Even Mr. Brightside has a dark side

Mr. Brightside, photo by Aaron Springer

The Frankfort North Pier Head Light marks the entrance to Betsie Lake. It’s a popular fishing spot, but on Friday afternoon as UpNorthLive reports, a fisherman learned to pay a little more attention to his surroundings:

The Coast Guard says the man was fishing when the weather picked up. He then became stuck on the pier due to crashing waves over the break wall. The Coast Guard was notified by the Benzie County Central Dispatch around 9:25 p.m.

Coast Guard Station Frankfort then launched a 25-foot response boat, a small crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City MH-60 jayhawk helicopter crew. The response boat arrived on scene first and confirmed the man was on the wall. The boat could not help with the rescue due to the shallow water.

The Coast Guard says the MH-60 helicopter crew hovered over the lighthouse on the pier and lowered a rescue swimmer who then basket-hoisted the man to safety with no injuries before flying to Frankfort Dow Memorial Airport where local EMS were standing by.

Click through for more including a video of the man and the pier taken from the Coast Guard helicopter.

View the photo bigger and see more in Aaron’s slideshow.

More from the Frankfort Light on Michigan in Pictures.

Great Lakes on the line: It’s time to act on Asian carp

Doing it again this summer, photo by Kevin Povenz

If Asian carp ever get into the Great Lakes, fun in boats as shown above could well be a thing of the past. These invasive fish jump out of the water when disturbed by noise and vibrations. With an average weight of 30-40 pounds and some weighing in over 100 pounds, they can cause injury or death to boaters.

The Freep reports that a plan tentatively recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers to keep Asian carp from the Great Lakes would cost $275 million plus annual costs for maintaining and operating it of nearly $20 million a year:

Of all the options considered by the Army Corps for blocking the advance of Asian carp at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Ill., the tentatively selected plan was the most expensive. It would use noise to block the fish, along with an electric dispersal barrier, water jets, a flushing navigation lock and more.

…The plan, however, doesn’t guarantee success: The Army Corps estimated the species known as Asian carp would still have a 10%-17% probability of becoming established in the Great Lakes, down from 22%-36% if no action was taken.

The Corps estimated that closing the navigation lock altogether would have the greatest likelihood of stopping bighead carp and silver carp — the two invasive species that are known as Asian carp — from reaching Lake Michigan, bringing the probability down to 1%-3%. But the cost to inland shippers and the companies they serve would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars with some shippers going out of business.

I hate to be a jerk, but PUT THOSE SHIPPERS OUT OF BUSINESS. Asian carp in the Great Lakes would be a disaster* and seriously impact BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in wages tied to the health and recreational value of the Great Lakes.

View the photo bigger and see more in Kevin’s slideshow.

*Don’t take my word for it. Jet skiing or pleasure boating anyone? Note that this video is 3 years old and also is PG-13 for language.

Lake Michigan: Port Oneida Edition

Port Oneida, photo by JamesEyeView Photography

Just one of the many staggering vistas that await you on the Pyramid Point Trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in James’ The Great Lakes slideshow.

PS: If you head this way the weekend of August 11-12, be sure to check out the annual Port Oneida Fair. presented by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Textures of Sleeping Bear Dunes

Textures, photo by JamesEyeViewPhotography

View the photo from the Sleeping Bear Dunes background bigtacular, see more in James’ The Great Lakes slideshow, and follow James Eye View Photography on Facebook.

2017 Chicago to Mackinac Sailing Race

Absolute Chicago-Mackinac, photo by Jim Sorbie

When I wandered down to Fishtown in Leland yesterday afternoon, the number one topic of conversation was the annual Chicago to Mackinac sailing race. The 333-mile race from Chicago’s Navy Pier to Mackinac Island is kind of a big deal in communities along Michigan’s western coast like mine. I almost always know a couple of people who are racing, and after the race gets underway, you’ll hear a lot of speculation about the time that the boats will enter the Manitou Passage and then what time they’ll finish at Mackinac Island.

One of the things that’s particularly cool to me is that the Chicago to Mac is one of the few events that ties the whole community to the weather and condition of Lake Michigan. People will take boats out to watch them, or climb Pyramid Point or Whaleback for a view of the boats if they stream past when it’s light out. If you’re within distance of a community like Leland, Frankfort, Ludington, Elk Rapids or up near the Mackinac Bridge, consider checking out likely times boats will pass, grab the binoculars and see if you can get a glimpse of the racers.

Jim writes: Summer Flashback – We’re trying desperately to pass an old friend on the run in to the Island – no luck!

View his photo from near the end of the 2013 race photo background bigtacular and see more in his Mac Races (Chicago & Port Huron) slideshow.

PS: Definitely check out their 2016 Race Photo Contest winning photo!

Update from the Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station

First Whale of the Season, photo by Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station

The Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station has posted the first “confirmed” sighting of a whale for the summer of 2017:

This is the first confirmed whale sighting of the season on Lake Michigan. We appreciate the photo, however we strongly advise against getting this close to a whale. The kayak party from Lombard, IL spent the 4th of July weekend near Good Hart, MI. They reported seeing from the beach what looked like whale activity 200-300 yards offshore.

We expect more reports over the next 2-3 weeks and appreciate any efforts to share them with us via Facebook Message. Please record location, date and time of sightings, and stay at least 30 yards away from migrating whales. Stay safe!

View the photo bigger and definitely follow the Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station on Facebook for more updates!

Home Before the Squall

Home Before the Squall, photo by Julie Mansour

Thinking there’s been a lot of rain lately? You’re not wrong! Michigan has experienced a lot of rain over the last few weeks, and mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa shares that there are three weather conditions all combining over the Great Lakes that keep the rain machine running:

Over the next 10 days there should be three weather systems moving through the Great Lakes region. Each of these storms should have one to two inches of rain in the heaviest swath of precipitation.

The cause of the wet weather starts with numerous storm systems being born over the northern Pacific Ocean. These storms are hitting the Pacific Northwest coast every three to five days. The storm systems then cross the hotter than average Rockies and drop south into the base of a “U”-shaped bend in the jetstream. This U-shaped area is where storms spin faster and intensify. It’s the area along the jetstream where large-scale weather systems are at their strongest.

The final part to this wet weather scenario is what we call a “wide-open Gulf of Mexico.” Southern winds from the Gulf of Mexico into the Midwest and Ohio Valley bring high amounts of water vapor northward. The strong storm systems use that water vapor to produce heavy rain.

…The total rainfall forecast over the next week, through July 4, 2017 shows NOAA forecasters expect a swath of five to six inch total rain. We will just have to watch where this heaviest rain sets up. Right now it is expected to fall south of the flooded areas in Michigan. It could easily shift north or south a few hundred miles.

Julie caught the Neptune beating the rain in Holland last weekend. View her photo background bigtacular and see more in her slideshow.