Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council hosted a well attended program on Swimmer's Itch on March 22nd. Susan Price, Project Manager of MISIP introduced the goals and accomplishments of MISIP as well as the elements of a new lake assessment cost-share program recently offered by MISIP. Also, Dr. Curt Blankespoor of Swimmer's Itch Solutions presented information on swimmer's itch and the highly successful control program on Higgins Lake. To watch the presentation, click here
We are pleased to announce that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has finalized a new Common Merganser Control Permit Program. This is great news for lakes who hope to utilize the highly successful method of trap and release of common mergansers. We'd like to thank the MDNR who worked tirelessly with the MISIP and other groups to develop this new permit program. Click this link for details of the . An application is available to apply for a permit, which would be valid for the 2019 season.
Lakes interested in preparing to apply for a permit in 2019 will have to take several steps to qualify for a permit. Among the requirements are a lake assessment, verifying the presence of the swimmer's itch parasite and the hosts which perpetuate the lifecycle. More information about conducting an assessment and other elements of the program will be presented at the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Conference on April 21st from 1:30 to 3:30.
Registration is now open for the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations 57th Annual Conference. MISIP will present from 1:30 to 3:30 pm on Saturday, April 21st. Topics include results of control work and research in 2017, The newly approved Merganser Control Permit Program, and progress on preventative programs including a preventative cream which is showing promise. To register, go to https://www.mymlsa.org/mlsa-57th-annual-conference/
Prior to the ML&SA presentation at the ML&SA Conference, a meeting of the MISIP membership will be held at the Crystal Mountain conference facility. All members are welcome to attend from 9:30 to 12:30 where they will learn the latest MISIP news. Registration to the conference is not required to attend the MISIP meeting, but we do encourage you to attend some of the sessions of the conference. Please email Susan Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend the MISIP General Membership Meeting.
MISIP will once again be presenting at the annual Michigan Lake and Streams Association Meeting on Saturday, April 21st at 1:30 PM at the Crystal Mountain Resort. Presenters will include Jim Vondale, co-chair of the Michigan Swimmer’s Itch Partnership, Dr. Curt Blankespoor of Swimmer’s Itch Solutions, Ron Reimink of Freshwater Solutions, and Wayne Swallow, Watershed Biologist for Lake Leelanau. They will be focusing on describing the impressive work completed on five lakes during 2017, results of these control and research programs, and insights gained from that work. They will also be discussing the new Merganser Control Permit Program, with tips about how a lake can prepare to apply for and qualify for a permit. In addition, Wayne Swallow will speak about progress on a new preventative cream that he has been developing for many years.
The Conference will also feature many other important and interesting topics regarding issues affecting Michigan’s inland lakes and streams.
For more information about the conference and to register to attend the conference, please go to : http://www.mymlsa.org/mlsa-57th-annual-conference-2/
Five Northern Michigan Lakes conducted control activities and research during 2017. Higgins Lake, Crystal Lake, Lake Leelanau, Glen Lake and Lime Lake hired contractors to trap and remove mergansers, to study the nesting habits of mergansers, intensively investigate certain areas with persistent swimmer's itch problems, and to develop new methodologies to measure the level of risk of swimmer's itch in a given lake. In addition, two individuals were trained in the trap and relocate techniques, which will increase the number of contractors with the skills necessary to complete these tasks.
In all, 355 mergansers were trapped and relocated. The levels of swimmer's itch in these five lakes should experience significantly less incidents of swimmer's itch next summer
See the reports tab to locate the reports
A conference is scheduled for Monday, September 18th to present information about Swimmer's Itch as well as the results of control and research programs that have been conducted on five Michigan Lakes this summer. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this informative day. Details and an agenda will be posted at a later date.
Beginning in April, 2017, extensive control activities have been underway on five Michigan Lakes. Higgins Lake, Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, Lime Lake and Lake Leelanau are currently the sites of such activities as common merganser nest location, trapping broods after they leave their nests, and relocating the broods to bodies of water where swimmer's itch cannot occur.
This year, we are fortunate that two firms - Swimmer's Itch Solutions LLC, and Freshwater Solutions LLC, who both have extensive experience in swimmer's itch research and control were available to provide these services to the lakes.
By mid June, many broods have been removed from the lakes, thereby reducing the liklihood that snails will infect new ducklings and perpetuate or increase the levels of cercaria in the water and the danger of swimmers coming into contact with these itch-causing cercaria. We expect that this work will continue through July
Contractors continue to trap, band and remove broods of common mergansers on 5 lakes in Michigan. To date, 310 common mergansers have been removed. The goal is to remove all broods from the lakes by the end of July. Removal of all broods will greatly reduce the infection rate of the snails, and therefore the levels of cercarie (the free-swimming laraval stage of the parasite), which are the cause of swimmer's itch in humans. Snails that were infected last year will still be "shedding" the cercarie this summer. Removal of the merganser broods this summer will reduce the likelihood of contracting swimmer's itch next year.