Webcam and Weather

Webcam is temporarily offline

Lake Stats

 
 
 
 
Guardian Logo

Become a Glen Lake/ Crystal River Watershed Guardian!

Learn best lake management tips, protect the water — seen and unseen — add value to your property!

Take the Pledge to Protect here.

Hot Topics

Salmon in the Crystal River

Education, News October 9, 2018 No Response

If you can, get out in a canoe or kayak and start at the headwaters of the Crystal River and enjoy watching these amazing fish,” says  GLA Watershed Biologist, Rob Karner.

By canoe or kayak is an excellent way to watch these incredible fish as they make their journey. To access the river,  use the NPS boat launch just below Fisher Lake, off Fisher Road and Dunn’s Farm. 

 
Back in the mid 1970s, the MDNR stocked the Crystal River with salmon to curb the overpopulation of alewife that were dying and piling up on the shores of Sleeping Bear Bay each year. After stocking the river mouth, the salmon left their home stream and went out to feast on the alewife and after about two years, they migrated back to the Crystal River to spawn and die.  They were huge and they filled the Crystal River by the thousands. Fast forward to today and the salmon continue to return to the Crystal River, mostly because of natural reproduction (as opposed to stocking). They are not quite as big and the number of salmon are only in the low hundreds versus in the thousands.
 
The mystery of how they go and live in Lake Michigan and then find their home stream is truly wondrous. Perhaps they “smell” the water at the mouth and somehow sense the signature Glen Lake water that empties into the bay. Once they swim up the Crystal River another amazing thing happens. The majority of the salmon jump over the dam and enter into the Fisher Lakes. They rest there for a week or so and swim up the Fisher Canal and into Big Glen. From there, they swim along the east shore of Big Glen until they reach the mouth of Hatlem Creek. Amazingly, they swim up the creek until they reach Hatlem Pond Dam. Some of the strongest will actually get past the dam (I have no idea how this happens) and swim up into the headwaters of Hatlem Creek only to be found in water about six inches deep. All the salmon die after spawning. They gradually get decomposed by fungi – even while alive, and are ironically transformed into unwanted pollution in our lakes and streams. 
 
As amazing as it is to witness this natural wonder, the dark side of this event is that hundreds of salmon will die, decompose, and add nutrients to the water that are undesirable. In their natural habitat, bears will eat many of them as they are removed from the stream. I am not sure our black bears do this but it would help the biological pollution by removing the fish before they die.
 
So if you can, get out in a canoe or kayak and start at the headwaters of the Crystal River and enjoy watching these amazing fish. I have been watching them for over 40 years and always marvel at this natural phenomenon.
 
Rob Karner, M.S.
Watershed Biologist

Share Summer Photos With Us

Education, News September 11, 2018 No Response

After a spectacular summer and warm days filled with family, friends and fun, share one of your favorite Glen Lake/ Crystal River Watershed photos and we’ll feature them here throughout the winter months.

Send your best shots to: gla.photo.submission@gmail.com. 

Include a photo caption, identifying anyone in the photo you’d like mentioned. Include the date and location, and please make sure your photos are 300 dpi, no larger than 100 kb, and in jpeg format. Content should be appropriate for a general audience.

GLA reserves the right to screen and choose photos. 

We’re looking forward to seeing your images of summer fun…and just might need a reminder that warmth will indeed return when the white stuff is falling! 


Thank You to Our New Glen Lake Guardians!

Education, News August 31, 2018 No Response

 

The Guardian program educates and advocates protecting Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed by engaging in best practices. Guardians voluntarily pledge to protect, and share their advocacy with others.

 

We’re excited and encouraged by the 43 new Glen Lake Guardians who signed up this summer and we’re sending them a big thank you! 

They all pledged to help on our mission to protect our Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed by employing best practices and encouraging others to do so.

First-time pledges came from 22 people at the August annual meeting, bringing the tally of new Guardians signing up since the start of summer to 43. 

The grand Guardian total stands at 398 since 2015 and our Guardian Ambassador, Tricia Denton, is working diligently to increase these water steward numbers even higher. 

Learn more about becoming a Guardian.

Have questions? Reach Tricia by emailing her at glenlakeguardians@gmail.com.