Friday, October 31, 2008

Chesaning Dam

$900K grant paves way for Chesaning dam removal

Argus-Press Staff Writer

CHESANING - The Chesaning dam is on its way out after a $900,000 grant through the Clean Michigan Initiative will help push funding for the Shiawassee River Restoration and removal of the dam.

State Senator Roger Kahn, R-District 32, has been very involved in the project and was instrumental in the push for the grant, said Bob Grnak, Kahn's media coordinator.“We think its the most wonderful thing ever,” Village Manager Marlene Schultz said. “It's not like a loan we have to pay back. We really feel fortunate and if it wasn't for Sen. Kahn we wouldn't have had this.

Total cost of the restoration - including planning, engineering and construction - is about $1.7 million. In addition to the grant, funding also will come from private citizens, businesses, the township and village.The dam has declined to the point where maintenance and repair is not a practical option.Tom Meder, coordinator for the Shiawassee River Restoration Committee, said they have been working on this project for seven years.

“The dam was deteriorating and something had to be done,” Meder said. “It has been repaired over the course of the last 30 years, but it is beyond repair now. We are going to remove it.”Engineers have developed a solution that restores fish passage, creates new river habitat, interconnects fragmented aquatic habitat and preserves the impoundment needed for the Showboat Festival, while eliminating the long-term liabilities associated with a failing dam.
Meder also believes the restoration will help to boost tourism.

“It will become a really prolific fishery now and people will be coming to use it,” Meder said. “Our campgrounds will literally be more useable because we will have fish right up near the campgrounds.”Meder explained the Shiawassee River goes right through the Chesaning campgrounds and with the dam fish cannot swim near the camping areas.

The dam was built in 1863 to create power for the grist mill and was a key element to Chesaning's success as a lumber hub in the mid-1800s.However, the dam is most notably used today for the annual Chesaning Showboat Festival, which is a major aspect of the cultural identity in the village.Meder is hopeful the project starts in the fall.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pearling your kayak

His bow pearled while he was surfing and he ended up missing the eddy because he was upside down.

Pearling refers to the action of the bow, or stern, of your kayak diving under the water instead of floating on top. Pearling can happen for a number of reasons and is sometimes even done on purpose. If your kayak suddenly pearls and you were not expecting it or take actions to bring the bow or stern back to the surface you will most likely either get quickly flipped over or sent straight over onto your face.

Pearling on a wave sometimes happens when the wave is too short for your kayak. If you find yourself in this situation you will need to constantly be on an edge and continuously carving back and forth on the wave.

Pearling on a wave can also happen when a wave surges and pushes you down further in the trough of the wave. The easy fix for when this happens is to throw your kayak up on edge. With minimal surface area on the edge of your kayak compared to large surface of the deck of your kayak the buoyancy of your boat should bring the bow or stern right back up to the surface in no time. The trick is to be able to do this fast enough that you don’t get blown off the wave or react quick enough that the bow or stern does not get shoved too far down.

Pearling in flat water happens when you are too heavy for your boat or too much of your weight is forward. The easy fix for this is to shift your weight further onto the stern of the boat. This makes it harder to take strong powerful strokes and makes balancing a bit more of a challenge but it usually keeps your bow above water. However, if you are trying to do a trick such as the Plowing Ender then you will want to keep as much weight as possible on your bow.

Entering or exiting an eddy is also a common place to pearl. This is especially true at high volumes where there is a much more distinct line between downriver current and eddy current. In order to keep your bow from pearling when crossing in and out of an eddy you will want to make sure you do a peel out and lean in the direction of the current you are going into. Punching straight into or out of an eddy in a high volume river or creek typically is a recipe for a flip. However, if you are in a low volume playboat or a squirt boat then this line between eddy and current is a playground, just like a good hole is to a playboater.

Some kayaks are more susceptible to pearling while others are designed specifically not to pearl. With big volume and rounded bows and sterns creek boats are much harder to pearl then other kayaks as flipping in a creek is never a good thing. The opposite of this is a kayak with very thin but wide bow and stern. This shape is typically found on play boats where getting and staying vertical is essential.

Supposedly the term pearl came from surfing where one would throw the end of their surfboard into the on coming wave in order to make the board dive into the water.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Maps along Shiawassee River

WaterWorksPark in Holly, Michigan Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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3 Tubes RailRoad Bridge on Shiawassee River Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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Fish Lake Road take-out on Shiawassee River Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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Wilson Lake off the Shiawassee River Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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Fenton Mill Pond on the Shiawassee River Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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Strom Park in Fenton, Michigan Map (click on yellow pin icon)

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Dress to swim - everytime you paddle

Cold water removes heat from the body 25 times
as fast as cold air.


Do not consider air temperature when
estimating the risk of cold water immersion!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paddling over a Dam - Just Plain Stupid

Michigan has about 2,500 dams, nearly 1,500 of them under six feet in height, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Learn , study, take classes, paddle with friends, groups, etc.
Water is mischievous/ deceiving in the amount of power even light current has.

It' s a great article for discussion

And yeah, I did flip my boat in 32 degree water with a wetsuit on later that day below Delhi.
Fellow paddlers helped me out, no questions asked, no inquisition, just camaraderie.

We evolve and learn by taking risks while attempting to control as many external factors as possible.

Challenge people if they have safety equipment and why they aren't using it.
What's the worst that could get verbally abused for a second, so what.
I'm no paddling genius with an awesome roll and superman S on my chest, but I do care a little.

People also learn thru large paddle events -they see other boats, gear, equipment.
One thing that makes it tough is all the paddling/ rowing clubs are like islands.
Unless you visit (via e-mail) each club and invite them, it's tough to get a decent turnout.
Many don't even have webpages, they are just private lists of people who go out and paddle.
There is no one stop clearing house of paddling info in Michigan.
Canoe, kayak, sculling, whitewater, flatwater, surf, touring, racing, --thats a lot of territory !.

People are constantly buying boats and are in need of instruction, exposure to other boats,
safety protocols, in a nut shell " they don't know what they they don't know" .
How can you ask questions when your un-aware equipment like float bags exist for rec boats ?
If the guy at the shops like Dunhams/Dicks/ Cabellas etc. never told them the paddle can be offset for wind...
it all relates to a inherent problem with paddle sports in the Michigan-the land of water,water everywhere.

*When someone drowns falling off a powerboat because no vest is worn
-we the taxpayers pay for the body retrieval time, resources, etc.
No boatowner ever came up on murder one charges for negligent homicide,
had his boat impounded for the season, etc. etc.

We also pay monetarily when kayakers/canoeists do some foolish stuff.
Curious to hear comments, feedback, etc. either on the boards or via personal mail

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pics from 2008 Fall Color Tour Paddle

THANKS to all paddlers who came out
-- we had approximately 60 -70 kayakers/canoeists
and another big thank you to Heavners Livery
for additional rentals and shuttle service.

Sunny afternoon, light winds, temps in the mid 60's
all made for a great day.

Pictures of 2008 Shiawassee Fall Color Tour Paddle