Friday, April 30, 2010

Steelhead In The St. Marys

It seems that every few years a writer from some publication gets the urge to head to Sault Ste. Marie and do some early season fishing for steelhead.

The latest is from Eric Sharp. See: St. Marys full of steelhead

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Live Map Of The Great Lakes Seaway

Many years ago researchers at Colorado State University hosted a map that showed Great Lakes Ship Locations for the last 72 hours. No, here's a live map that focuses on the St. Lawrence seaway.

From the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation: Seaway Map
[Via GL Echo]

There's also a world map of ship locations (including the Great Lakes) at

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Guide to Great Lakes Fishes

From Eric Sharp at the FreeP: Gotta have it: Guide to Great Lakes Fishes

The book is available at for $16.47: Guide to Great Lakes Fishes (disclosure: clicking that link and ordering the book will contribute a few cents to an gift certificate for me)

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Report Your Lamprey Encounters

Via MLive: Great Lakes anglers asked to document lampreys through online program

Access the 'Lamprey Hunter' form from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission site


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Freighter Travel

You have to know someone or win a contest if you want to get a ride on a Great Lakes freighter. But you can still make a transatlantic crossing as baggage if you plan. Here's a series of article from a couple taking this journey.

Via Slate: Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Michigan's Future

I believe those of us who live and visit Neebish Island do so because we feel the connection to the place, the water, the way of life that the Island lets us sip. But Neebish is just one 32 square mile island in the sea that is Michigan. And though we may feel that the Island is an escape, there is no escaping the fact that the way the rest of the state goes will have an impact on our secluded slice of paradise.

So here is something I consider must reading. MLive is hosting a series of essays under the name Rebooting Michigan and it is an exploration of ideas for balancing Michigan's rich natural features and resources with job creation and sustainability.

And I am not endorsing anyone for governor but in reading these articles I was reminded of candidate Rick Snyder's 10 Point Plan for reinventing Michigan.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

This Is What I Call A Recycled Cottage

I heard this story back in the fall but forgot to post it.

From Interlochen Public Radio, the story of a couple who took the 1920's era John W. Boardman and turned it into a cottage. See: Detour's Freighter Cottage

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Chubs May Be A Cyclical Species

Via IPR: Native Fish Shows Signs of Resurgence In Lake Michigan

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Going Rogue

A new hypothesis claims a 50 ft rogue wave sank the Edmund Fitzgerald and that Gordon Lightfoot will change the lyrics to his famous song.

See The Globe and Mail: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

This story is being featured in a new Canadian television show - Dive Detectives. Doesn't look like it is available in the U.S.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cougar Team

The Escanaba Daily Press has an article about the Michigan DNR's cougar response team: On the cougar trail

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rescue 21

The USCG will roll out a new radio triangulation technology between now and 2017.

The Vineyard Gazette has the story: Coast Guard Search and Rescue Sees Giant Leap of Technology

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

End Of The Season Is Nigh

Via SooToday: U.S. Coast Guard to open West Neebish Channel in its entirety
Vessel Traffic Service St. Marys River will open the waters between Nine Mile Point and Moon Island, effective 0800 EST March 12, 2010.

These preparations are being conducted in support of the March 21 opening of the Sault Locks and the start of the 2010 commercial navigation season.

The Coast Guard will make every effort to minimize the impact to Neebish Island ferry operations.

However, Neebish Island residents should prepare for minor service interruptions as the ice descending into the Rock Cut will most certainly prevent the ferry from operating normally.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Georgian Bay Association Web Site

I recently came across the web site for the Georgian Bay Association:

Stop by the site and download the newsletter as it is apropos for Neebish residents too.

Soo Locks Will Open March 21st

See: Soo Locks 2010 shipping season will open early this year
The locks are opening early after the Corps received several requests from the shipping community and their customers to open early due to “an improved business climate” and to replenish critically low iron ore and coal inventories
This appears to be great macroeconomic news and may foretell a busy shipping season.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Atlantic Salmon Fact

From Eric Sharp at the FreeP:
Virtually all of the Atlantics caught in the Great Lakes today were spawned in the St. Marys.

See: Ask Free Press outdoors writer Eric Sharp

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The Summer Water Level Forecast

Via The Detroit News: Lack of snow could cause low lake levels


Friday, February 05, 2010

The Eastern U.P. Is Becoming A Well Known Destination For Birders

Last year I posted about a trip some people took to Dunbar Forest and this year the Nutty Birder has some pictures from their trip.

See: Birding The Soo

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Neebish Island Ferry Resumes Winter Hours

The Soo Evening News reports:
The Neebish Island Ferry re-opened Tuesday after a closure of more than two weeks.
“The wind finally shifted,” said a spokesman for the operation. “We will run the limited winter schedule as long as we can.”


Web Site About Aamjiwnaang First Nation History

Here's a blog I recently stumbled upon: The Plains of Aamjiwnaang

It presents the native history of the Upper Great Lakes in a story format.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Ice Cover

Some recent links I've come across:

-Here's an article from BayViewCompass regarding ice on the Great Lakes: Great Lakes ice rhythms

-The NOAA Great Lakes Atlas has ice cover animations. (interesting to note that in 1979 western Lake Superior was 100% ice covered until mid-May)

-Here's a PDF of a research paper: Ice Conditions on the St. Marys River, Michigan, from February to breakup, 1967-1991.


Neebish Island Resort Is Doing Good Things

Neebish Island Resort is hosting the Kids Fighting Cancer Nature Resort Wish Trip program.

If you see these kids on Neebish Island this summer be sure to make them feel welcome.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has a new web site with all the news about keeping out Asian Carp.


I know this is in the news a lot, and perhaps it sounds like hyperbole to some people, but this fish really would destroy the Great Lakes as we know them.

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New Winter Navigation Light For Munuscong Bay

Via The Soo Evening News: A guiding light on Conely’s Point

It seems that every year we hear about someone falling through the ice in Munuscong Bay so hopefully this new light which is being paid for by federal dollars will save some future lives.


Ice Issues

9&10 News reports on the current concerns regarding the Neebish Island ice bridge: Ice Concerns at the Neebish Island Ferry

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reminder - Mackinac Bridge Tolls Go Up January 1, 2010

The toll for cars will be $3.50.

Official site: Mackinac Bridge Fare Schedule


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

1973 Home Movie Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

Here is a 40 second clip that has been posted to YouTube: Edmund Fitzgerald on the St. Marys River May 19, 1973

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The "Bath Tub" Hypothesis Is Corked Up

Via Freep: St. Clair River's water loss not alarming

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Operation Taconite For The 2009-2010 Season Has Begun

Via the SooEveningNews: U.S. Coast Guard begins breaking ice

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Monday, December 07, 2009

The Lake Superior Shoreline Of 4500 Years Ago

Via AbsoluteMichigan: Smart Archaeology in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Monday, November 30, 2009

Good News For The Sturgeon

Via GL Echo: Old fish makes new Great Lakes comeback

This is of interest to Neebish Island folks as historically, the St. Marys River has had a self-sustaining population of sturgeon.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Worse News You May Hear Today

This is bad news for the Great Lakes. Very, very bad. Perhaps even cataclysmic.

See DetNews: Asian carp may have breached Great Lakes barrier

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Good Thing About Having Cougars Around

They can improve the overall health of the deer herd which is good for hunters.

Via the NYT: When Mountain Lions Hunt, They Prey on the Weak consuming infected carcasses, the animals may be keeping infectious agents out of the environment, reducing transmission to healthy deer.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

"We've Seen A 5 Percent Increase Per Decade In Average Wind Speed Since 1985."

Via Dave Dempsey. See EurekaAlert: Warmer means windier on world's biggest lake

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A Wilderness Trek For Man And Dog Across The U.P.

Via Mlive: Backpacking 517 miles across Upper Peninsula reveals much to 60-year-old hiker
But this was different. Gauld carried little food this time, just a handful of granola bars and a bit of jerky, just in case.

The 60-year-old retired heavy equipment operator planned to live off the land, much as the early hunter-gatherers had, tapping Mother Nature's garden and his own woods sense developed from a lifetime of living close to the land.
The route he took was the North Country Trail. And how lucky we are to have this in our geographical backyard and to be able to have preserved a sample of how things used-to-be. I look forward to hiking this trail myself some day.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Burn Wise

Do you have a fireplace or wood stove in your Neebish Island cottage?

If so stop by the EPA's Burn Wise site for information on getting the most from your fire or to find the most efficient wood stoves.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Windspires Are Available Now

I mentioned the Michigan made Windspire wind turbine last year.

They are for sale now and can be fully installed for $6,300 after federal tax credits.

See MyNorth: A Wind Turbine All Your Own Made in Manistee

According to the nearest Windspire dealer to Neebish Island is McMaken Carpentry in Cedarville.

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Wolf And Moose Populations On Isle Royale At A Low Point

Via the StarTrib: Trouble in nature's laboratory

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Valuable Lesson With A Happy Ending

It wasn't a November Witch that sunk the hunters' fishing boat but it was close enough.

The Soo Evening News has the story of what happened to a party trying to get back to Barbeau after hunting on Neebish Island.

Munscong Bay storm

9and10News has the video story: 3 Hunters, Dog Survive Boat Capsizing

(as a side note, I first watched this story on 9and10 News' handy iPhone app)

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They're Here

in earlier posts I have mentioned that the Eastern U.P. is great cougar habitat and that it was only a matter of time until a cougar would be confirmed here.

That time is now.

The evidence is a trail cam photograph and paw prints near DeTour and Gulliver.

Picture and information is posted at from right next to Neeebish Island in Bruce Township

For the news stories see:
9and10News: Cougar Confirmed in Upper Peninsula
ChicagoTribune: Officials confirm more cougar evidence in UP
SooToday: Cougar tracks confirmed in DeTour, Gulliver areas

I find this both terrifying and thrilling even though I know my chance of ever seeing a cougar in the wild is basically zero.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Instructions For Constructing A Large Digital Television Antenna

This would be an interesting winter project to improve over-the-air TV reception.

Via Instructables: Build a Large DB8 HDTV Antenna: Big Bertha


Friday, October 30, 2009

New To Me - There Are Native Lamprey

Via BoingBoing: Sympathy for the Lamprey

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Lake Carriers Will Continue To Clunk Along

The Soo Evening News reported the Sault Ste. Marie's City Commissioner's apoplectic response to the EPA's proposed cleaners fuel rules. See: City rallies around historic ships

The anger is a bit disingenuous as there are many complaints and a desire for something to be done when raw sewage overflows into the St. Marys River - in many ways particulate air pollution is worse as it directly contributes to premature deaths. How is working for clean air in the Great Lakes different than working for clean water? Are these complainers going to threaten to move to Mexico because the government wants to improve the well being of the public? And have they been to Mexico? Do they have any idea how bad the air quality in Mexico City is?

Also, the reporter in the story wrote "The EPA regulation is set to go in effect in December which would seemingly prevent the good ships and crews from even completing the 2009-10 shipping season." but this is inaccurate. The Lake Carriers would have had until 2015 to fully meet the emissions requirements.

A compromise has been reached however. See: Deal struck on Great Lakes ship pollution
Congressional negotiators reached a deal Tuesday that would effectively exempt 13 ships that haul iron ore, coal and other freight on the Great Lakes from a proposed federal rule meant to reduce air pollution.

A different view from Great Lakes United: Clearing the Smoke on Ship Emission Standards

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