Running Dry: Climate change & river fishing in Michigan

Fishing on Michigans Au Sable by J Carl Ganter

Fishing on Michigan’s Au Sable by J Carl Ganter

“I grew up hearing stories about how great fishing was just five years ago. It’s sad, knowing that I’ll most likely never be able to experience the amazing fish that these waters used to have … that these rivers will never be what they used to be.”
-Michigan angler Landen Finkel

The above quotation & photo are from an excellent Circle of Blue article on the impact of climate change on our nation’s trout streams. It’s a great read with a focus on Michigan that I hope you can check out:

In some places, the effects of climate change manifest as immediate catastrophe. Violent storms. Extreme heat. Deep drought. On the Au Sable, the threat is a slow burn. Intensifying weather patterns have gradually added stress to the ecosystem, chipping away at wildlife’s ability to adapt. As the atmosphere continues to warm, severe weather events have gone from occasionally urgent to relentless assault.

“The guides of the Au Sable, we’re on the front lines,” (Au Sable River Guide) David McCool said. “Just a small change in temperature can have a massive impact on this resource. We need to make sure we still take care of it, as things change in our environment.”

Ecologically speaking, fish are the canary in the coal mine. Trout are an indicator species in the Au Sable ecosystem, meaning that their well-being reflects the health of the ecosystem. “Healthy trout is indicative that the whole system is healthy,” said Randy Claramount, a biologist with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources. Likewise, unhealthy populations are an alarm bell: the poor water quality conditions that cause trout to suffer are likely also stressing invertebrates and other biota.

“You start piling these things on top of one another, and it just gets harder for those fish to adapt to what nature’s throwing at them,” said Keith Curley, a conservationist with Trout Unlimited.

…The decline of river ecosystems is intensifying young anglers’ anxieties about the health of the planet. At just 14 years old, Landen Finkle worries about the condition of the river near his home in Traverse City, Michigan. He’s particularly concerned about the loss of biodiversity.

Like a majority of his generation, climate and environmental issues weigh on his mental health. Finkle is fascinated with freshwater ecology, and hopes to guide fishing expeditions one day. But increasing signs of the river’s decline make him feel helpless at times, and fearful for the future of the pastime.

“River fishing is a really calming thing. And just to know that that could be coming to an end here is kinda sad,” he said. “It creates a lot of anxiety. There are a lot of things we can do to help, but there’s not really enough resources to help.”

Read on for more including more pictures from J. Carl Ganter & even some video of Landen fishing! Be sure to check out Circle of Blue for all kinds of features on climate & resources in Michigan and worldwide.

PS: If you still think climate change is a hoax, I not only do not want to hear about it, I would prefer that you find someplace else for your daily Michigan photos. It’s not & it’s long past time for you to have woken up to reality.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Waterfall Wednesday: Reany Creek Falls

Reany Creek Falls by Aaron Strouse

Reany Creek Falls by Aaron Strouse

Waterfalls of the Keweenaw entry for Reany Falls says in part:

With a location close to a well-known Marquette destination (Dead River Falls) Reany Falls is a surprisingly photographed and popular waterfall. Composed a few small drops along a narrow creek, the main focus is a three-way split plunge nestled in the bedrock that is viewable from the road’s bridge above. Smaller drops are located above these falls, although the narrow little canyon makes viewing them difficult.

Aaron took this photo back in August of 2017. See more in his massive Michigan waterfalls gallery on Flickr.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Waterfall Wednesday: Kakabika Falls

Kakabika Falls by Neil Weaver

Kakabika Falls by Neil Weaver

Travel the Mitten has a great entry on Kakabika Falls that says (in part):

The Ottawa National Forest covers more than 990,000 acres of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is a popular spot for outdoor recreation, camping, and wildlife viewing. The forest is also home to many waterfalls including Kakabika Falls, a set of cascades on the Cisco Branch of the Ontonagon River. These falls can be reached by a short drive north of the Watersmeet/Marenisco area, and a short, easy hike into the woods. The setting here is peaceful and there is a good chance you won’t encounter other travelers when you visit.

The tallest drop of Kakabika Falls is maybe 8 to 10 feet (most of the drops range from 1 to 5 feet), but this waterfall is more about the sum of its multiple drops than one large drop. The river makes a series of S turns here, and the trail closely parallels the river providing many great vantage points of each drop. As is the case with most waterfalls of this size, it is always best to visit in the spring or after decent rainfall. In dry summer months, we have found that there was barely any water flow here.

Click through for more including photos, map & directions from a really excellent website for Michigan travel ideas!

Neil shared that this is one of the many magical places in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, something that one look at his Instagram is all you need to see the truth in that! You can also follow Neil Weaver Photography on Facebook and view & purchase prints (including this one) on his website.

Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Fall colors on the Peshekee River

Fall colors on the Peshekee River by Michigan Sea Grant

Fall colors on the Peshekee River by Michigan Sea Grant

Michigan Sea Grant is a cooperative program of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I’m a huge fan of this program that funds research, education, and outreach projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of Great Lakes resources.

Todd recently took this photo of Highway 41 as it crosses the Peshekee River in the Upper Peninsula. He shares “I remember heading out early to catch some good morning light, but it was foggy, which made for some nice photos, but my main reason was to get some fall color near water. I had to wait a bit before the fog lifted, and it was worth it!”

Follow Michigan Sea Grant on Instagram for more pics & for sure visit michiganseagrant.org for more about this vital organization!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Thanks for the wilderness, Congressman Dale Kildee!

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

This week longtime Congressman Dale Kildee passed away. Kildee, uncle of current Flint Representative Dan Kildee, represented Flint for over 30 years earning the nickname “the Cal Ripken of Congress.” He was involved in many efforts including some vital early childhood bills and (of course) auto industry support, but one interesting thing that I learned from writer David Dempsey is that Dale was the sponsor of the 1987 Michigan Wilderness Act which created 10 State Wilderness Areas protecting nearly 100,000 acres of old growth forest, dunes, lakes, and rivers including Sturgeon River Gorge.

Thank you Dale for your work on the behalf of Michigan’s wild places! Click for a map of all 18 of Michigan’s Wilderness Areas.

David took this back in October of 2012 in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. See more in his Porcupine Mountains gallery on Flickr.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Autumn’s Rainbow at Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls on the Black River by Michigan Nut Photography

Rainbow Falls on the Black River by Michigan Nut Photography

Rainbow Falls is the last of five waterfalls on the Black River in the Upper Peninsula. You can read all about Rainbow Falls & the Black River (and see another shot of these falls by John) on Michigan in Pictures.

As you can see, the Yoop is looking pretty beautiful right now!! See more on the Michigan Nut Facebook & view and purchase prints at Michigan Nut Photography!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Riverbank Reflection

Riverbank Reflection by Jeff Dehmel

Riverbank Reflection by Jeff Dehmel

Sweet shot by Jeff from last October. See more in his Fall 2020 gallery on Flickr.

More fall color on Michigan in Pictures!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Waterfall Wednesday: September 22nd at Overlooked Falls

Overlooked Falls by Jim Sorbie

Overlooked Falls by Jim Sorbie

GoWaterfalling’s page on Minor Waterfalls has this to say about this pretty little waterfall in Porcupine Mountains State Park:

Overlooked Falls is a small falls on the Little Carp River. The scenic falls consists of two drops, each about 5′ in height. This is the most easily accessed of the falls on the Little Carp River, big or small. It is only a few hundred feet from the parking area. The trailhead to the falls is at the end of Little Carp River road. This is also the trailhead to Greenstone Falls, which is about 1/2 mile away. The trail also leads to the much larger Trappers Falls, which is three miles away.

I found this great shot by Jim this morning in the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr which just happens to be from September 22nd way back in 2014! See more in Jim’s Color Tour 2014 (UP & Ontario) gallery.

Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Waterfall Wednesday: Reany Falls near Marquette

Reany Falls - Marquette by David Marvin

Reany Falls – Marquette by David Marvin

Waterfalls of the Keweenaw shares some info about Reany Falls:

With a location close to a well-known Marquette destination (Dead River Falls) Reany Falls is a surprisingly photographed and popular waterfall. Composed a few small drops along a narrow creek, the main focus is a three-way split plunge nestled in the bedrock that is viewable from the road’s bridge above. Smaller drops are located above these falls, although the narrow little canyon makes viewing them difficult.

Click through for directions.

David took this photo last weekend. See more from David in his 2022 Calendar gallery on Flickr.

Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Don’t break the bridge

The Bridge by Fire Fighter's Wife

The Bridge by Fire Fighter’s Wife

“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has a need to be forgiven.”
– Thomas Fuller

I simply love the photos paired with quotations that Beth shares. About this one she writes:

This is especially hard for me right now….forgiving others. I think when people hurt you, and they are not sorry, nor feel concern whatsoever for your broken heart, it makes it harder to forgive and forget. Trying to let go of the pain and trying not to let those stabs pain your heart is easier said than done, right? Sometimes we just have to let it go, not take it personally and move on.

In these times I have noticed more often that people are getting nastier. They are miserable and want to make others feel as awful as they do. All we can do is unplug. Distance ourselves from the hatred and surround ourselves with love. Don’t let the negativity destroy you!

Sending each on of my Flickr friends good vibes during these trying times! XO

See more in her 100 x 2021 gallery in Flickr.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon