The Swimmer’s Itch season will soon be here and you can help the GLA during the weeks of mid-May to mid-July.  

In the next two months, an unknown number of individual female mergansers will be bringing newly hatched chicks from their tree cavity nests near the shoreline to our lake to form a “merganser brood.”

Last year, we had nearly a dozen broods of mergansers and thankfully, they were all live trapped and relocated in an effort to reduce Swimmer’s Itch lakewide. This activity is regulated by the DNR and special permits are needed to live trap.  

Please DO NOT HARASS the broods and help us educate any neighbors who may decide to harass. This makes live trapping them extremely difficult, increases the cost of trapping, and only increases the chances that Swimmer’s Itch will increase – not decrease.

You can help by keeping watch along the shoreline and reporting any sightings of merganser broods. The best way to communicate your findings is to report how may chicks are with the hen and the location you observed them. The broods come on the lake over a period of a month or so and typically vary in brood size. The reports of brood size helps us know how many broods are on the lake at a given time.

You can report a sighting of a brood by emailing the association or call in the sighting to 231.883.2776.  

Please DO NOT call and report non-brooding mergansers (single adults). We have no permit to live trap them and they are impossible to trap anyway.

Our highly skilled GLA Swimmer’s Itch crew will be in their third year of live trapping all the broods on Glen Lake. If you see them setting up nets near your dock or boat hoist, please DO NOT interfere with their operations by going out on your dock to investigate. Please stay inside. Whenever possible, they will try to let you know what is going on and to stay away from the traps until they are done. The total time for trapping one brood takes about two to three hours.

With your help, we can have another successful live trapping season. Remember that because of the biology of this parasite, the live trapping we do this summer helps reduce Swimmer’s Itch next summer. Likewise, last year’s live trapping program is what will have reduced this summer’s Swimmer’s Itch.

Finally, if you swim in Glen Lake during the swim season and get Swimmer’s Itch, please go the GLA website to report your case. These reports are tabulated each year and help us to better understand Swimmer’s Itch and evaluate the success of our program.

If you have any questions, please contact the GLA.