Hatlem Pond was dredged in 2014 and has been filling in with accumulated sediment, as expected. The questions that are before us today are: how much has it filled in since the dredge and what is the fill rate? The Glen Lake Association Board of Directors has created a four member task force to look into the future of Hatlem Creek and pond and are monitoring the situation.
In the coming weeks, Spicer Engineering, Inc. will once again –this will be the third time –visit the pond and take depth measurements at specific points throughout the bottom. These data points will help us determine how much and how fast the pond is filling up with sediment. It will take $5,700 to cover the costs of the field work, along with the data calculations and extrapolations as to when the Hatlem Pond may need dredging again in the future.
Also, Hatlem Pond dam will undergo repairs and improvements under the direction and supervision of Spicer Engineering, Inc. and updates of the completed work in this important area will be shared in the near future.
Finally, some shorelanders are reporting sediment build-up on the bottom of the shoals inside the “blue line.” This sediment build-up may be due to a few factors that are at this point, only speculation. It is unclear if the new, larger culvert on County Road 675 is playing a role in unimpeded sediment transport. Additionally, the winds, or lack thereof, are not “flushing” the sediment off the shoals in the early to late spring season and weak lake-wide currents are slowing down the process of sediment dispersal.
Thank you to everyone who’s reported Swimmer’s Itch cases online as well as Common Merganser brood sightings–we’ve been monitoring reports and taking action on getting the broods off the lake.
The summer of 2018 is proving to be a challenging year for Swimmer’s Itch control for these reasons:
Winter conditions into April delayed merganser broods coming on the lake by three weeks, therefore live trapping was delayed also. Normally, all live trapping is completed by the first week in July.
As trapping requires quiet conditions– no boat traffic, dogs in the water, people on docks/human activity around the trapping area–the weather related delay to trapping now makes for difficult conditions with more activity on the water.
This summer’s significant heat wave has resulted in an increase to the number of swimming hours on the lake.
Despite having relocated all 99 mergansers off the lake last year, we cannot eradicate Swimmer’s Itch, though it is at a reduced level. We continue to research what other life cycle(s) may be at work that have nothing to do with mergansers, though we still believe that the itch-causing parasite is largely cycling through Common Mergansers. This summer’s research will hopefully confirm this fact.
Lastly, a newly hatched merganser chick must be at least four weeks old before they can infect our snails with Swimmer’s Itch. Considering that, please know that seeing a brood on the lake for several days after reporting is not contributing to the itch problem.
Seven broods of mergansers were live trapped and moved off the lake; this represents 54 individual mergansers.
At least four more broods on Glen Lake need to be trapped and all effort will be made to relocate all the broods in the coming weeks.
Our goal is, and always has been, to live trap and relocate 100% of the merganser broods.
Finally, we resourced our trapping crew and equipment based on last year’s merganser brood count for three lakes – Glen, Lake Leelanau, and Lime. At the end of this year’s trapping season, we will evaluate the results. If the brood numbers are roughly the same as last year for all three lakes, we will continue our plan to share our resources as we are today.
How to Avoid the Itch
If possible, swim only in deep water and avoid swimming in the shallows.
Swim in the later hours of the day as opposed to swimming in the morning or early afternoon. Last year’s research on “time of day” revealed the itch can be at a high level in the morning.
Last year’s research revealed that Swimmer’s Itch is less intense in the later weeks of summer as opposed to the early weeks.
If you do get a case of Swimmer’s Itch, remember–it is not a dangerous disease and using a topical cream with cortisone will bring relief from itching.