

From a dam presentation by Michigan DEQ

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network is making a good dam investment, with a $62,500 grant to the Friends of the Shiawassee River. The money will support dam removal, habitat restoration and park planning at the site of the Shiatown Dam.

The grant will go to study the dam site and help restore the upstream area of the former impoundment.  It also will allow for further improvements to the Shiawassee County’s Shiatown Park, which borders the site on both sides.

Recreational use of the area for fishing and paddling will be enhanced as well.

Saginaw Bay WIN, funded by area foundations, has previously awarded grants for Shiawassee projects that include additional habitat restoration sites and public access points.

The grant recipient says the project will help return the river corridor to a more natural, healthy condition. Fish will be able to access several miles of fish spawning area previously blocked by the impoundment.

2 – A seventh annual nature photo contest is all online this year.

The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is holding the contest, and will be awarding prizes from partner organizations for the best photos in several categories.

This year’s categories include: landscapes, people, wildlife and plants.

There also are categories for kids up to age 18. The photos must be taken within the Saginaw Bay Watershed.

For more information, search for Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy on Facebook.

Winners are to be announced in October or November.

3 – Several Saginaw Bay area communities are becoming “solar ready.”

The cities of Midland and Saginaw, along with Thomas and Williams townships, are working to become the first Solar-Ready Communities in Michigan. The project is being led by the Clean Energy Coalition, a nonprofit in Ann Arbor.

The local cities and townships have agreed to streamline local permitting, planning, and zoning processes related to solar installations. According to the coalition, the work is part of an effort that will ultimately expand throughout the state.

Local officials have held work sessions to explore ways to best prepare for increased adoption of solar technology.

That’s included a review of national best practices for solar permitting, and discussions on adopting a region-wide approach.

The Saginaw Bay Region is home to three major solar-related companies. Those are Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., the Dow Corning Corp. and the Dow Chemical Co.

See #MIrenewable on Twitter.

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