Monday, December 27, 2010

UPDATE - Big blue construction crane on Shiawasee River

Update on the Big Blue Crane construction project near Eagle Road and Railroad

Response from Michigan DNRE rep, Melanie Foose:
The work that you are observing is being conducted by Enbridge and is part of the 6B pipeline that runs from Chicago, through Kalamazoo and up into Ontario.  Several portions of this line have required repair in Oakland County.  Prior to the work, I had walked this site of proposed work for Enbridge, as well as other sites in the county.  I had some concerns regarding the stream, the high quality wetland surrounding the stream – wetland that interestingly enough extends up the hill from the river with a likely groundwater seep, and also some concerns over certain rare species.  We did end up issuing a permit for the work – modified from their original proposal.   I expect that the work is close to finished or even completed by now, as they were hoping to have it done before Christmas.
-Melanie Foose

Line 6B is a 30-inch, 283,000 barrels per day (bpd) line transporting light synthetics, heavy and medium crude oil from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario. It is part of the Partnership's Lakehead System. The 1,900-mile Lakehead System is the U.S. portion of the world's longest petroleum pipeline and has operated for more than 60 years. The system is the primary transporter of crude oil from Western Canada to the United States, spanning from the international border near Neche, N.D., to the international border near Marysville, Mich., with an extension across the Niagara River into the Buffalo, N.Y., area. It consists of approximately 4,700 miles of pipe with diameters ranging from 12 to 48 inches; 60 pump station locations; and 66 crude oil storage tanks with a capacity of about 12.1 million barrels.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mid Shiawasee River Report

This report gives highly detailed info concerning the Shiawassee River

Midshiawasee-River-report_334332_7.pdf (application/pdf Object)

An Example:
Rainfall Frequency Atlas of the Midwest, Bulletin 71, Midwestern Climate Center, 1992.

Every 2 years, there is 50% chance, of getting a heavy thunderstorm dumping
2.42 inches of rain within a 24 hr period in the region.
If the weather man says we got 3 inches of rain in a 24 hr period, it's pretty significant news.
Back in August 2007, over 5 days, this area of Michigan received 5.12 inches of rain.-
Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed  - Hydrologic Study - 9/30/2010 -  page 30
The Shiawassee River watershed is both a snowmelt-driven and a storm-driven system. In a storm-driven system, rainfalls during the growing season generate flood flows. Snowmelt-driven systems are usually less flashy than storm-driven systems, because the snow pack supplies a steadier rate of flow. However, a rain-on-snow event, where rain and snowmelt simultaneously contribute to runoff, can produce dramatic flow increases. The runoff from the rain and snowmelt also likely occur with saturated or frozen soil conditions, when the ground can absorb or store less water, resulting in more overland flow to surface waters than would occur otherwise. Although the Mid-Shiawassee River watershed is likely more of a snowmelt-driven system, the increasing imperviousness of urbanizing tributary watersheds may shift those watersheds toward more storm-driven systems.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Panoramio - Photo of Blue Manitowoc Crawler Crane

Panoramio - Photo of Blue Manitowoc Crawler Crane

Came across an Industrial Crane near the intersection of Eagle Road and the Railroad tracks in Holly, Michigan

Hopefully they pulled all the proper permits for construction.


National PipeLine Mapping Service shows pipelines and operators in Oakland County


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good news - Shiatown Dam cleanup to ocur Spring 2011

Report due to Byron Lane at DNRE from Jeff Hollington at MLBFTA this week-- before Christmas 2010 !

Jeff Huntington,
Property Analyst
Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority
517.636.4898 phone

Jeff apparently has contractor bids to clean up the mess in the spring of 2011.
MLBFTA apparently wants no part of owning a dam - demolition removal perhaps...........
The real decisions are made via the good knowledgeable people at the DNRE.

There will be plenty of eyes on the project in 2011 as the Shiawassee River evolves.

Shiatown Dam Google Earth Image April 2009

(please click on the picture with your mouse to see enlarged view)

Notice the date of the Google Earth Imagery for this satellite view :  April 1, 2009

My picture taken and posted on Panoramio in April 2010 confirms the logjam still exists.

'Small ice jam' on Shiawassee River may have caused flood warning, but no damage seen |

'Small ice jam' on Shiawassee River may have caused flood warning, but no damage seen |

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who owns the ShiaTown Dam on the Shiawassee River ?

Technically the Shiatown Dam belongs to MLBFTA - Jeff Huntington is the Property Analyst

MLBFTA - michigan land bank fast track authority ---- the group that gets tax foreclosed properties

Any real work on water dams gets done by the engineers, consultants and experts at the DNRE in Michigan.

Contact the MLBFTA

Jeff Huntington
Senior Property Analyst

NWS Hydrologic Information Center

NWS Hydrologic Information Center

Flood warning issued for Shiawassee River near St. Charles, Chesaning |

Flood warning issued for Shiawassee River near St. Charles, Chesaning |

Monday, December 13, 2010

DNRE - legal stance

Since 1999, the Shiatown Dam has been owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  It acquired the Shiatown Dam as a tax-reverted parcel.

Other reports claim the dam is owned by the MLBFTA michigan land bank fast track authority.

The water in FRONT of the dam are public waters, open to anyone. Hence logjams could be removed.
Physically climbing upon the dam "might" be a liability issue, since it's a 19ft drop onto the concrete below.

While the DNR does oversee fisheries protection and recreation in Michigan,
its mandate does not include the operation or maintenance of dams. 

The agency is guided by the seven-member, governor-appointed Natural Resources
Commission and is funded by state general fund revenues, federal funds and a
variety of restricted funds.

Sharon Hanshue  is the Legal Services Coordinator from the DNRE in Lansing, Michigan Area
She can be reached at 517-335-4058

Operating out of the Office of Science and Policy, she coordinates litigation on behalf of DNRE
and provides central Exec level assistance for rules and policy development, directors orders,
interagency agreements and related work.

The dam's owner is expected to keep the structure in good repair - the dam safety act is Part 315 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, PA 451 of 1992 and is administered by the DNRE - Water Resources Bureau.

Byron Lane is the program manager for dam safety.He can be reached at 517-241-9862

Byron is Chief of the Hydrologic Studies and Dam Safety Unit of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environmental (DNRE) which regulates the safety of state regulated dams and provides flood discharge estimates, hydrologic modeling services and drought flow estimates to internal and external customers.

These are the KEY players to getting dams cleaned up along the Shiawassee River


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Responsibility for Massive Mess in Shiawassee County ?

Who decides along the Shiawassee River to clean this up - city, county, state ?

(click on the picture for a full screen view in high detail)

It is visible on Google Earth satellite views of the Shiawassee River
 (click on the link above to see latitude/longitude)















Who is responsible for keeping the Shiawassee River clean ?


Townships, Charter Townships and Cities of Shiawassee County

15 Townships, 1 Charter Township, 5 Cities

Cities of Shiawassee County

5 Cities, 6 Villages, 22 Unincorporated Places

Monday, December 06, 2010

December kayaking on the Shiawassee

Nothing quite like a December kayak paddle on the Shiawassee River.

Doug Lanyk, Steve Hoffman and myself logged 17 miles on the river between Harmon Partridge Park in Owosso, Michigan and Ditch Road Park near Chesaning, Michigan


Friday, December 03, 2010

Argentine bridge on Lovejoy Road now open

The Lovejoy Road Bridge in Argentine over the South Branch of Shiawassee River
is now open for traffic after 8 year closure.

It is located between Sheridan and Duffield roads and covers
a 70-foot span over the river.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

REI Awards Grant for New Fenton Launch Site

REI Awards Grant for new Kayak and Canoe Launch Site in Fenton,Michigan at Bush Park

On behalf of the newly formed volunteer group promising to look after river issues in the Fenton to Argentine stretch -- Keepers of the Shiawassee -- Headwaters Trials applied for and received a grant in the amount of $3579. It is the plan of Keepers to encourage urban kayaking by developing a short learning paddle river segment around Bush Park in Fenton, Michigan.

The Fenton Rotary Club has an annual commitment to maintaining and improving that park. They will install an at-grade launch next to the Gazebo which can be accessed from North Leroy street. Then next spring Keepers will grade the banks and create a similar launch site one-eighth of a mile upstream.

Novice paddlers, especially families with children, will be able to practice their canoe or kayak skills from one launch to the other, all within the reach of Bush Park amenities--parking, restrooms, playscape, and picnic areas.

Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation will offer classes for children and adults using this stretch. Collectively, all participants hope to introduce new participants to the river and its possibilities for close to home recreation.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op with three stores in southeast Michigan--Troy, Northville and Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shiawassee River Launch Sites : Saginaw County, Michigan

Shiawassee River Launch Sites

Saginaw County, Michigan
Miller Road - Shiawassee Flats
From M-46, west of Shields at Miller Road signal, head south to dead end (over 4 miles).
GPS: N 43 21.458, W 84 04.331
St. Charles DNR Ramp - Bad River
Heading south into St. Charles. Turn left at the DNR sign at the bridge.
The ramp is opposite the DNR building, on the river.
GPS: N 43 17.950, W 84 08.471
St. Charles - Bad River, down river site
Heading south into St. Charles, go past the intersection where HWY 52 veers to the west.
Continue south until the road angles west and turns into Chesaning Street (about 4 blocks).
Follow Chesaning St. a block and a half to Hulien Road.
Turn left (east), and proceed to the dead end. Turn left (north), and continue to the river.
Parking is fair. Do not attempt to use this site turning flood times.
GPS: N 43 18.188, W 84.06.587
Oakley (Old Dam Site)
Go through St. Charles on HWY 52, to about 6 blocks east of Oakley.
GPS: 43 08.373, W 84 09.590
Henderson Park
Go through St. Charles on HWY 52, past Oakley to Henderson Road (approximately 15 miles from downtown St. Charles).
Turn right (west) onto Henderson Road, and head into the park.
The park is located at the junction of the river/bridge and Henderson Road.
GPS: 43 05.206, W 84 10.997
Originally posted by the nice folks at the East Coast Paddlers group
East Coast Paddlers: Shiawassee River Launch Sites:


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stream Stabilization & Restoration Guidance Documents

Stream Stabilization & Restoration Guidance Documents

Prepared by: Paul Bijhouwer, P.E., Hydraulic Engineer, CELRB-TD-HD Last Updated: 11/28/2005

Disclaimer: This listing is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute USACE endorsement of the practices described in the references for any specific purposes. The practices of stream stabilization and restoration are highly complex and should only be undertaken under the guidance of experienced licensed professionals. As always, early coordination with agencies having permitting jurisdiction is highly advisable.

SOME INFO may prove more useful than others - poke around and see what fits your needs

HQUSACE Publications
Available at
ER 1110-2-1405 Hydraulic Design for Local Flood Protection Projects, 30-Sep-1982
EM 1110-2-1204 Environmental Engineering for Coastal Shore Protection, 10-Jul-1989
EM 1110-2-1205 Environmental Engineering for Local Flood Control Channels, 15-Nov-1989
EM 1110-2-1418 Channel Stability Assessment for Flood Control Projects, 31-Oct-1994
EM 1110-2-1601 Hydraulic Design of Flood Control Channels, 30-Jun-1994
EM 1110-2-1612 Ice Engineering, 30-Oct-2002
EM 1110-2-4000 Sedimentation of Rivers and Reservoirs, 31-Oct-1995
Engineer Research and Development Center Manuals / Reports / Technical Notes
The WES Stream Investigation and Streambank Stabilization Handbook, Oct-1997
ERDC/EL SR-W-00-1 Stream Management, Mar-2000
ERDC-CHL TR-00-15 Effective Discharge Calculation - A Practical Guide, Aug-2000
ERDC/CHL TR-01-28 Hydraulic Design of Stream Restoration Projects, Sep-2001
All downloadable through ERDC Digital Library searches at
ERDC/CHL CHETN-VIII-4 Effective Discharge Calculation, Dec-2000
ERDC/CHL CHETN-VIII-5 Channel Forming Discharge, Dec-2000
Available at;370
ERDC TN-EMRRP-SR-29 Stability Thresholds for Stream Restoration Materials, May-2001
Available at (with numerous other Stream Restoration tech notes)

Institute for Water Resources
Illustrations of Environmental Engineering Features for Planning, Dec-1998 
Other (Non-USACE) – General 
Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, processes, and practices, 1998 
Comprehensive reference prepared by the Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group
John McCullah’s Environmentally Sensitive Streambank Stabilization 
 - Commercial version for purchase
- Freely downloadable public domain version
Contains design guidance, typical details, etc.
David Rosgen guidance / technical papers downloadable from Wildland Hydrology website
Guidance on design of j-hooks, cross-vane weirs, etc.

Stream Stabilization & Restoration Guidance Documents
Prepared by: Paul Bijhouwer, P.E., Hydraulic Engineer, CELRB-TD-HD
Last Updated: 11/28/2005 2:11 PM USDA Forest Service – Stream Systems Technology Center 
USDA NRCS National Water Management Center – Regional Hydraulic Geometry Curves 
North Carolina Stream Restoration Institute 
Links to Stream Restoration Design Principles course presentations.
Lots of other educational materials on this site.
Homepage of Douglas Shields of the USDA ARS
Review the online list of his publications.
Many useful publications are available for download at the second link. 
Doyle River Ecosystems Group
Link to the homepage for Martin Doyle, a Geomorphologist involved in river restoration work. 
Link to downloadable version of the excellent paper Design for Stream Restoration, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 129(3):575-584, 2003, coauthored by Shields, Copeland, Klingeman, Doyle, and Simon. This paper defines a standard of care for hydraulic engineering of river restoration projects, and includes an extensive bibliography of useful references many of which can be Googled from the web. 
Robert Newbury – Author of publication on design of rocked riffles - Stream Analysis and Fish Habitat Design – A Field Manual, 1993. This publication is available on-line at the ftp site given below. An updated version of the manual was also available for purchase, but is no longer found at the bookstore website. Try contacting Newbury through the website below for more info. Newbury also offers Stream Design courses. Filename: Stream Analysis.pdf File size: 141 MB 
USGS National Flood Frequency computer program 
Free software automating computations using the USGS regression procedures for each state (see below)
Other (Non-USACE) – Ohio Specific 
USGS Open File Report 93-135 Estimation of peak-frequency relations, flood hydrographs, and volume-duration-frequency relations of ungaged small urban streams in Ohio, Sherwood, 1993 
USGS Water Resources Investigation Report 03-4164 Techniques for Estimating Flood-Peak Discharges of Rural, Unregulated Streams in Ohio, Koltun, 2003 
USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4068 Techniques for Estimating Selected Streamflow Characteristics of Rural, Unregulated Streams in Ohio 
Ohio Department of Natural Resources / Ohio State University STREAM website
Natural Channel Design aids in Excel format

Prepared by: Paul Bijhouwer, P.E., Hydraulic Engineer, CELRB-TD-HD
Last Updated: 11/28/2005 2:11 PM
Other (Non-USACE) – New York Specific 
USGS Project 2457-A29-1 – Regionalization of Channel Geomorphology Characteristics for Streams of New York State, Excluding Long Island. This page describes the USGS effort currently underway to develop regional hydraulic geometry curves for the various hydrologic regions of NY.
Includes links to the completed publications. 
USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4197
– Regionalization of Flood Discharges of Rural, Unregulated Streams in New York, Excluding Long Island


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Americans Vote Yes For Conservation - Science

Despite tough economy, people want to fund land and water protection

Americans Vote Yes For Conservation - Science


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Corunna discovers it doesn’t own troubled dam

City of Corrunna does not own the dam on the Shiawassee River

See Article in the Argus News

The Argus-Press: News - Corunna discovers it likely doesn’t own troubled dam


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Corunna officials frustrated by state

Corruna council members ultimately approved filing a permit application to draw down the impoundment and abandon the dam.

The Argus-Press: News - Corunna officials frustrated by state


Thursday, October 14, 2010

DDA plan outlines projects for next 15 years

Shiawassee Riverwalk, a walkway on both sides of the river from Rackham Park toward Bush Park, $500,000.

Canoe Launches, two, accessing the Shiawassee River and Fenton Mill Pond, $160,000.

Tri-County Times > Archives > News > Local > DDA plan outlines projects for next 15 years


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Examiner publishing and I part ways

I gave the Examiner a shot for about a year , writing a variety of articles relating to kayaking, paddling, etc. - it has come to an end. No new published articles.

 The articles still appear at -----

The reality of it all is that Examiner just doesn't pay for the time most writers will put into their stories.  By the time you get a story idea in your head, to the time you research some facts, find some pictures and videos, and then edit it all and publish - you're already on the dark side of the cold moon to recoup any costs.  Forget about getting into the Google News feeds.  Google and Examiner.Com don't play nice with each other any more. Examiner.Com has a rule about waiting until after an event happens for it to be considered news.  Absolutely no promotion of an event as a news feed before the event takes place is poor business.  Writing about an event as commentary, advice, opinion, etc. ; sure that was okay; but forget about getting into a news feed for large pageviews. Forget about Press passes because Examiner is not considered the press.  Each writer is an Independent Contractor, taking any liability responsibility off of the Examiner.

Examiner .com used to pay around a penny a pageview back in late 2009. After restructuring their platform and adding a tremendous amount of advertising to every millimeter of the webpage, payouts dropped to 7/10 of a cent per pageview.  In order to make $25.00 a month, I needed to generate enough interest in my work to get 3,500 pageviews, or roughly 120 page views per day , each and every day. Pretty damn tough with this paddling topic in the greater metropolitan Detroit area of Michigan. Writing daily for fresh new stories while staying laser focused on your topic and specific city venue  is damn tough.  Over a 12 month period (365 days)  I published around 200 articles and made a total of about $250.  The pay per pageview varies and fluctuates - please don't think it's locked at a specific number. Based on a black box of variables - time spent on the webpage, number of subscribers, number of clicks, etc., etc. it averages out to something like 7/10 of a cent a pageview. Some days are a lot less, some days are a teensy tiny bit more. No consistency at all on pay.

Examiner.Com does a great job at selling a dream but they don't deliver on it. Please be wary of thinking you'll be able to pay any of your bills by writing for them. You won't. People have extremely short attention spans on the internet, and unless you stuff every articles with pictures of celebrities, fashion, gossip, drama and hype, the pageviews just aren't there within the Examiner.Com. Getting on the front page and staying there for more than 15 minutes, forget about it. You'll get 15 seconds max,  and then be banished under some drop down menu into obscurity .  Even the super hardcore news websites are struggling to stay afloat.

Examiner .com does absolutely zero, nada, nothing, to promote any writer on the internet. ALL they do is provide a platform upon which someone can write about a topic. That's it. No more. Each and every pageview is a hard earned effort, scraped out out of every corner of the internet, bordering upon spamming all your known contacts, their friends, their contacts and for what - around $25.00 a month. Some months were a bit more with monetary incentives to write local articles and write daily. ROI is laughable.

I started writing on because I had a ton of info built up over 10 years + of scanning the web for paddling info on a massive variety of topics, issues, concerns, etc.  I felt I had something to offer from a unique perspective and definitely did not want to write Kayaking 101 articles every day.

I learned an awful lot in the beginning,  by paddling often with those more experienced than myself. Paddling is a learned skill, it is not inherent to our DNA at birth. No one "just knows how to paddle".  Acquiring good technique, situational judgment  , accurately determining if you are in over your head,  truly knowing the scope of your abilities, takes time in the cockpit with a paddle in your hand. Finding a paddling group that fosters an environment for learning plays a big role in evolving forward as a paddler.

Learning never stops ...we evolve as we move through life.
Examiner has fallen, and that's a fact proven by worldwide internet pageviews


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Canoeing in Color: October 2, 2010

Canoeing in Color -- October 2, 2010


Come celebrate the Shiawassee River this fall on Saturday, October 2nd. 
Bring your canoe or kayak to WaterWorks Park in Holly on South Broad Street
We'll set off around 1:00pm or a little later if that suits your schedule. 
Heavner Canoes will again be on site offering rentals and shuttles 

North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy will co-sponsor this event, 
and give you a guide to preservation sites along the way. 

The three-four hour paddle could be heavenly, or the weather could be chilly, 
so plan accordingly. 

For more information, call 248-634-3513 (Sue Julian).

2008 Shiawassee Fall Color Tour Paddle

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another successful push forward - river cleanup

As told by Chuck Julian - Headwaters Trails Volunteer

The river cleanup went well on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2010.  We had 12 people put in at Hogan Road and take out at McCaslin Lake Road.  We cut one big tree and a couple of small ones, trimmed some face slappers and pulled a lot of trash out of the river (We lost two orange log cutting wedges at the newly cut big tree, let me know if you find them.  The water was a little to stirred up for us to see them once they hit bottom).  We started at 9 and finished at 2:30.  Afterward, we were served dinner at Ricky Ostrowski's house, played a game he called Polish horse shoes and enjoyed ourselves with each other's company.  We were able to transport the trash to the Argentine dumpster with the exception of the tires.  At this point, we are not sure what to do with them.  Thank you to everyone who came and thank you to Doug and Kristy Fairbanks for loaning us four canoes, their van and trailer.  We would not have been able to transport the all the trash without them.  Debbie McCarty transported the trash to Argentine, only then to have her water pump fail in her truck.  The recent rain has brought the river up a foot or more, so if it goes down again, there may be logs that need to be cut.

At the current river level, the Shiawassee River is clear from Water Works Park in Holly, to Bird Road in Argentine.  I am told that the stretch downstream from Bird needs a lot of work but that will have to wait till next summer.  Now is the time to enjoy the river.  The fall colors are just starting to come out.  Migrating ducks, Sand Hill Cranes and Blue Heron abound on the river.  It is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shiawassee River walk on Labor Day weekend

More than 200 people attended the seventh annual event, which started on the Owosso Heritage Footbridge,
went along the scenic Shiawassee River, and ended in Corunna, Michigan

Hundreds in Mid-Michigan celebrated Labor Day by lacing up and hitting the roads |

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fix wet electronic kayaking gear with Silica Gel

We all have family and friends that own and use a variety of cellphones, mp3, gps, camera, watches, remote key fobs, etc. Inevitable some of those items get wet, dropped in the pool, the toilet, a puddle or perhaps dockside as someone launches a kayak.

Dry them out with a bit of silica gel and a zip lock bag

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pics from Headwaters Trails Shiawassee River CleanUp 8/29/10

Pictures taken of many volunteers who gave their personal time to make the river a gem

Facebook | Headwaters Trails Shiawassee River Clean-up 8/29/10


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coast Guard launches "Paddles Up Great Lakes" campaign

"Paddles Up Great Lakes"  is an educational outreach campaign aimed at raising safe boating awareness among the region's paddlesports community.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Another successful clean-up maintenance day on the Shiawassee River

HeadWatersTrails / Keepers of the Shiawassee  had a very productive river-cleanup day Sunday August 29th.

With a crew of 20 people pitching in personal gear along with canoes from  Fairbanks Canoes & Kayaks;
a good deal of trash and deadfall woody debris was removed from the Shiawassee River.
Low water levels made for tough paddling conditions but allowed for easier chainsaw access to fallen trees.
Many, many thanks to Karen Monetta who graciously fed the crew back at her house after a very long day on the water.

I'll attach pictures as they filter in during the week.  Everyone was just plain beat and went to bed very late last night.
Many had to go into work this Monday morning.
Uploading photos from cell phones, cameras, etc. was just not happening from anyone until they got some rest and recovered.

Volunteers make it all happen ! They are the ones who have made the river into a beautiful paddling destination.

 Keepers of the Shiawassee  - and HeadWatersTrails     - are a great way to help out


Sunday, August 29, 2010

$500,000 grant for Shiawassee River project

Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 12:00 pm

The Shiawassee River is about to get a little healthier thanks to a hefty dose of federal funds.
The Shiawassee Conservation District recently received a $500,000 grant from the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil and Sediment Control, a program through the Great Lakes Commission, to fund the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed Sediment Reduction Project — a three-year program that will focus on reducing sediment erosion into the Shiawassee River.
“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the Shiawassee Conservation District in obtaining this prestigious grant,” State Rep. Richard Ball stated in a press release. “I am very excited to see their efforts in addressing these natural resource concerns in the Shiawassee River Watershed and improving Michigan’s Great Lakes.”
The Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed Sediment Reduction Project will focus on areas along the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed that are known contributors of significant amounts of sediment into the river. The Shiawassee Conservation District will be working with a private landowner, the Shiawassee County Drain Commission and the city of Owosso in tackling three large-scale stream bank stabilization projects in tributaries that directly contribute water to the Shiawassee River, said Andrea Berry, Watershed Technician with the Shiawassee Conservation District.
Berry added many of these area drainage sites were installed years ago with the intention of getting water out of the area as quickly as possible, but unintended side effects such as soil erosion have occurred overtime.
“They’re losing soil and causing sediment to go over to the river,” Berry said. “The reason why that’s bad is because sediment can have different toxins attached to it like oils, chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers...and that becomes attached to the sediment and that is then delivered downstream to the river. And it effects fish and wildlife habitat and also can effect water quality so that the water isn’t safe for people to use.”
Additionally, the district plans to work with Baker College to do an educational project focusing on making the college’s storm water retention pond a more efficient system, Berry said.
The Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed Sediment Reduction Project will also include an investigational incentive program involving the application of a powder called gypsum on soil to encourage water infiltration in clay-based agricultural soils and, in turn, reduce soil loss, according to the press release.
“We’re really only focusing on 1,500 acres and working with partners to get the use of gypsum on these fields,” Berry said. “The application of gypsum to clay soil increases infiltration potential resulting in less runoff and therefore less soil loss from the field.”
Planning for the projects will begin in October, but implementation of the projects won’t begin until Spring 2011 at the earliest, Berry said. A kick-off event for the project is also scheduled for October, and the public will be invited.
Berry added the Shiawassee River has a long history of pollution-related issues, and reducing sediment erosion and polluted water runoff is just another part of making the river and other waterways in the county more healthy.
“By having a cleaner and healthier river, people will be able to use it more and not have the risks (associated with polluted water),” Berry said, adding cleaning up the pollutants in the river can better fish and wild life habitat, as well as improve people’s perception of the river, increase tourism in the area and  better the local economy. “The river is a big part of Shiawassee County and having these practices and this program addressing issues that have been ongoing for years and years will help to improve the quality of, not only the river, but the tributaries of the Shiawassee River...In downstream areas, it all ends up in the Great Lakes. So not only are we improving our community, but we’re improving communities all along the river and throughout the Great Lakes Basin.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

CleanUp - Sunday August 29, 2010 at 9am Waterworks Park Holly MI

Headwaters Trails will be having a cleanup of the Shiawassee River on Sunday August 29, 2010.

We will meet in Holly at Waterworks Park on Broad Street at 9:00 am and go till 4 pm.

We plan to first clean the stretch of River between Bush Park and Torrey Road then jump to the section between McCaslin Lake Road and Bird Road in Argentine Township.  That section of the river had many trees down in it with some log jambs.  We cleaned out much of that on August 15th.  Now we need to complete that section and maybe go on below Bird Road.  Rex and Maggie suggest that we start at Torrey Road and work up stream due to the low water.  We could then go to get the blockage just below McCaslin Lake Road starting from McCaslin Lake Road, then pull out again at McCaslin Lake Road and move on down to Bird Road to go down stream.   

With this, the river will be open from Waterworks Park to Bird Road in Argentine. 
We will only have two more miles to go to get to the Byron Mill Pond.

Please join us if you are able to.
We need people with chain saws as well as boats to transport those saws and other supplies on the river. 
You are still welcome and encouraged to come along even if you have neither.  Once the trees are cut, they need to be anchored along the banks to provide shore protection and fish habitat.  We will also pick up any trash we are able to.

Wear shoes or boots that you don't mind getting wet.  A hat and safety glasses are also a good idea. 

We plan to work on the river rain or shine. 

Call me if you have any questions.
I would also appreciate knowing if we should be expecting you to come by email or phone.

My home phone number is 248-634-3513.
If I am not home, leave a message on the machine and I will get back to you.

If you are not able to come for the full day, please call me on my cell phone when you are ready to leave
and I can tell you where to meet us.
248-866-3069.  Normally, my home phone is best.  I leave the cell phone in my car.

We had a great time with a great group of people on August 15th.
I hope you can make it to help us out again.

Chuck Julian

Waterworks Park is in Holly, MI.

Torry Road crosses the river just below Long Lake Road.  We would park in an unused
parking lot on Long Lake Road.

Bird Road Bridge is on Bird Road just north of Silver Lake Rd. in Argentine Township.  If you take
Silver Lake out of Fenton, go through Linden.  The next town is Argentine.  Bird road is west
of town.  McCaslin Lake Road is between the town of Argentine and Bird Road.

Monday, August 16, 2010

CleanUps: Volunteers make it all happen

A group of us attacked the debris in the river between McCaslin Lake Rd. and Bird road.  We got a lot done and had a good time at it.  Steve Hoffman thinks that there is only one major blockage in the river left in that stretch.  It is near McCaslin.  We started at Bird and worked our way up stream.  We also cleaned out the debris between Water Works Park and Fish Lake Road.  We started at 9 and finished at 6.  We could have used a couple of more canoes.  That flat bottom boat is a bear to paddle.  After that, some of us went to Maggie's house and she fed us.  I had to leave early because my legs were cramping from walking in the river.  There is more to be done down stream from Bird Road.  That will have to wait for another time.  I'm sure we will talk about it this Thursday at O'Mally's.  We would have finished that last blockage but we didn't want you to feel left out.  : )  Maggie did not find volunteers to clean out the section from Bush Park to US-23.  We will also need to tackle that.  The water was quite low, so we didn't have trouble reaching any of the trees and they weren't too far under water to make them impossible to cut.  There is also a lot more trash in the river.  We brought all we could carry.  We used the plastic wedges when cutting trees suspended over the river.  That worked really well.  The hard part was finding the wedges after the log dropped in the river.  We had to wait for the water to clear.  The water was also really warm.  We encountered a snake swimming in the river and after looking at photos on the web, I think it was a northern water snake.  There were several small mouth bass swimming near the bridge.  We thought they might be trout, but a fellow living on the river assured us that they were small mouth bass.  They were only around ten inches long.  With the condition of the river, I doubt that very many people have fished that stretch.  Four of the people who promised to come, didn't show up but we still had enough people, six guys, two women and two teens.  We only drowned one chainsaw, when Rex cut a limb, got the saw stuck in it and then dropped it in the river.  It didn't appear to be damaged, just full of water.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Corunna seeks hearing with state over dam

Corunna seeks hearing with state over dam

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:00 pm

By JULIANNE MATTERA, Argus-Press Staff Writer | 1 comment

CORUNNA — Following a series of correspondence between the city and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Environment concerning the future of the Shiawassee River dam, the Corunna City Council voted Monday to set up an administrative appeal hearing with the DNRE over what to do with the aging dam.

“It’s part of the administrative procedures that we have to follow to protest. Next step is if we can go to circuit court we could sue the state. Not saying that we want to, not saying we’re going to, but it’s not even an option until we’ve done the first step,” City Manger Joe Sawyer said, adding he hopes the disagreement between the DNRE and the city will be resolved at the administrative hearing. “The lower level that we can resolve things at, the better obviously.”

There is no date scheduled for a hearing.

According to the Shiawassee history website, the Corunna dam was constructed in the mid-1800s to provide power for a grist mill. The dam consists of a 200-foot wide overflow spillway with a 25-foot wide stoplog bay section located adjacent to the right abutment (west side of river). The dam has a height of 10 feet, a normal head of 7 feet and creates an impoundment with a surface area of about 17 acres.

The dam has been the site of several drownings in the last 150 years. The most recent fatal drowning took place in 2008.

Since the DNRE ordered the city to draw down the Shiawassee River dam and address its deficiencies in December 2009, the city and the DNRE have mainly corresponded by letter in the process of trying to resolve what work the dam requires.

Relying on recent reports from engineer Gary Croskey and those from more than 30 years ago, the city felt allowing the dam to deteriorate naturally does not pose a hazard to homes downstream, Sawyer said. Conversely, a review by Croskey indicated a “draw down to the impoundment would create more hazards than it would alleviate,” Sawyer wrote in a letter to the DNRE.

Yet, the DNRE has repeated its order to draw down the dam and present the state with a long-term plan for repairing the structure, removing it or building rapids or a dam in its place, Sawyer said.

“Now the long-term plan, that part of it we really can’t address until after November because we have to know, ‘Do we have any financial wherewithal to replace, repair or to build?’” Sawyer said, referring to the city improvement millage appearing on the November ballot, which would allocate funds to repairing, improving or replace the dam. “The state, realistically, they know that a long-term plan is potentially a one-, two-, three-year process to get there.”

If residents vote against the millage during the November election, the city will lack the funding to repair the dam and will resort to the cheapest possible option, Sawyer said.

Speaking about the city’s most recent correspondence with the DNRE, Sawyer said the DNRE’s letter in July was “frustrating.”

After sending a letter to the DNRE in June including Croskey’s engineering analysis of the dam, as well as questions regarding the DNRE’s analysis of the dam and potential impacts of a draw-down, the city received a short letter from the DNRE in July requesting the city submit a plan and schedule for fixing the deteriorating dam.

“They seemed to ignore many of our questions and many of our concerns,” Sawyer said. “They seemed to just write them off. In one point in the letter they suggest that if we have these concerns, we should hire an engineer to evaluate them.”

But Byron Lane, chief of the dam safety program at the Michigan DNRE, said he felt the letter adequately addressed the city’s concerns while advising the city of its obligations under the law.

“We have an obligation to enforce the statue, and the fact that someone asks a question doesn’t mean we have an obligation to respond to it,” Lane said. “If they have a legitimate question then sure, we will respond to it and clarify the law but, as you might guess, with 1,300 regulated dams in the state, we can’t afford to answer every question, every phone call, every letter we get. We do the best we can to provide accurate relevant information, but that aside, we can’t fulfill every request.”

Now, with the city council’s approval to seek the administrative hearing, there’s a chance the city and the DNRE will be able to work out their differences in court.

“One thing about juries is they believe in fairness, and I think we definitely can demonstrate they’re not being fair to Corunna,” Sawyer said.

Posted in Corunna, News local on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:00 pm

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Recent events

Discover the Shiawassee River By Pam Elder
We share our love of the water with a new group that has formed, Keepers of the Shiawassee. The Keepers started as a way to
continue the effort to develop the river as a paddling trail with river cleanups and safe kayak landing sites on the Shiawassee River
in Genesee County.
The Keepers help support the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail which goes through our lakes. It enters by the sandbar in
Lake Ponemah and exits in Tupper Lake.
The trail was a vision of the Headwater Trails group from Holly. They hoped to create a designated water trail in Oakland County.
The Keepers have helped to extend the trail through Genesee County. The water trail would not stop in Genesee County. The
development and promotion of the river is supported by Friends of the Shiawassee River in Shiawassee County. These three
groups hope to see a paddling trail that’s almost 100 miles long from Holly all the way to the Shiawassee Flats. The trail begins at
Water Works Park in Holly.
Recently a moonlight paddle was held when a group of 30 kayakers paddled from the Linden Mill Pond to TeeBonez to have
dinner and then paddled back to the Mill Pond in the light of the moon. The group had so much fun that they plan to repeat the
event in August.
They meet on the third Thursday of every month at O’Malley’s Galley on Owen Road. Check out their website, or join them on Facebook to find their next event. Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation has
been providing administrative support to the group and information on events can also be found on their website

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cleanup Saturday, 31 July 2010,

Shiawassee River Cleanup!
Saturday, 31 July 2010, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Join in on this long standing community tradition to care for and celebrate our River!

Volunteers will meet at 9 am in Owosso, Corunna, Henderson and near Vernon and work until noon. Participants recieve a free t-shirt, compliments of Chemical Bank, and lunch from Mancino's of Owosso!

Also, help search for the strangest item or find something for our first Reclaimed Art Contest. Volunteer and community service hours are welcome! Please contact 989-723-9062  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thank you to our sponsors!!

Visit for more info!
Location : Owosso, Corunna, Henderson, near Vernon, along Shiawassee River
Contact :

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Map Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail

CLICK on the picture to enlarge


Sara has done an extraordinary job of compiling info
and pushing the project forwards for many years now.

Sara McDonnell
Program Coordinator
University Outreach
V: 810.424.5489
F: 810.424.5484

University of Michigan - Flint
432 N. Saginaw St., Suite 1001
Flint, MI 48502-1950

Many others are involved as well,  


Sunday, July 11, 2010

New children's book focusing on kayaking

Get children involved from an early age --

Kayak Anna and the Palindrome Creek authored by Lina Lukashevich takes a
refreshing twist with sales of this book going towards providing
clean, safe drinking water for children.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chesaning,Michigan hosts canoe kayak paddle race July 10 2010

Published: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 4:26 PM
Liz Shaw | Flint Journal Liz Shaw | Flint Journal

Chesaning, Michigan - Both experienced competitors and novice pleasure paddlers
are invited to the Parshallburg to Chesaning Paddle Race for canoes and kayaks
on the Shiawassee River, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. July 10.

Participants will unload their canoes and kayaks in the morning at Parshallburg Park,
with shuttle service back to the put-in point from Chesaning at 9 a.m.

Separate race classes will go out in intervals, with the pleasure paddle putting in at 11 a.m
Race results and awards will be announced at 1-2 p.m. with the final river sweep at 5 p.m.

Pre-registration is $15 with a t-shirt or $10 without.
Day-of-race registrations are $15 and do not include a t-shirt.
Pleasure paddlers are $8 for pre-registration or $12 on the day of the event.
Paddlers under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Senior canoe teams must be at least 100 years in combined age.

Details: (989) 845-5706 or e-mail:
Registration forms and mail-in information are available

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Sun damage to kayak

Beware of the sun's harmful rays on your boat

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Canoe livery on Shiawassee River in Holly, Fenton, Linden area

Canoe and Kayak Livery for Shiawassee River in Holly, Fenton, Linden area

Fairbanks Canoes & Kayaks

Linden, Michigan

(810) 287-9618‎

Email‎: fairbankscanoesandkayaks AT‎

Area served‎: Linden, MI, and locations within 25 miles‎

Payment Accepted‎: Check‎‎, Traveler's Check‎‎, Cash‎

Spotting Service For Those W/ Their Own Boats‎: Yes

People can now rent a canoe or kayak locally and have fun on the Shiawassee River


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keepers of the Shiawassee - new web page

A new webpage has been created - new content, new people, fresh ideas

Keepers of the Shiawassee - About


Saturday, June 26, 2010

River cleanup - Argentine Byron area

Volunteers pitch in for river cleanup
Tri-County Times -Published: Friday, June 25, 2010 5:25 PM EDT

Linden — Nearly 50 volunteers, from age 7 to 70-plus, were part of the recent
Linden/Argentine Shiawassee River cleanup on Saturday, June 19.
It was an early start for the cooks, Teresa Ciesielski, Laura Capua, Tom Brooks
and Tom Hallman, all from Argentine Township. They arrived at the fire hall by
6:30 a.m. to brew coffee and cook a pancake and sausage breakfast for the volunteers.

Volunteers brought chainsaws and hand tools to clear a path through fallen trees
from downtown Linden to Bird Road in Argentine Township.
Doug and Kristy Fairbanks of Fairbanks Canoes and Kayaks brought six canoes
and one kayak to help transport people, carry equipment and haul trash plucked up
from the riverbanks and bottom.
Tom and Kim Kimble, with Ann Kuehn, cut a passage through two downed trees
between Rolston and Hogan roads.

Tom and Cheryl Rex headed another group, from McCaslin Lake Road
to Bird Road in Argentine Township. Their crew was able to cut chunks large
enough for canoes to pass through out of five trees, but had to leave six or
more giants that were too big for their equipment.

A third crew, the Men’s Group from Hope Lutheran Church in Argentine Township,
cleared the river from Hogan Road to the Steibel farm, across from Linden High School.
Dale Kuehn, group leader, was ready to attack one remaining tree on Sunday,
but when he and his wife, Ann, returned to the river, someone else had already cut a gap in the log.

While saws were buzzing in different areas of the river, another couple dozen people,
including Linden Mayor David Lossing and his wife, Suzanne, were walking the roadways
and river picking up trash. In addition to bags of litter and building supplies,
a battered green recliner was removed from the McCaslin Lake Road launch site.
More bags of trash, tires, plastic and glass containers, a plastic rocking horse
and more were removed from the water downstream from Linden.

Steve Mammel, from Linden’s Green Team, son Nick and teammates,
Lisa and Cory Brazzil and John Hohman tore apart a logjam that challenged recent paddlers.
Volunteers also found two old metal signs covered in zebra mussels, an invasive species
that negatively affects the health of the river.

The day ended with a pizza lunch hosted by Jill Flewelling and assisted by the
Loose Senior Citizen Center Angels, at Linden Academy of Dance and Music.
Volunteers, wet, muddy and hungry, trickled in.
Though tired, they talked about wanting to come back to “finish the job.”
The six or more trees between McCaslin Lake Road and Bird Road will
need large, long-bladed chain saws.

From there, it is on to Byron.

When complete, 30-plus miles of the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail
will be open for paddlers from the trailhead at Holly’s Waterworks Park
in Oakland County to the Byron Mill Pond in Shiawassee County.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clearing the Shiawassee River near Argentine, Michigan

CLICK on the picture for full size view


A large crew (over 30 people) came out mid-June to clean up and clear the river towards Bird Road.
Some ran chainsaws while others picked garbage and took down brush, aiding paddling recreation in the area.

It will take some diligence, perseverance and motivation to nibble away at the fallen trees blocking the river.
It's great to see people taking an active interest in maintaining such a great resource in Genesee County.

Keepers of the Shiawassee are always looking for volunteers,  chainsaws are always welcome.
-look for the group on facebook

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shiawassee River fishing derby June 13 2010

(FREE FISHING WEEKEND—no license needed—EARLY START 6am)

Guaranteed Cash and other Prizes for largest legal & live:
Northern Pike Large Mouth Bass Small Mouth Bass

This contest is also a fundraiser to develop a new landing site on Fish Lake Rd., Holly Township.
We need match money to get grants.
Help us reach our goal.

$20 per ticket Minimum $50 prize Per category

Half the money goes to the landing construction.
The rest will be split amongst the winners of the 3 categories.
Donated merchandise will be assigned to categories at the beginning of the contest.

6 AM: Buy tickets and launch at Waterworks Park, Holly, Michigan
Noon: Weigh in at Strom Park, Fenton, Michigan

All boats must launch at Waterworks Park (opposite the Millpond on S. Broad St.)
Michigan boating and fishing laws must be followed.

Spotting of vehicles and return rides will be available.

River is shallow and narrow in areas! Motors may be very difficult to use!

Sponsored by

For more information call Douglas at 248-634-4551
dslanyk AT


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Pics from June 6, 2010 Annual Shiawassee River Paddle Event

CLICK on the picture with your mouse to view 100's of photo's taken
from the June 6, 2010 Annual Shiawassee River Paddle Event

Over 500 pics taken - plenty to look at


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Shiawassee River June 6th, 2010 Canoe Kayak Race and Fun Paddle

Holly to Fenton Canoe/Kayak Race & Pleasure Paddle

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Paddle 7 Miles from WaterWorks Park in Holly to Strom Park in Fenton

Mail Registration

-WaterWorks Park -
602 South Broad St, Holly, MI 48442-1674

--Strom Park--
299 South East Street, Fenton,MI
near the East Street Bridge.

10:00 am On-site registration begins
11:30 am Introductory Ceremony
11:45 am Experienced Canoeists
12:15 pm Novice/Youth Canoeists
12:45 pm Kayak/ Single person canoeists
1:00-2:00 Pleasure paddle begins
1 - 6 pm Continuous race results and trophies
6:00 pm Final river sweep completed

Canoe rentals, call 248-685-2379.
Canoes available for rental thru Heavners Livery
Shuttle transport all day long until 6pm

Prizes for First, Second & Third Places in all three races.

Ribbons for all entrants.

Enter the following category:
Experienced 2-person canoe team
Novice/Youth 2-person canoeists
Kayaks/ Single person canoeists
Pleasure Run (per craft)

Children under 12 paddle free.

Questions ?

Call Sue Julian, 248-634-3513
or email sjulian @ provide dot net

Call Doug Lanyk 248-634-4551
or email dslanyk @ comcast dot net

Call Willi Gutmann 586-215-6387
or e-mail Willi_H2O @ Yahoo dot Com

** Maps **


**Additional info**

Please make checks payable to
Headwaters Trails, Inc. and Mail to: P.O. Box 33, Holly, MI, 48442-0033.

Enjoy an Adventure on the Shiawassee River!