Fishing Report Lake Erie Monroe, Michigan 05-13-2016

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up again around Stoney Point. The water temperature is in the mid 50’s. Trolling Thunder Stick Jr. in purple, or darker colors seemed best from 16 to 24 feet of water.

Lots of spikes over the dumping grounds with a few nice keeper walleye. The water was murky from recent storms and run off. Take it slow on the speed the fish are still a little lethargic but the water temp. is on the rise. My buddies caught a few trolling from “E” buoy towards Bolls Harbor yesterday, but again lots of spikes. Keep checking your lines because it’s hard to tell when your loaded up with the lil fellers!

Lots of boats fishing between Turtle Island and the Toledo Lighthouse, some jigging some trolling. Success rates vary due to water clarity and run off from the Maumee River. If you fish this area make sure you know where your at, you may want to have an Ohio fishing license on board, the Michigan Ohio boarder runs right through the middle of Turtle Island and heads North to the Detroit River

Michigan 2016 Spring fishing seasons opening soon

We’re just days away from the opening of numerous Michigan fishing seasons:

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Bass Catch & Keep Season: Starts May 28 on all waters including Great Lakes
  Starts June 18 on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair & Detroit Rivers
Muskellunge, Northern Pike &   Walleye:              Starts April 30 on Lower Peninsula inland waters
  Starts May 15 on Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters & St. Mary’s River
Statewide Salmon & Trout Season:
 
Starts April 30 on (inland) type 1 & 2 streams and type A & D lakes

Lake Erie temperature at end of November was the coldest in decades

Lake Erie’s water temperature at the end of November fell to 40 degrees.

That’s the coldest Nov. 30 reading in Buffalo since 1976, when the lake temperature was 38 degrees.

Last winter, ice covered 92.5 percent of the Great Lakes – the most since 1979.

As of the middle of November, ice was already forming in some of the northern bays of Lake Superior. It’s the earliest the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan has on record for ice.

Water temperatures on Lake Erie right now are very similar to what they were a year ago today.

Last year, the Nov. 30 water temperature of Lake Erie in Buffalo was 41 degrees, and ice began forming on the lake during the second week in December. By Dec. 12 – after an arctic blast and round of lake-effect snow – about 10 percent of Lake Erie was already covered in ice.

Scientists said the temperature was at a lake-low 34 degrees in shallow areas near Toledo and 38 degrees near the islands off of Ohio’s shore. Surface temperatures on the deeper eastern end of the lake near Buffalo ranged from 42 degrees to 44 degrees with the lake’s deepest waters still at 46 degrees to 48 degrees.

So, there’s still a ways to go before the lake freezes.

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes

Visitors to the $12.1 million National Museum of the Great Lakes will find a family friendly atmosphere. There have been 8,000 shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.

The shipwrecks are compelling tales. They amount to one shipwreck every 11 days for the last 250 years.

There are more shipwrecks per surface square mile on the Great Lakes than anywhere else in the world.

The greatest number occurred in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.

For example, the 335-foot steel Marquette sailed from Conneaut, Ohio, on Dec. 8, 1909, to cross Lake Erie to Port Stanley, Ontario.

It carried 30 railroad cars. It disappeared. It has never been found and no one knows why it sank, although some wreckage was located.

You can look through goggles to view footage that divers took of the wreckage of the Cedarville that sank in the Straits of Mackinac in 1965, after it collided with another ship.

The museum is filled with more than 250 historical artifacts from Great Lakes vessels and other sources, plus hundreds of photographs.

The exhibits cover 9,000 square feet of space in five galleries. It also features documentary videos and interactive displays.

The museum is an interesting, fresh, bright, colorful and kid-friendly place designed to attract and entertain families with compelling stories.

It is a great day-trip destination: You can easily tour the museum and the old ore boat in two to three hours.

There are exhibits on Great Lakes lighthouses (there are 326 of them), luxurious passenger ships that once sailed the lakes, the Underground Railroad, rum runners on the lakes, the 1913 White Hurricane that sank 12 boats and killed 240, and maritime technology and equipment.

You can hoist a heavy backpack like early European fur traders, learn how to pump a ship’s bilge to keep water out of leaky vessels and work together to fire the engine of a simulated coal-powered freighter.

Only 10 percent of the museum’s historical items are actually on display, officials said.

A 22-ton ship’s propeller from the lake freighter John Sherwin sits outside the museum in a small riverbank park.

But the Col. James M. Schoonmaker is easily the museum’s biggest attraction and its biggest artifact.

The retired freighter is moored on the east bank of the Maumee River next to the museum.

It was launched in 1911 and was hailed as the “Queen of the Lakes” as well as the largest bulk freighter on the Great Lakes and in the world at the time.

It carried iron ore from Lake Superior to the steel mills of Ohio and Pennsylvania, plus coal and rye.

It was mothballed about 1981. In 1986, the freighter was sold to the city of Toledo and restored at a cost of $1 million.

The Schoonmaker is open for self-guided tours: from the engine room to the cargo holds, from the owner’s cabin to the pilot house, from the crew’s cabins to the galley and dining rooms.

The museum, once based in Vermilion, is housed in the Toledo Maritime Center on the east bank of the Maumee River in Toledo Ohio.

Fertilizer limits needed to curb algae problems in Lake Erie

A United States-Canadian agency called on Wednesday for swift and sweeping limits on the use of fertilizer around Lake Erie to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water and creating a vast blanket of algae each summer, threatening fisheries, tourism and even drinking water.

In a report on the algae problem, the agency, the International Joint Commission, said that fertilizer swept by rains from farms and lawns was a major source of phosphorus in the lake. It recommended that crop insurance be tied to farmers’ adoption of practices that limit fertilizer runoff, and that Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania ban most sales of phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers.

The commission, which studies and regulates water uses in streams and lakes along the border of the United States and Canada, urged Michigan and Ohio to invoke the Clean Water Act to limit phosphorus pollution from farmland as opposed to from factories and other places where pollution can be pinpointed and measured.

The proposals are likely to encounter strong opposition from the agricultural industry and fertilizer manufacturers. Both groups have already asked a federal appeals court to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating farm-related pollution from phosphorus and other chemicals along the Chesapeake Bay.

Phosphorus — and especially phosphorus in fertilizer, which is designed to be easily absorbed by plants — is the source of the algal blooms, some of which are so toxic that they have killed dogs and sickened swimmers. Beyond clotting the lake’s surface, decomposing algae consumes the oxygen in the lake’s deep center each summer, creating a dead zone where deepwater fish that are essential to the lake’s food chain cannot exist.

National and state governments rid the lake of algae in the 1980s, ordering big cuts in phosphorus pollution from factories and sewage plants. But the blooms returned in the late 1990s as farmers started applying fertilizer on frozen fields in the winter, and spreading or spraying it instead of injecting it into the ground.

In 2011, heavy spring rains washed so much phosphorus into the lake that the succeeding summer, algal bloom, at 1,920 square miles, was three times bigger than any previous one.

That and other large blooms have crippled tourism in a region where sport fishing and lake recreation are major industries, and they have forced towns and cities to filter and even shut off drinking water. The multibillion-dollar commercial fishing industry could be hit hard. The lake’s growing dead zone has prompted deepwater fish to move upward in search of oxygen, only to run into warmer waters that they find hard to tolerate. Deepwater fish such as perch — a favorite food of one big commercial fish, the walleye — could suffer if the dead zone continues to expand.

“The long-term potential impact on fisheries is something we’re really worried about,” said Donald Scavia, a scientist at the University of Michigan’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute.

Although the sources of phosphorus range from leaky septic tanks to storm sewers to ordinary rainfall, the biggest contributor is farming, the report indicates — and the biggest farm source is the fields along the Maumee River watershed in Ohio and Indiana.

Both the United States and Canada have set targets for reducing Erie’s phosphorus load by 2018, but the commission’s report states that those targets are too low. To return the lake to the mostly algae-free state it enjoyed in the mid-1990s, it states, the Maumee’s phosphorus runoff must be cut by 39 percent.

Both governments and private organizations conduct programs that encourage farmers to voluntarily limit fertilizer runoff, but regulatory limits are mostly nonexistent. The commission’s report urges a mix of voluntary and legal programs to achieve large reductions by 2022, with a focus on dissolved reactive phosphorus, the sort used in fertilizers.

The report also states that farmers in lakeside states and provinces should prohibit spreading fertilizer on snowy or frozen ground, where it is most likely to be carried away by melting or rains, and should limit applications in the fall.

For homeowners, the report recommends that Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania ban the sale of phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers except during the first growing season of new lawns, or when soil tests show that the phosphorus content is too low. It also says that Michigan and Ontario should require inspections of septic tanks to ensure they do not leak.