Did last winter harm your lake? Come to the Michigan Inland Lakes Convention for answers

The Michigan Inland Lakes Convention brings together partner agencies and organizations for the first time to host a single conference for everyone interested in our inland lakes.

To learn more about how the past winter may have impacted your lake, attend the upcoming Michigan Inland Lakes Convention, May 1 - 3 in Boyne Falls, Mich. Photo credit: Angela De Palma-Dow, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

To learn more about how the past winter may have impacted your lake, attend the upcoming Michigan Inland Lakes Convention, May 1 - 3 in Boyne Falls, Mich. Photo credit: Angela De Palma-Dow, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

As snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures are finally disappearing across Michigan, you might wonder how the winter has affected our inland lakes and streams. This winter’s exceptionally harsh conditions have raised the likelihood of fish kills, ice damage to shorelines, and increased pollution runoff. All of these issues, and more, will be addressed at the Michigan Inland Lakes Convention, May 1- May 3 at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan. The three-day convention will feature expert speakers who bring local and national expertise in inland lake management, research and conservation.

The purpose of the convention is to educate, engage, and empower the individuals who work, live, and play on Michigan inland lakes including lake enthusiasts, lake professionals, researchers and local government officials. There will be dozens of non-profit and business exhibitors showcasing their projects, resources and services at the convention. All workshops and sessions are open to participants of the convention.

The convention kicks off Thursday with seven workshop choices and an optional guided tour of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Oden Fish Hatchery. A symposium sponsored by the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Foundation Thursday morning will focus on aquatic plant management, herbicide usage, and the importance of lake management in relation to sport fisheries. Other workshop topics include youth education, lake protection tools for local governments, natural shoreline protection, septic system maintenance and alternative treatment options and training for Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program volunteers.

On Friday morning, Eric Eckl, communications expert and founder of Water Words That Work, and Bill Rustem, Director of Strategy for Governor Rick Snyder, will present plenary addresses focusing on the value of good communication and partnerships for protecting Michigan’s inland lakes.

Riparians on inland lakes that have been especially impacted by winter fish kill may be especially interested in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) session “Creating Better Fishing,” Friday afternoon. The DNR will share how they determine when, where and how to stock fish and how to provide and protect inland lake fishery habitat. This session will also feature a question and answer panel including DNR fisheries staff and faculty from Michigan State University. Other concurrent sessions on Friday will feature topics on invasive species, lake research, people and policy, and limnology.  

On the final day of the convention, participants will have seven different sessions to choose from including riparian law, tribal water quality efforts, watershed management, natural shoreline research, and Phragmites control options. Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council will be showcasing their newly updated Lake Charlevoix Watershed Plan and discussing the development process, goal implementation, and success stories of various partners in the project.

Visit http://michiganlakes.msue.msu.edu for additional information on the convention and to register. Questions about the convention can be directed to Jo Latimore, MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-432-1491.

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