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

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



Explore the Great Lakes, Before It’s Too Late

photo lumbermans monument dunes michigan

How many times have you planned to do something, but never followed through? Think about it. “Oh, I have to go there some day.” Some day may never come if you don’t make real plans, dangit. The Great Lakes are worth exploring, for the memories, the pictures, the awe factor. Which reminds me of a recent trip to Oscoda, Michigan.

I took the family Up North last weekend to hang out with the in-laws. We do it every summer. The weather that weekend was lousy, hot as hell when it wasn’t raining. We managed to grab one great afternoon visiting Iargo Springs and Lumberman’s Monument.

If you’ve never been to either place, you should go. And not just plan to go, but actually go. Each site features a long wooden stairway that descends to the Au Sable River. It’s breathtaking in more ways than one.

And I was out of breath after going up and down the 300 steps at Iargo Springs. That’s 600 steps total. In humid Michigan. And I didn’t really want to go to Lumberman’s Monument and climb down another 280 steps. I’ve been down (and up) both stairways a couple times.

photo iargo lumbermans lookout michigan

So we went to Lumberman’s, and I didn’t take the stairs. But I did take a path to the dunes. Yep. There are sand dunes there. A short path, less than a mile, all flat, took us to the sands. The kids and I, and their cousins and parents, were treated to a spectacular, one-of-a-kind view of the Au Sable River Valley.

Glad I did it. That’s my story for today. I also could relate this to climate change, and vanishing places, but I won’t.

photo dunes michigan kids great lakes

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