Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Awarded 2016 MISGP Grant to Fund Expansion of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program

February 16, 2017 11:19

MI CBCW Website Screen Shot ImageMichigan Lake and Stream Associations (ML&SA) is pleased to announce that we have received a 2016 Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program award from the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development administered program that will allow our water resources conservation focused organization to expand the operational footprint of the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program. The State of Michigan funded Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program provides funding to various statewide projects aimed at preventing, detecting, eradicating, and controlling both terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants and animals.

The recent grant award will allow ML&SA, and our primary collaborative project partner, MSU Extension, to continue various initiatives established since the inception of the program, and implement new strategies designed to enhance the self-sustaining nature and geographic scale of the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters program. The MISGP funded project will allow us to use new materials, including a series of high quality training videos that were produced over the course of the last two years, to support additional AIS prevention leadership development events for volunteers and staff members representing regional Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs). In addition, the new funding source will allow the Michigan CBCW program to expand outreach activities that will include on-site AIS prevention training for county sheriff marine patrol unit personnel, and fishing tournament organizers and participants.

The Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program is designed to promote water resource conservation by pro-actively supporting the efforts of citizen volunteers in helping to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) at local public boat launches. The program directly supports volunteer efforts by offering statewide volunteer training workshops, on-line volunteer leader development, and AIS prevention focused educational materials. CBCW program methods are well established, and are currently being implemented in several other Great Lakes region states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and New York. The CBCW program compliments other water resource protection focused efforts such as the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch program, Clean Drain Dry Initiative, Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!, and the Michigan DEQ AIS Landing Blitz. The CBCW program message parallels the AIS prevention message used by these programs to provide complementary protection efforts that take place at popular boat launches, and other areas with high recreational boater traffic.

 To learn more about becoming a volunteer for the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, visit our website at www.micbcw.org.

Search for articles in the Michigan Riparian magazine archives – now available!

February 15, 2017 14:03

by Alisha Davidson, PhD
ML&SA Research and Development Coordinator

riparian_magUntil recently, past issues of the Riparian were available at The Michigan Riparian website (http://www.mi-riparian.org/) but did not have a search function to find specific articles. As there is a diverse array of knowledge contained in these articles, we wanted to make this knowledge easier to find for our members. As such, we have assigned each issue keywords that are searchable using the search box in the “Archives” page: just enter in your search term, and the issue(s) with the relevant article will be displayed. Download the issue, and scan through until you see the appropriate article (due to resource and logistical constraints, separating out each article wasn’t possible). This feature is available for issues dating back to 1990 and includes articles on common topics such as road ends and Eurasian watermilfoil control, to less common topics such as descriptions of native turtles and lake classifications. See if your lake is featured in any of the articles – or check out the articles on Michigan’s most picturesque waterfalls. If you can’t find the topic you are looking for, suggest the idea to Alisha Davidson (ML&SA’s Research and Development Coordinator). She will look to find any existing articles – and if there aren’t any – perhaps write one! She can be reached at alishad@mlswa.org.

ML&SA 56th Annual Conference Information and Registration Site Now On-line

February 1, 2017 13:23

For Immediate Release
Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.
Contact: Scott Brown, Executive Director
Phone: 989-831-5100 Ext. 105
E-mail: sbrown@mlswa.org
Website: www.mymlsa.org

Friday and Saturday, April 21st & 22nd, 2017
Crystal Mountain Resort
Thompsonville, MI


Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Annual Conference Represents a Great Opportunity for
Lakefront Property Owners to Learn How to Work as a Team to Prevent and Manage
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and Improve the Quality of Their Lake!

Michigan Lake & Stream Associations (ML&SA) 56th annual conference “Bridging the Resource Gaps: Enhancing the Ability of Lakefront Communities to Prevent and Manage Aquatic Invasive Species” is dedicated to providing participants with the knowledge, information, and ideas they need to improve the collective ability of their lakefront communities to prevent and/or manage aquatic invasive species. The ML&SA conference also represents an outstanding opportunity for participants to learn about the latest efforts to control invasive mussel populations, the status of starry stonewort in Michigan waters, purple loosestrife management initiatives, and the efforts of the Michigan Swimmers Itch Partnership in working to find a solution to a serious problem that has plagued lake users for decades.

The conference will open on Friday, April 21st at 10:00 AM with keynote addresses by Jon Allan, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, and Lisa Brush, Executive Director of the Michigan Stewardship Network who will discuss state and local efforts to prevent and manage aquatic invasive species. Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to attend workshops and sessions ranging in topic from applying for invasive species prevention and management grants from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) to working effectively with local government officials, and lake management professionals.

Conference attendees are also encouraged to participate in open panel discussions dedicated to exploring issues related to Michigan’s need to establish an equitable and sustainable system of public funding for aquatic invasive species management projects; and to learn about preventing and managing invasive species from regional water resource commissioners, and lake association leaders.

Participants can also learn about the latest federal, state, and district court cases that have had an impact on riparian rights and water law from noted Attorney-at-Law Clifford H. Bloom, senior partner in the firm Bloom Sluggett Morgan Law of Grand Rapids.

Created in 1961, ML&SA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and wise use and management of Michigan’s vast treasure of high quality inland lakes and streams. ML&SA achieves its mission by supporting the educational, stewardship, and conservation focused initiatives and goals of our public and private collaborative partners, members, and affiliated organizations.

For more information contact Scott Brown at 989-831-5100 Ext. 105, or E-mail: sbrown@mlswa.org.

To register for the ML&SA conference, visit http://www.mymlsa.org/2017-mlsa-annual-conference

MiCorps Creates New Blog for Website

January 25, 2017 15:38

By Paul Steen
MiCorps Program Manager
Huron River Watershed Council

Stop invasive plants before they harm your lake!  Dr. Jo Latimore has written a new blog for the MiCorps website.  Included in the blog is a video that describes the Exotic Plant Watch program.  Check it out!  https://micorps.net/blog/stop-invasive-plants-eapw-2017/

Speaking of exotic plants, that is one of the parameters that the MiCorps teams trains volunteers on at our annual training (along with Secchi Disk Transparency, Phosphorus, Chlorophyll, etc).   This year, there will be two trainings!  One in the Lower Peninsula, and one in the Upper.

Info on Lower Peninsula lake training (April 21 and 22): https://micorps.net/events/2017-clmp-training/

Info on Upper Peninsula lake training (May 3):  https://micorps.net/events/2017-clmp-training-up/


Annual Great Lakes Conference Upcoming in March

January 25, 2017 10:23

By Lois Wolfson
MSU Extension Senior Educator

The 2017 Great Lakes conference, “The Great Lakes: Moving Michigan Forward” is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI.  The one day conference, beginning at 9:00 AM incorporates ideas generated by Michigan State University’s Water Moves, a university-wide initiative fostering scientific innovation and cultural and artistic expression inspired by water.  Keynote addresses will be given by Dr. Joan Rose, Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and recent recipient of the 2016 International Stockholm Water Prize, speaking on global public health issues, and Mr. Jon Allen, Director of the Office of the Great Lakes, presenting the next steps in Michigan’s Water Strategy.  Other talks will focus on phosphorus, agriculture and Lake Erie; water monitoring using drones; rip currents and safety; green infrastructure and “arts in the wild,” and acoustic telemetry in the Great Lakes.  Registration fee is $10. The conference is co-sponsored by Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research; Michigan Sea Grant Extension, and the Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  To see a complete agenda and register, visit: www.iwr.msu.edu/events/ANRWeek or call (517) 353-9222.

Wanted! Leaders to Protect Michigan’s Lakes and Streams

January 13, 2017 20:09

By Jo Latimore, Aquatic Ecologist and Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University

Have people in your community ever disagreed about what is best for your lake? Do you ever wish you knew more about how lakes and rivers work? Have you wondered what resources are available to help protect and manage your lake or waterway? Here in Michigan, lake and stream protection decisions begin at the local level. However, members of the local community may not have a strong background in water resources or the rules and regulations that govern them. Lake and watershed management issues may lead to conflict within communities, and those involved may not have the skills to resolve those conflicts and arrive at decisions that the community can support.

Good news! The Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute provides an opportunity for citizens, local leaders, and water resource professionals to develop these necessary skills. The Class of 2017 will be the 7th session of this popular program. Participants develop their technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, and camaraderie, with guidance from expert instructors. Citizens, students, and professionals are all encouraged to apply.


• Study fish, insects and habitat in Michigan lakes and rivers

• Develop conflict resolution and communication skills

• Discover new resources and partnership opportunities

• Explore Michigan water law, regulations, and programs

• Apply your new knowledge and skills in an independent project

Each participant conducts an independent project outside of class. These projects give you an opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest and exercise your new leadership skills. Examples of past participant projects include:

• Developing and delivering an educational program about the benefits of natural shorelines for lakefront residents

• Investigating and promoting the construction of a boat washing station to prevent introduction of aquatic invasive species

• Training elementary teachers how to explore lakes and streams with their young students

• Sharing results and benefits of participation in the volunteer Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program

• Recruiting volunteers to mark storm drains in an urban neighborhood to raise awareness about non-point source pollution

The Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute is sponsored by Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., Michigan State University Extension,
and the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and is endorsed by the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership.

To download a 2017 Lake and Stream Leaders Institute Flyer, click here


The Institute is conducted in three sessions that include classroom learning and field experience.

June 2-3: Kettunen Center, near Cadillac

August 18-19: Kellogg Biological Station, near Kalamazoo

October 6: Michigan State University, East Lansing

Sponsors cover most of the costs of the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute. The participant registration fee of $400 covers the remainder of the cost.

Scholarships are available.

Applications and more information are available online: http://www.bit.ly/MSU-LSLI. You can also contact Dr. Jo Latimore at MSU: latimor1@msu.edu or 517-432-1491.

The application deadline is March 30, 2017.


Another Lake Road End Case

January 8, 2017 17:28

By Clifford H. Bloom, Esq.
Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC
Grand Rapids, Michigan

On October 25, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals released its unpublished decision in O’Neill, et al. v Moses, et al. (Case Nos. 329227, 330527, 329475 and 330529; 2016 WL 6269360). For purposes of full disclosure, I was co-legal counsel for three of the individuals involved in the lawsuit.

This case involved an unusual private avenue or easement, in that it is “elbow” or “L” shaped. The private road right-of-way approaches the lake at an approximately 45 degree angle and then turns and runs parallel to the lake. The road was created by a 1947 plat, which dedicated the road “to the use of the owners of lots”. The road right-of-way or easement has approximately 149 feet of frontage on the lake.

A number of off-lake property owners claimed that they have the right to install their own dockage, boat hoists and tethers along the lake frontage of the road and to permanently or seasonally moor their boats thereon. The three plaintiffs are riparian property owners who own lots adjacent to the road.

The litigation at the trial court level was long, complex and contentious. The trial court judge entered summary disposition in favor of the plaintiff riparians regarding the lake access issues. The trial court generally held that the road was for access only and cannot be utilized for private dockage, boat hoists or boat tethers and that the backlot property owners could not permanently or seasonally moor, store or keep their boats along the lake frontage of the road. The trial court relied heavily upon Thies v Howland, 424 Mich 282 (1985) and Higgins Lake Property Owners Assn v Gerrish Twp, 255 Mich App 83 (2003). The trial court also resolved numerous other issues.

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals generally upheld most of the rulings by the trail court. The Court of Appeals agreed that the private road right-of-way cannot be used by the backlotters for private dockage, boat hoists or boat tethers and that the backlot property owners cannot seasonally or permanently moor, store or keep boats along the waterfront. The Court held that the configuration of the road, as well as the dedication language “to the use of”, was unambiguous and generally meant access only. The Court of Appeals agreed that evidence of historical use was not relevant or admissible due to the unambiguous nature of the plat dedication for the road. Given that the plaintiffs did not request relief preventing the backlot property owners from lounging, sunbathing and picnicking on the road right-of-way, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs had conceded that issue and the trial court should not have banned those activities on the road right-of-way.

With regard to lake usage, the Court of Appeals did reverse a portion of the trial court’s decision that deemed one of the plaintiffs to have riparian rights on the claimed parallel portion of the road right-of-way in the plat based on 2000 Baum Family Trust v Babel, 488 Mich 136 (2010). That matter was remanded back to the trial court. There is also a discussion of certain prescriptive easement issues in the Court’s decision.

The Court of Appeals did decide a number of other issues (which likely would not be of interest to most riparians), but generally upheld most of the trial court’s decisions. Due to all of the complex issues involved, this article is simply a summary for laypeople of the decisions by the Court of Appeals in the case.

A full copy of the written opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals in O’Neill v Moses can be reviewed by going to the Court’s website at courts.mi.gov, clicking on “cases, opinions and orders”, click “case search”, enter case number 329227 and click “Court of Appeals”.

MNSP Announces Date and Venue for 2017 Shoreline and Shallows Conference

January 8, 2017 10:04

2017 MNSP Shoreline and Shallows Conference:
Increasing Habitat, Reducing Threats

By Julia Kirkwood
Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership Facilitator
MDEQ-Water Resources Division
Non-point Source Program

The Michigan Natural Shoreline P2017-cropped-shallow-and-shoreline-conference-flyerartnership has announced that this year’s Shoreline and Shallows conference will be held on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center located on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.

This year’s conference, entitled “Increasing Habitat, Reducing Threats”,  will feature presentations on a new shoreline stewards program, healthy lake initiatives and programs, invasive or nuisance plant and wildlife species, fish habitats and natural shorelines, and bioengineering structure, along with exhibits and a luncheon. The conference is sponsored by the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership with support from member organizations.

Registration is now open to those interested in attending the Shoreline and Shallows conference by clicking here . The cost of early bird conference registration is $45.00. Late registration for the conference begins on February 25th, and is $50.00.

To download the 2017 Shoreline and Shallows conference agenda, click here….

To download a 2017 Shoreline and Shallows conference promotional flyer, click here…

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), is a collaborative partnership comprised of state agencies, academia, nonprofit organizations, and private industry, that was formed in 2008 with the belief that a change was necessary in shoreline development practices in Michigan from high impact methods that alter the natural riparian condition to practices that restore/preserve the ecological function of the shoreline, effectively stabilize shoreline erosion, and that attract consumers as an option for lakefront use, to ensure the sustainable health of these resources.

Michigan Chapter North American Lake Management Society and ML&SA Team Up to Offer Lake Research Focused Grants

December 13, 2016 10:48

By Lois Wolfson
President, Michigan Chapter North American Lake Management Society

The Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society (McNALMS) and Michigan Lake and Stream Associations are again sponsoring the Lake Research Student Grants Program.  The purpose of the program is to promote University student efforts to work with lakes and lake communities to enhance lake management.  Projects that increase the understanding of lake ecology, strengthen collaborative lake management, build lake partnerships, and/or expand citizen involvement in lake management are eligible for consideration.  This year our two organizations expect to fund one or more projects from a total pool of $4,000. The deadline for proposal submission is February 17, 2017.

Please help get the word out to interested students.

Click here  to download the Call for Proposals and Application Form.

Information is also available on the McNALMS web site at  www.mcnalms.org .


The Hunt for Winter Stoneflies

December 12, 2016 11:02

by Alisha Davidson, Ph.D.
ML&SA Research and Development Coordinator


Most winter stoneflies are about 1 cm long. They emerge in the winter and are found walking around in the snow. Photo credit: Dysmorodrepanis, Wikimedia Commons.

While riparians are used to seeing the emergence of various insects during the spring and summer months, the winter months are known for their stillness and quiet. Life takes a break, and apart from the occasional indoor ant, few insects are seen during this time. One important exception, however, is the winter stonefly. During the coldest winter months, winter stoneflies’ aquatic immature stage (known as larvae or nymphs) hatch from rocky stream bottoms and crawl up through openings in the snow or ice that covers the water. By the time they have emerged from the water, they are fully formed adults about 1 cm long. Although they have four wings, they stay close to the snow and ice, and walk to find mates. Winter stoneflies should not be confused with snow fleas. Snow fleas (which are not fleas, but small insects that munch on decomposing organic matter like leaves) are only about 1 mm long and can seemingly cover the snow, hopping around as they do. Winter stoneflies are much less common.

Little is known about how winter stoneflies survive both the freezing water and air temperatures. However, one hypothesis is that overall, insects are either freeze-tolerant (i.e., the liquid in their body can partially freeze without killing them) or freeze-avoidant (i.e., they produce anti-freeze compounds that allow the liquid in their body to get below freezing temperatures without freezing). The physiology of these processes is extraordinarily complex, but in general, because air temperatures generally get much colder during winter than water temperatures, most terrestrial bugs that are exposed to the frigid air temperatures are freeze-tolerant and most aquatic bugs (like winter stoneflies) that are exposed to more moderate water temperatures are freeze-avoidant. Because winter stoneflies keep close to the water and ice (which acts to insulate the water), they do not experience temperatures much below freezing and can avoid freezing. As they are exposed to air, cryobiologist Dr. Richard Lee and his research team from University of Miami – Ohio found that they can increase the levels of anti-freeze in their bodies to avoid freezing! In addition, they seek out protection under snow pockets (which are slightly warmer) and walk on the tips of their feet to avoid ice crystals. Why go through all this trouble? Emerging to mate during the winter allows them to avoid predators that are plentiful during the summer.

Winter stoneflies are clearly a wonderful winter phenomena. What makes them even more special is their role in determining water quality and predicting the health of stream communities. Winter stoneflies have less efficient respiration than other aquatic insects, so require high rates of dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen levels decrease with warmer water temperatures, slow water flow and nutrient pollution. Because they are so sensitive to poor water quality, monitoring where they are, and how many there are, helps determine the health of a stream. While many humans welcome warmer winter temperatures, warm temperatures may negatively affect winter stoneflies (as well as other members of the stream community). Winter stoneflies also have relatively low rates of reproduction and a poor ability to disperse to find better habitats with high dissolved oxygen. As such, they are at risk in areas with nutrient pollution and warmer waters.

To understand winter stonefly numbers and also predict stream health, there are several watershed organizations that hold a winter stonefly search (e.g., Huron River Watershed Council, http://www.hrwc.org/volunteer/stonefly/; Friends of the Rouge, http://www.therouge.org/our-work/volunteer/benthic-macroinvertebrate-sampling/bug-hunt-events-and-trainings). No experience needed; most groups welcome volunteers, including children accompanied by an adult. Volunteers are paired with an experienced researcher to look for and learn more about these fascinating riparian inhabitants. For those that are interested in helping in the search, try contacting your local watershed organization. Most searches occur in January, with an early-mid January registration deadline.

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