Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wastewater overflow dumped from treatment plant in Durand, Michigan

Sewage was discharged by the Durand Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Holly Drain north of the plant near Durand Road.
Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater was discharged.
The Holly Drain flows into the Shiawassee River near Vernon.

For further information, contact Steve Mince, director of public works for the city of Durand at 288-3113,
Gary Burk, director of Public Utilities for the city of Owosso at 725-0550
or Larry Johnson, director of environmental health, Shiawassee County Health Department at 743-2390.

The Shiawassee River was above its 7-foot flood stage beginning early Thursday morning - week of April 29, 2011
The river crested Thursday at 7.54 feet and was still at 7.15 feet at 1 a.m. today.

Paddle safe everyone

Three Mile Creek and Holly Drain system in Shiawassee County
( click on picture for an enlarged view )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great Lakes Fishery Commission and Shiatown Dam

Back in January I quickly whipped up a pre-prosal funding document
for the removal of the Shiatown Dam and entered it into the official system.
The good folks at the GLFC took a look at it but shot down the funding proposal.
I see it as mission accomplished - it's on peoples radar as needing attention.

Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC)
Board of Technical Experts
Fishery Research Program

Removal of the Shiatown Dam issues

a.) Dams are used by the commission and its agents to control Sea Lamprey Populations
Removal of a dam must include an analysis of the effect on sea lamprey production.

b.) Pursue funding programs such as the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program (GLFER).
This program provides funds for fishery restoration activities, including dam removal.
Contact Carl Platz at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for information about how to apply for GLFER.

c.) Next year’s pre-proposals will be due in mid-January 2011.

d.) The board seeks distinct deliverables and methods to address objectives of the proposal.

Charles Krueger -
along with :
Sarah (Zahn) Seegert
Fishery Research Program Associate
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
2100 Commonwealth Blvd. Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: 734-662-3209 x11

The pre-proposal I wrote in a hour obviously needs a full blown project management approach to be viable for funding

RATIONALE: Currently the dam is owned by the Michigan Land Bank Authority via tax default of a private owner.
The dam provides no flood control and in fact has been the site of 5 deaths over the past 20 years.
It is ill suited to the production of hydroelectric revenue as 4 prior owners defaulted on taxes due to lack of revenue from power generation.
The Shiawassee Watershed is a warm water environment conducive to many species of fish and mussels.
Enabling the river to run unobstructed will benefit the ecology of the region.
Blue Infrastructure definitely has a economic benefits.
People choose to live and work in areas where paddlesports recreation is readily available.
People are willing to pay a premium for locations with high quality green & blue infrastructure
i.e. recreational areas have significant impact on property values.
High quality natural and environmental amenities attract commercial development , jobs, and people.
They help support the quality of life of local residents and foster community attachment.
Talent tends to migrate to places with significant green & blue infrastructure.

1.) Remove the Shiatown Dam on the Shiawassee River
2.) Enable a natural free-flow state conducive to many species of fish and mussels.
3.) Increase usage and profitability to the region with eco-tourism via fishing and paddlesports

1.) Work with all governmental agencies in the systematic removal of debris currently on site
2.) Obtain competitive bids regarding sedimentation testing and revealing usability of sediment
3.) Collaborate with independent engineering firms regarding various dismantling strategies
4.) File proper permit applications and have work done in stages to minimize sediment flow downstream.

Human Dimension of Fishery Management
Ownership of a dam is a legal liability to the State of Michigan and an economic liability.
The human dimension of dams has evolved from a necessity for civilization to one of hindering the ecology of the region.
Fishery management, as a key stakeholder, wins from dam removal as it allows nature to work efficiently for fish survivability.
Saginaw Bay is basically choked with far too many dams on the rivers that dump into it.
Improving fish passage is a sure shot to increase natural reproduction.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Canoe and Kayak launches in Bush Park, Fenton, Michigan

Canoe and Kayak launches available in 2011

Look for new canoe and kayak launches to be installed in Bush Park along the Shiawassee River

A $3,579 grant from REI along with funding from the Fenton Rotary Club made it possible

Bush Park is one of Fenton’s largest parks at 5.5 acres.

The park has two entrances;
a.) East end of Jefferson Street behind St. John’s Catholic Church
b.) N. Leroy Street at Fifth Street.

The park is always open and has no entrance fees.
The Shiawassee River runs through the park.

View Bush Park in Fenton,MI in a larger map

People now can rent a canoe or kayak along with shuttle service
for the 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 / shuttling service for those with their own canoe or kayak

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saginaw County dikes threaten Shiawassee River

Erosion of dikes along a 4 mile section of drain in Albee Township threatens the river.
The drainage district faces a potential lawsuit if someone got hurt and the erosion is an environmental hazard.
Sediment is swept into the drain and eventually into the Shiawassee River and out to the Saginaw Bay.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paddling safely in groups

I'm a firm believer that sharing is caring --- i.e. sharing info with others shows a level of concern

There are some people who falsely believe posting about kayak safety
drives people away from the sport - "we just want to paddle leave us alone" - syndrome.
Posting , talking, discussing ,  teaching safety is not the culprit - it those who refuse to heed advice that put others at risk.

That's a damn shame because those ""un-safety concious folk"" paddle with others in groups.
A recent article by Tim Dyer concerning group management calls it ""Paddling with Lemons""

Nobody wants a "Lemon". Definitely not an automobile that's a lemon, or an appliance that's a lemon.
Smart Paddling involves minimizing risk to yourself, your equipment, and those you paddle with.

Are you in possession of a "Lemon" when paddling ?
- do you truly know the skills of your paddling partner ?
- suppose you don't know the skills of multiple paddlers in the group ?

- are there some in the group who don't wear a pfd, refuse to wear a pfd ?
- are there some who expect others to save them instead of being able to save themselves ?

Maybe you won't have an accident - but the likelihood is strong, especially when the odds are stacked up.
Lemons sour the mix, so eliminate the ones ruining the experience, and have an enjoyable safe paddle.
It's your life, protect it.

Remember :

Don’t go in to rescue somebody - if you can't stay on top yourself.  
No pretending, no hero stuff. You are no good to anyone if you’re upside down.

Get those still on top - in a position where they’ll stay on top - have them raft up besides one another.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Springtime fallen tree cleanup on Shiawassee River

Steve Hoffman and Doug Lanyk set out on Sunday with 75 degree F air temps
and 45 degree high water to clear the Shiawassee River  between Holly and Fenton.

Another 8 dead fall tree blockages were removed by chainsaws and they worked
until the machines ran out of gas making a full day of it all.

Springtime is always a rough start with deadfall from winter and spring storms.
Once the big stuff is cleared each year, the river is quite navigable along the 7 mile trail.

View Holly - Shiawassee River in a larger map

Thanks to to the hard work of Headwaterstrails Inc. 
the river will soon be ready for paddlesport activities.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Shiawassee River in Oakland County

People often forget that Oakland County plays a key role in numerous river water systems

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

People can drown with PFD on

People kayaking or canoeing can still drown even though they are wearing a life jacket

1. Lifejacket not right size/type for conditions, old, worn out, broken, torn or worn improperly.

2. Vessel capsized and wearer trapped inside

3. Entrapment due to rocks or debris or severe water hydraulics

4. Wearer drowned from wave splash (mouth immersions) before rescue

5. Wearer sustained other injury which prevented keeping face out of water or injury restricted airway.

6. Wearer became unconscious and was not wearing a self‐righting life jacket model.

7. Failing of self‐righting life jackets.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Proper kayak paddling

Perhaps we can all learn a bit from this slow motion clip
a.) use the legs a lot
b.) rotate the torso of the body
c.) lean forward using abdominal muscles