Halloween Party

One week until the Halloween Party!

If your plans have changed, please contact Susan, we have a list of people who would love to attend!

What to know about permits that impact our lakes

These summarized excerpts are from the EGLE document:  Aquatic Nuisance Control Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which can be accessed at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-anc-faq_565051_7.pdf

  • Do I need a permit to control aquatic vegetation on my property?
    • Permits required for
      • Chemical control of nuisance aquatic species–permit required from EGLE’s ANC Program
      • Larger scale removal of plants–permit required from EGLE’s Water Resources Division (WRD)
      • Physical control measures, such as benthic barriers, weed rollers, or lake draw-down– permit required from EGLE’s Water Resources Division (WRD)
      • Bacterial Augmentation and Biological Control–contact EGLE’s Water Resources Division (WRD). 
    • Permits not required for
      • Mechanical harvesting (i.e., cutting plants above the lake bottom with no soil disturbance).
      • Inconsequential or insignificant vegetation removal done by hand (e.g., hand pulling, raking a few plants)
      • Small scale removal of plants that are an aquatic nuisance if the removal is accomplished by hand-pulling (i.e., without the use of a powered or mechanized tool) and all plant fragments are removed from the water and properly disposed of on land
  • What happens if I treat without a permit or violate my permit?
    • Violations and permit violations are subject to compliance action, civil action, and criminal enforcement
  • How can I find information about permit applications and permits submitted for a specific waterbody?
  • Can I prevent my neighbor from putting aquatic pesticides in my lake?
    • You generally cannot prevent your neighbor from treating his/her property under a valid ANC permit. In Michigan, waterfront property owners typically have authority over the bottomlands in wedge shape out to the center point or thread of the lake or stream, respectively.

What to do about Canada geese in your yard?

Geese have benefited from the way humans have altered the landscape. Canada geese are attracted to areas that provide food, water, and protection. Urban areas with lakes and ponds offer all the resources that geese need to survive.

Methods of Control and Prevention

Elimination of Feeding:  Artificial feeding can lead to large concentrations of geese as they congregate for “free handouts.” Feeding causes the loss of wild instincts and can lead to nutritional imbalance. Geese also lose their fear of humans when fed, which can lead to abnormal behavior such as aggression towards humans, causing an animal/human conflict.

Scare Devices:  Scare devices and visual stimuli techniques can be a cost-effective way to repel geese when applied consistently as soon as geese arrive on your property.  Examples:  Shell crackers, Bird bangers, Screamers, Rockets, Bird alarm. Distress cries, Motion detector accessories, and Electronic noise systems.  There are also visual stimuli techniques used to scare geese:  Bird scare balloons, Mylar scare tape, Plastic flags

Dogs:  Might be classified under Scare Devices.  😉

Repellents:  Repellents can be applied on lawns to deter geese from feeding on the grass. Repellents made from grape extract may repel birds from turf areas. The disadvantage to using repellents is that they are effective only over a short period, before rain or mowing reduces their impact. Remember, geese are more prone to avoid sites where repellents have been used if alternative feeding sites are available

Barrier Fencing:  Fence barriers constructed at least 30 inches high, can exclude molted (non-flighted) geese from lawns in June and July. Barriers can be constructed from plastic snow fence, chain link, woven wire, string, mylar tape or chicken wire. Barrier fencing works most effectively when placed along shorelines.  (We use green folding metal fencing from the hardware store along our shoreline and since they prefer to not fly, it works for us throughout the summer.)

Landscaping or Habitat Modifications:  Making your yard less attractive to geese can reduce goose use. A shoreline buffer of tall native grasses or a hedgerow 20 to 30 inches tall can discourage geese from visiting your lawn. (This also makes a nice barrier for fertilizer and other runoff from getting to the lake.)  Geese are especially attracted to lawns that are heavily fertilized, watered, and mowed. Studies show that fertilizing lawns increases their nutritional value to geese. Letting the lawn grow longer and not fertilizing or watering it will make it less attractive to geese. When establishing a new lawn, consider planting fescues instead of Kentucky blue grasses, since they are less attractive to feeding geese.

Goose Translocations:  There are companies that can do this work with an approved DNR permit.  However, it has limited success.  It provides lakefront owners temporary relief, but the same or different birds move back into the area within a short time unless the attractive habitat is modified. 

Remember, giant Canada geese are thriving in large part because of the landscape changes brought on by human development. Some level of tolerance for the many other state residents, including Canada geese, must be expected of today’s growing human population.

 Michigan.gov/DNR Canada Geese

Swimmer’s Itch

Swimmer’s itch is an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites that burrow into the skin.  This rash will clear up in a few days after contracting it. The cause is parasites that live in the blood of waterfowl and in animals that live near ponds and lakes such as geese, ducks, swans, beavers and muskrats. 

How to avoid??

Don’t feed the waterfowl or animals. The parasite eggs are returned to the water in the feces thereby repeating the life cycle.

Towel off aggressively after each swim and shower soon after.

Protect your skin with sunblock.  This creates a barrier to prevent the parasites.

Do NOT sweep feces from waterfowl into the lake.

Shorelines

(From Michigan Shoreline Partnership)

Shorelines change naturally over time because the shoreline is constantly being bombarded by wave or ice movement.  This perpetual motion grinds and displaces soil particles which end up in the lake.  In natural conditions this is typically a very slow process over a long period of time.

However, human activities have changed the balance which greatly accelerates the natural erosion processes – this is called accelerated erosion.

An eroding shoreline can be the result of natural or human elements, can be site-specific or widespread, and may have more than one cause.  In addition the causes of shoreline erosion may differ because of a property’s location on the lake, water level changes and season. 

Shoreline erosion is a problem for both property owners and the lake.  This sedimentation changes the lake ecosystem by:

1) Covering or removing plants and bottom habitat required for fish feeding and spawning.

2) Carrying nutrients and other pollutants that may also be attached to the soil.

3) Causing the water to become turbid, or cloudy. Loss of water clarity makes feeding difficult for fish and wildlife species that rely on sight for finding their food.

There are many causes of accelerated erosion but the two most destructive actions to the lake ecosystem are:

1)  Native vegetation removal – land and aquatic.

2)  Hardening of the shoreline (example: seawalls).

See https://www.mishorelinepartnership.org/erosion-at-the-shoreline.html) for explanations of these and potential solutions.

Accomplishments

Clinton River Cleanup

A group of volunteers have come together since 2013 to clean up the Clinton River and around the river.  Each year we have collected up to 500 pounds of trash.  Volunteers brought their kayaks and went upstream and downstream.  We also had volunteers walking the riverbanks.  This happens in September of each year.

Landing Blitz/Clean Boats

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!!

MLLA has worked with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy initiative to educate boaters at the boat launch to check for aquatic hitchhikers.  Before launching and before leaving check everything on your boat for weeds to avoid taking your boat to another lake.  This is also important for kayaks.  Volunteers handed out information and educated boaters on the importance of this initiative. 

View Accomplishments—CLMP

Accomplishments – CLMP

The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program

Maceday Lotus Lakes Association has been participating in CLMP since 2015.

“The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP), the second oldest volunteer lakes monitoring program in the country, has been an important component of Michigan’s inland lakes monitoring program for over 40 years. The primary purpose of the CLMP is to help citizen volunteers monitor the water quality of their lakes and document changes in lake quality over time. MiCorps staff provides training and support to volunteers.”

Every summer 2-3 volunteers collect samples and record measurements for 5 different water quality parameters.  The volunteers visit the deepest spot in Maceday and Lotus Lakes every 2 weeks to measure Secchi disk transparency and dissolved oxygen and temperature.  Once a month, samples are collected for Chlorophyll a.  At the beginning and end of the season water samples are collected to be analyzed for Total Phosphorus. 

In the middle of the summer, the aquatic plants in our lakes are investigated to look for invasive aquatic plants.  Maceday and Lotus Lakes already have Starry Stonewort and Eurasian Watermilfoil.  So far we have not identified any other invasive aquatic plants.

All the data and samples are submitted to the CLMP at the end of the season and a report for each of our lakes is made available in March of the following year.  The latest report is posted on this website.

For more information about the CLMP go to https://micorps.net/.

For more information about each of the water quality parameters go to https://micorps.net/lake-monitoring/clmp-documents/.

Fertilizer’s Negative Impact

Remember when you fertilize your lawn you fertilize our lakes!

Fertilizers can have a negative impact our lakes. As lake residents living on or near the water’s edge we all carry an added responsibility to help keep our lakes clean and protected from as many pollutants as possible. There are a few simple steps we can take to help ensure the health of our lakes.

How can you help?

  1. The best thing to do is to avoid the use of fertilizers and chemicals on your lawn and gardens. However, if you use fertilizers, remember the steeper the slope the more likely your fertilizers and chemicals will “runoff” into the lake. After fertilizing, lightly water the area to move the chemicals into the thatch and roots of your grass and plants. This will reduce runoff.
  2. Create a 5- to 10-foot buffer strip of native plants adjacent to the lake and apply no fertilizer to this strip.

Some facts about the classic fertilizer mix (nitrogen — phosphorus — potassium) are:

  1. Nitrogen is the most soluble of these 3 ingredients. And is most likely to “runoff”. It can cause weed and algae growth which can have a negative impact on the quality of our water.
    1. Use at least 25 to 35 percent slow-release nitrogen. Organic-based nitrogen fertilizers will likely be slow release. Check the labels.
  2. Phosphorus has the harmful impact on aquatic weed growth and should not be used on lawns adjacent to water. Phosphorus attaches itself to soil so it is also important that your soil is not eroding into the lake.
    1. Use zero phosphorus fertilizers; most soils have adequate phosphorus levels.
  3. Potassium has minimal impact and is not considered a common problem
  4. Don’t apply fertilizer in the spring until 3 weeks after lawn green-up.
  5. Keep fertilizers off any hard surface such as concrete or asphalt surfaces. Rain can carry these materials into drainage systems. Sweep fertilizers off driveways, patios, etc., and back onto the lawn.
  6. READ THE LABELS! Use only as directed.
  7. Make sure your professional lawn care service technicians know and understand how to protect our lake.

Reference Source:  https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/maintaining-waterfront-turf-to-preserve-water-quality

Aquatic Invasive Species

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to the environment, or human health.  Invasive species cause harm when they out-compete native species by reproducing and spreading rapidly in areas where they have no natural predators and change the balance of the ecosystems we rely on.

Aquatic Invasive Species are spread from lake to lake by clinging to boats and trailers, in live wells, bilges, and ballast tanks, on kayaks, fishing equipment, etc. 

Maceday and Lotus Lakes already have Starry Stonewort, Eurasian Watermilfoil, Phragmites, Purple Loosestrife, Flowering Rush and zebra mussels.  There are currently no solutions to eliminate these invasives from our lakes.  Our focus is to prevent and watch for introductions of other invasive species.  Please contact the MLLA Environmental Committee if you see any of the ones below marked with *. 

https://www.michigan.gov/invasives/0,5664,7-324-68002_71240_73848—,00.html

View Invasive Species