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Once while fishing in the St. Mary’s River with Canada on one side and the U.S. on the other bank, we had to be careful not to cast into Canadian waters.  We only had a license for the U.S.  The fish seemed to be biting on the Canadian side.  While we fished for pink salmon, we saw a small girl catch one on a toy fishing rod.  Her older sister was mad then.

Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely within the U.S.  The waters flow through all the lakes never stopping to show a passport. The birds and fish fly and swim wherever they wish. Right now we are seeing lots of eagles.  Their courtship is in February.Image

I wanted to see peregrine falcons. I heard they were nesting on top of  the Pictured Rocks. So I took the tourist  boat that cruises by the Pictured Rocks and was rewarded with the rare sight of a falcon.  This is a good spot for this swift bird because they like to dive on their prey.  The disadvantage is that preditors can raid their nests at this location.

Peregrines do well on tall buildings and the stacks of  municipal power plants where they can’t be reached by wolves, foxes, bobcats and other  predators.

Years ago, before DDT was banned, these beautiful falcons were nearly wiped out.  They were sensitive and the poison.  The banning of DDT was an environmental victory.

Read more about this in The Dynamic Great Lakes.

Available at, Amazon and Amazon’s Kindle reader and many other stores.

The Pictured Rocks: Lake Superior

Food Webs in Lake Michigan

October 12, 2011

Here is a picture from Seagrant showing the food webs. Last year alewives were scarce and so fishing for salmon was so so. This year the alewives recovered and large salmon are being caught.

Fishing for Trout and Salmon

September 8, 2011

Well we didn’t get a keeper but it was a nice outing.

The fish are running upstream to spawn and the fishing is heating up.

Sailors love the Great Lakes. This is a way to experience the waves, winds and colors of the lakes. Once when sailing three kinds of warblers landed on our boat and rested. It had become foggy and they had lost their way. As soon as a patch of sun popped out, they flew away. They use celestial clues to find their way. And people call them bird brains. I use a gps. Maybe I’m the bird brain.


001It was a chilly morning, but it was really worth getting out on the Grand River.  Three guys caught their limit before noon.

Their guide Gregory Knapp gave Norm and his friend his fish. The three of them caught nine fish altogether.

Enbridge, a Canadian Oil company, is responsible for a broken oil pipeline that is gushing oil into the Kalamazoo River.  If the toxic oil reaches Lake Michigan 80 miles away, it would be a disaster of tremendous proportions for all living things in and around the water.  I am heartsick about this.

The Great Lakes support an array of life including the people who depend on it for drinking water and for domestic, industrial, recreational and agricultural uses. 

There is an unparalled sports fishery for salmon and other fishes. I hope the EPA can prevent the oil from reaching Lake Michigan.  These waters flow into Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  It’s the greatest freshwater system on this planet.

Update:  The EPA stepped in to contain the spill before it reached Lake Michigan.  The oil spill has destroyed property along the Kalamazoo River, wildlife and marshes.  This should not have happened.

Pending Legislation
Update September 21, 2010. Looks like a pipeline is being proposed to go through the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge again:

Grand River Expedition

July 26, 2010

Arrival in Grand Haven, MI


I saw them paddling into Grand Haven today at the end of their Grand River odyssey.  There were canoes and kayaks of all sorts and they had just finished a twelve day journey down the length of the Grand River to study what is happening in this tributary to Lake Michigan. 

They included scientists and students from Michigan State and Grand Valley State universities, local conservation districts and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  I also chatted with people who joined the group as interested citizens.

There were displays from Grand Valley’s Annis Water Institute and the Coast Guard had a game to play: what sort of trash stays in the environment the longest.  O.K.  I played their game and was amazed at how long it would take a thin fishing line to disappear.  400 years.

I am glad there are people willing to raise the awareness of people along the length of the Grand River.  After all, water is life. We can’t do without it.