June 4, 2013
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources page on Brown Trout, Salmo trutta says that Brown trout is something of a misnomer as many Great Lakes brown trout are mainly silver in color. Michigan Sea Grant has excellent information about Great Lakes fish, and their Brown Trout entry says that the they were first stocked in the Great Lakes in the 1880s and:
The brown trout’s scientific name translates to “trout-salmon.” The Atlantic salmon and brown trout both belong to the genus Salmo. Rainbow trout, coho salmon, and Chinook salmon belong to a different genus – Oncorhynchus.
Great Lakes brown trout typically enter tributaries to spawn during late fall. Reef spawning also has been documented in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Although naturally reproducing populations of brown trout exist in Michigan waters, most are maintained through stocking. Unlike Chinook and coho salmon, brown trout do not necessarily die after spawning and can live for up to 13 years in Lake Michigan.
Browns can tolerate warmer water than other trout species, which adds to their popularity as a gamefish in rivers that are not suitable for native brook trout. In the Great Lakes, brown trout stay near shore in waters less than 50 feet deep, which makes them an ideal gamefish for shallow bays such as Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay.
The diet of brown trout varies greatly depending on its environment and available food sources. In the Great Lakes, brown trout prey mostly on forage fish such as alewife, rainbow smelt, and round goby. In rivers, small browns eat a variety of aquatic invertebrates. Larger fish transition to a diet of small fish, large insects, and even small rodents. Big browns are notorious for their wariness and nocturnal feeding habits.
Read on for more from Michigan Sea Grant and connect with them on Facebook. For more information on how and where to catch brown trout see the DNR’s Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them and Better Fishing Waters.
March 13, 2013
Last week on Michigan in Pictures for a post titled Heavy (space) Weather, I referenced The 23rd Cycle:Learning to live with a stormy star by Dr. Sten Odenwald. This out-of-print book is available online for free and explores the impact of solar storms upon our electromagnetic grid. Chapter 1 is titled A Conflagration of Storms, and it begins with an account of one of the most memorable aurora borealis I’ve ever experienced:
On Thursday, March 9, 1989 astronomers at the Kitt Peak Solar Observatory spotted a major solar flare in progress. Eight minutes later, the Earth’s outer atmosphere was struck by a wave of powerful ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. Then the next day, an even more powerful eruption launched a cloud of gas 36 times the size of the from Active Region 5395 nearly dead center on the Sun. The storm cloud rushed out from the Sun at a million miles an hour, and on the evening of Monday, March 13 it struck the Earth. Alaskan and Scandinavian observers were treated to a spectacular auroral display that night. Intense colors from the rare Great Aurora painted the skies around the world in vivid shapes that moved like legendary dragons. Ghostly celestial armies battled from sunset to midnight. Newspapers that reported this event considered the aurora, itself, to be the most newsworthy aspect of the storm. Seen as far south as Florida and Cuba, the vast majority of people in the Northern Hemisphere had never seen such a spectacle. Some even worried that a nuclear first-strike might be in progress.
While I couldn’t find photos from ’89 of these amazing northern lights, I was able to get a really cool photo from one of Michigan’s best aurora photographers, Shawn Malone. About the display above from November 14, 2012 she writes:
I think this photo is my favorite to date. It felt like years of observing and photographing resulted in the reward of being able to catch this image. Beautiful place, right time, right conditions, and a great geomagnetic event materialized!
February 27, 2013
Absolute Michigan has been known to hold Weird Wednesdays on the last Wednesday of every month. Our Michigan Sea Monsters post featured two denizens of the deep courtesy Linda Godfrey’s Weird Michigan, the Sea Monster of the Straits and the Lake Leelanau Monster:
The story of an early 20th Century sea monster sighting was sent to The Shadowlands Web site by a reader whose great-grandfather was the witness. The boy was fishing for perch one day in 1910 in the shallows of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County. The lake had been dammed in the late 1800′s to provide water power for the local mill and to enable logging. The dam also flooded much surrounding area, turning it into swamps and bogs punctuated by dead, standing trees.
On that particular day, the young great-grandfather, William Gauthier, rowed out to a new fishing spot near the town of Lake Leelanau. Looking for good perch habitat, he paddled up close to a tree that he estimated to stand about five feet tall above the water, with a six-inch trunk. He was in about seven feet of water, and after deciding this would be a good place to stop and cast a line, began tying the boat to the tree.
That’s when young William discovered the tree had eyes. They were staring him dead in the face at about four feet above water level. The boy and serpent exchanged a long gaze, then the creature went, “Bloop” into the water. Gauthier said later that the creature’s head passed one end of the boat while the tail was still at the other end, though it was undulating very quickly through the water. The writer noted that Gauthier always admitted to having been thoroughly frightened by his encounter, and that the event caused him to stay off that lake for many years.
The writer added that his great-grandfather came from a prominent area family and was very well-educated, and that he knew others who would admit privately but not publicly that they, too, had seen the creature. No sightings have been reported in recent times, but who knows how many people have believed they were passing by a rotting old cedar when in fact they had just grazed the Leelanau lake monster?
More weird Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!
February 6, 2013
January 17, 2013
Remembering Michigan’s Historic Moose Lift from the Michigan DNR begins:
On Jan. 20, 1985, separate convoys carrying men and equipment set out from Michigan on a mission to reach the 3,000-square-mile Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.
Over the next two weeks, this team of wildlife biologists and veterinarians from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, working with a team of Canadian specialists from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, would locate, capture, transport and release a number of wild moose to form the nucleus of a new population in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
It was an unprecedented, historic operation. The wind chill at times approached 100 degrees below zero. Utilizing helicopters, tranquilizing dart guns and slings, some moose were air-lifted as far as 14 miles from the capture area to base camp.
At base camp, each animal was subjected to thorough medical testing and was fitted with a sophisticated radio collar, before being lifted into a shipping crate and placed onto a transport truck for the non-stop 600-mile overnight journey back to Michigan.
The remarkable effort was called “moose lift.” A total of 29 moose (10 bulls, 19 cows), ranging in size from 750 to 1,250 pounds, survived the arduous journey.
Crowds assembled each day at the release site north of Lake Michigamme in Marquette County. Despite temperatures well below zero, a welcoming committee of U.P. residents always showed up to greet the new “American” citizens.
More moose on Michigan in Pictures!
January 14, 2013
The Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that minor to moderate auroral activity is likely through January 20th. Translation? Northern Lights are likely this week!
Much (much) more Aurora Borealis information & photos on Michigan in Pictures!
November 24, 2012
October 12, 2012
Mark took this photo 2 years ago today on Boardman Lake near Traverse City.
More fall color on Michigan in Pictures.
October 8, 2012
Lake of the Clouds is a favorite here on Michigan in Pictures, so it was a happy morning when I found Neil’s great shot of sunrise over the lake.
August 6, 2012
Last week USA Today released their list of the best lakes in America. The Great Lakes were not eligible and Lake Tahoe was the winner, but Lake Charlevoix in Northern Michigan managed to grab the runner-up spot. Click that link to read what some of their readers wrote. The Lake Charlevoix Lake Association says:
Lake Charlevoix is the third largest lake in the state with a surface area of over 17,200 acres and approximately 60 miles of shoreline. The maximum depth in the main basin is 122 feet and in the south arm, 58 feet. It is located at 45 degrees north latitude and 85 degrees west longitude. It has direct access to Lake Michigan via dredged channels in and out of Round Lake in the city of Charlevoix. There are close to 1,700 lots on the lake, with approximately 1,200 different owners. The lake is usually frozen for about three months of the year from near the end of January to early April.
There are three cities at the ends of the lake. Boyne City is at the east end of the main lake and is a historic lumber and tannery town. It is now a year round recreation center with the lake in the summer and Boyne Mountain ski resort in the winter. East Jordan is at end of the south arm and was also important in lumbering in the nineteenth century as well has having a large iron works that is still there today. The city of Charlevoix is at the mouth of the lake and is both a historic and present day resort town.
The city of Charlevoix is named after Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, a French explorer who traveled the Great Lakes and was said to have stayed the night on nearby Fisherman’s Island one night during a harsh storm. Lake Charlevoix had been named “Pine Lake” until 1926 when it was decided to change the name because, among other reasons, most of the pines had been harvested in the previous century and there were 25 other lakes in Michigan with that name.
They also have some great historic photos you can check out.
More great Michigan lakes on Michigan in Pictures!