Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the Earth's surface, home to a fragile fishery, and delicate shoreline beaches and dunes. They are also central to northern Michigan tourism, economies and our way of life. 

Writer's Quest To Know Great Lakes

Sep 23, 2011

Jerry Dennis is a writer from Traverse City who has been writing about the Great Lakes region for decades now. His newest book is en extended meditation on the Lakes in winter time. It's called Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes, published by University of Michigan Press. At the front Dennis suggests the lakes might be the most poorly understood place in North America. So with the help of injured knee to slow him down, he devotes himself to understanding them better. He spoke with Peter Payette on Points North.

The City of Ludington is considering spending $40,000 next year for beach safety, after a tragic summer for swimmers at the city beach and pier.

"No one here can remember the last time we had a drowning at the beach let alone three," says City Manager John Shay.

He says Ludington discontinued its lifeguard service last year because of financial pressures.

Now city officials could bring back lifeguards, do regular beach patrols, or put life saving rings along the pier.

Michigan wildlife officials are pushing for more control of a fish eating water bird. They want to double the number of cormorants killed in Michigan each year, to about 20,000.

Cormorants nest in colonies on islands in the Upper Great Lakes and Canada, and they can gobble up a lot of fish.

But, some other researchers are not so sure killing more cormorants will mean more perch, walleye and bass for anglers. 

Detour's Freighter Cottage

Sep 4, 2009

In the quaint tourist town of Detour, in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, a couple is slowly chipping away at decades of rust. They're creating a summer cottage out of the front-end of a 1920s freighter. So far this is just a big hunk of steel, filled with all the junk no one else wanted when the ship was retired in 1980.

A crowd gathered when the freighter-home first arrived in Detour on a barge, back in 2005. Four years later, and house movers are just finishing up the process of solidifying the freighter's cement foundation.

Chub Fishery Disappearing

Aug 10, 2009

The smell of smoked fish mixes with apple and maple wood outside of Monte's Original Smoke House in Frankfort.

The owner Monte Finkhouse says he can't supply enough smoked chub for his customers.

Chubs were THE smoked fish of choice at local retailers up until the mid 90s.  They accounted for 90 percent of all smoked fish sold at Monte's small store in Frankfort.  

"Chubs are the deepest fish we have," Finkhouse said. "So they're real oily and that makes for good smoked fish."

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