Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wilson Hill Park Added to GOTC

Wilson Hill Park, Hamlin Township, Mason County, Michigan
Wilson Hill Park (photo by jhy)

by JHY

I've been working on the Get Off the Couch web site this week, trying to get several pages up to date. One of my accomplishments was to add Wilson Hill Park, in Hamlin Township, to the site.

Wilson Hill Park is located about nine miles north of Ludington, Michigan on the south shore of the north arm of Hamlin Lake. Hamlin is a popular lake for boating and fishing.

Wilson Hill seems to have no hill, but it features a boat dock and launch ramp, picnic gazebo, and a ball field. Although small, it could be a nice place for a summer family outing. Facilities include a latrine and water from a pump. There are picnic tables and a grill.

For complete information, visit Wilson Hill Park
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

PM Township Could Buld Multi-Use Path on Ludington Ave

Ludington Avenue east
Ludington Avenue east- no place to walk (photo by jhy)

based on a news item in the Ludington Daily News, Feb 17, 2011

Trying to walk from downtown Ludington to the stores and services along the mall-like strip on east Ludington Avenue is a dangerous and uncomfortable project. Finally, there is a serious proposal to extend a walkway beyond Memorial Medical Center at the City boundary, into Pere Marquette Township.

Currently, in the winter, one can walk in the 5-lane road or wade through deep snow. In other months there is an intermittent muddy path, no fun to walk, and nearly impossible to navigate with a baby stroller or shopping cart.

Tanya Avery and Joe Maloney would like to see that change. Avery is the building/zoning/assessing assistant for Pere Marquette Township, and Maloney is a concerned citizen, retired from the Ludington Planning Commission. The proposed walkway would be entirely within Pere Marquette Township.

The first step, Avery said, is to get approval from the Michigan Department of Transportation. Then property owners will need to agree to the pathway, funding raised, and maintenance responsibilities assigned.

Ludington mayor, John Henderson, supports the idea. He sees it as a way to encourage wellness, and allow connections for everyone to the east side of town.

Many people do walk from town, at least as far as the Fairgrounds, on a regular basis. It seems like an easy assumption that if the experience were pleasant, many people would use the options of walking or biking to reach these destinations.

Contact Joe Maloney
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Search and Rescue Courses for the Public

compass and map

from Fortune Bay Company, used with permission

Kent County Search and Rescue is putting on their SAR School 2011 (with the help of Fortune Bay Expedition Team). They have opened four courses for the public as a fundraising effort.

These courses are packed with information and meet the standards of various SAR and Emergency Service Agencies. If you are a SAR member or if you would just like to learn more about the subjects, then these may be for you. These will be evening courses held at the Kent County Sheriff's Department or a Kent County Location. You don't necessarily have to have the equipment and you DON'T have to be part of a SAR Agency to take them.

Courses are:
1. Land Navigation & Orienteering (fulfills many Boy Scout Merit Badge requirements) - March 22, 23
2. Survival & Improvisation - April 5
3. Human Tracking and Search Technology - March 17
4. Technical Rescue/ Ropework - April 19

Fees are cheap, $20 for each class ($30 for Technical Rescue)

See Fortune Bay
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Lake Michigan Fisheries Advisory - Isaac Walton League Participation

composite photo from Michigan Ikes

excerpted from The Ike's Newsletter, Feb 2011, used with permission
by John Stegmeier

I attended the Lake Michigan Fisheries Citizens Advisory Board meeting on October 25th, representing the DLC/IWLA. At the meeting, the DNRE discussed low numbers of steelhead returning to the Little Manistee River, which is our only source of eggs for hatchery-reared steelhead. They plan to stock the Platte River with steelhead in order to establish a run on that river, since there is a weir in place for collecting salmon eggs. This would allow the state to have two sources of spawning fish in case the run on the Little Manistee falls below levels needed to support our hatchery program. They expect to plant 20,000 smolts in the Platte River to achieve this goal.

Since each great lake receives a portion of the smolts from the hatchers, the DNRE asked our [Michigan Issac Walton League] opinion as to how many the individual lakes should contribute. There were several scenarios they presented, including: all from Lake Michigan, all lakes contribute but heavily supported by Lake Michigan, or, all contribute in levels which represent the percentage that are stocked in that lake. I suggested that we recommend the option where all basins contribute but Lake Michigan contributes a greater proportion. The Lake Michigan basin receives the most steelhead so our contribution will be greatest, and 20,000 fish spread out over several streams will not be a substantial loss.

These fish will also be planted into the Platte River which is in the Lake Michigan basin so if the other lakes contribute any smolts there will be a net gain for Lake Michigan. Following this piece of logic one could argue that Lake Michigan should provide all of the smolts. However I would contend that all of the lakes benefit from a more robust hatchery system and that the other lake basins could make a more modest contribution.

We did not come to a consensus on this decision, which left the recommendation up to our chairman, Denny Grinold. He decided that the recommendation would be Option 2 (inequitable allocation with the Lake Michigan Basin responsible for 15,000 steelhead (75%) of the request. The remaining 5,000 fish would come from Lake Huron (2,800), Lake Erie (1,200) and Lake Superior (5%). The Lake Huron Citizen Fishery Advisory Committee also supported Option 2 in an earlier meeting. The Lake Erie and Lake Superior Committees will also be engaged in this discussion and then the Division will make a decision.

See Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Issac Walton League
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Michigan Free Winter Fishing Weekend Feb 19-20

ice fishing
a successful day on the ice (photo by Blake of Illinois Wisconsin Fishing)

a news release of Michigan DNR

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds everyone that Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20. On that weekend, everyone - residents and non-residents alike - can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations apply.

Michigan has been celebrating Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 2000 as a way to promote awareness of the state's aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.

"Fishing is a perfect way for families to spend time together while enjoying the beautiful scenery Michigan has to offer in the wintertime," said DNRE Director Rodney Stokes. "It is a low-cost and interactive outdoor activity ? perfect for engaging children in the great outdoors."

A number of activities at state parks have been scheduled to coincide with the weekend, while clubs, local communities and conservation organizations are also staging events. Many provide bait and free use of equipment. The events often include experienced anglers willing to introduce novices into the joy of fishing.

For a list of Free Fishing Events scheduled across the state, visit
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Need Fish? Fish Day is May 7- Place Orders Now

alt text

a news release of Mason-Lake Conservation District

Do you have a pond, large or small, you would like to stock with fish? We will be holding a Fish Sale through Harrietta Hills Trout Farm again this year. They will be taking the orders for fish prior to the distribution date of May 7th. Available fish include Rainbow Trout, Hybrid Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Yellow Perch & Fathead Minnows

Stocking of Michigan Public Waters will require a permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and is the responsibility of the customer. Some Private Ponds with a permanent inflow or outflow also require a permit. Determination of the necessity of a permit and obatining a permit are the responsibility of the customer.

Phone your orders to Harrietta Hills Toll Free 1-877-389-2514 at least 3 days before the Fish Day Event. Fish may be picked up at the Mason-Lake Conservation District, Scottville, MI, 10am-1 pm on May 7.

Minimum order: 25 for any species. We provide Oxygen Bags and Oxygen to transport your fish home. It helps if you bring one five-gallon bucket for every 25 fish that you order to set the bags in. Cash or checks only will be accepted at the Fish Day Event.

See Mason-Lake Conservation District
See Harrietta Hills Trout Farm
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