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SPINAL COLUMN NEWSWEEKLY OAKLAND LAKEFRONT • OAKLAND HOMES MONTHLYADVERTISER • WEST OAKLAND DIRECTORY
May 2012 • Volume 21 • Number 2
New toys for the summer Oakland County’s marine retailers share insights into what they see as the latest and hottest water sports accessories and equipment now on the market and soon to be found on the waterways from Holly and Addison to Lyon and Bloomfield.
22 Patrol pacts 43 Disappearing 52 Close the door Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Marine Division deputies will regularly monitor just over a dozen county lakes this summer, as fewer homeowner associations and communities enter into contracts for 2012 patrols — which will cost a bit more than before.
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s the weather warms, lake enthusiasts will begin thinking about taking up a new water sport or making an annual pilgrimage to the store to buy the hottest new water toy. There are toys and sports out there for everyone, whether you're a thrill seeker or a recreationalist. Fortunately, Oakland County affords an impressive backdrop of lakes — perfect for wake boarding, paddleboarding, kayaking, or bouncing the day away on inflatables — and each activity adds yet another dimension to those idyllic days spent with friends and family on the water. The consensus among local experts is that water sports such as wake boarding, paddleboarding, kayaking, and wake surfing are popular; and paying for quality equipment is considered the best bet for durability and safety. "More people are asking for expensive items and focusing on quality and not price," said Craig Stigleman, owner of Aggressive Marine in Commerce Township. "In a bad economy stemming from 2008 until recently, less expensive toys became more prevalent, but we don't carry 'Costco' merchandise because the failure rates are unacceptable," he said. "Our products' failure rates are a lot less." He added that cheap tubes can give out at the seams and the boots on chintzy water skis can rip far quicker than they normally would on quality brands. "The cheaper items are not covered under warranty and you get what you pay for," Stigleman said. "The big difference between us and Costco is that they don't offer good quality, but cheap and flimsy products, more prone to damage compared to our products," said Kevin Palmer, head buyer for Summit Sports, which has locations in Keego Harbor and Brighton. Aggressive Marine sells products ranging from towables to life vests, from boards and skis to floatables and kayaks. "Our No. 1 seller is a solid covered tube," Stigleman said. "It's the best selling tube, partially because we recommend it for younger children." Prices range from $150 to $250 per tube. Aggressive Marine carries primarily Airhead and SportsStuff products, two high-end tube manufacturers renowned for low failure rates. Safety comes first, Stigleman said. "The donut hole tube has the problem (that) laying your body on an open hole is tough on children's
backs, while the solid (tube) gives better support, plus it's a more comfortable ride," Stigleman said. Towables such as tubes come in a wide variety of styles, and costs vary from $70 to $500. "They're (towables) popular because anyone can do it — it requires no skill and it's exhilarating," said Joe Wolf, co-owner of Skiers Pier in Waterford Township. Summit Sports has its pulse on the water sports and water toy industries. Their sales have recently risen by 200 percent, according to Palmer, who says he is noticing a boom in wake surfing, paddleboarding, and new floatables and towables. "The trend over the last few years has been the water trampoline and now there's a new product by Aquaglide called the Jungle Gym that's about 6-feettall and has a 10-by-10 base. It's narrow at the top and kids can climb and jump off, and you can put attachments onto it, like a launch bed." With no attachments, the cost of a Jungle Gym is $1,199. Michigan seawall construction contractors American Marine SC also offers a slew of marine accessories, kayaks, knee and wake boards, water skis, and flotation devices. "Last year our most popular item was the 70-inch diameter O'Brien Super Screamer, a two-person pullbehind covered tube," said an employee at American Marine who declined to be identified for this report. his year the Super Screamer is available in lime green and costs $169. There are 20 in stock, staff said. American Marine also sells a light-weight, superstretchy life vest made out of Neoprene fabric. It's available in sizes for all ages. In addition, American Marine carries a large selection of flotation accessories, such as the SportsStuff Fun Station water trampoline, as well as floating lounges and islands perfect for entertaining. Prices range from $60 to $200. As far as marine sports, the new thrill is wake surfing. "It's the popular sport on the wake boarding scene," said Summit Sports' Palmer. "You use a ballast so the boat rides low and offsets the wake, creating a singlesided wake. The wake surfer rides close to the boat and creates a suction so you can ride the wake." Boats travel at a maximum of 10 mph during wake surfing. "The wind is pushed out of the way," Palmer said.
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"You don't get that chop from unsettled water like you do if wake boarding or water skiing." he wake surfer costs between $299 and $650. Some of the top manufacturers include Ronix, Liquid Force, O'Brien, Hyperlite and CWB. Wolf agrees that wake surfing has become immensely popular. "The newest thing is surfing off wakes while being pulled by a ski boat," said Wolf, the co-owner of Skiers Pier. "They come in compression molded like wake boards, or hand-laid like a real surfboard." Ted Wade, owner of Boating Supply Company in Bloomfield, has noticed that the kite boarding fad is not picking up in popularity in Oakland County, except for the rare occasion on Cass Lake. "You need sustained wind for kite boarding and wind surfing, and they take time to learn," Wade said. "Wind surfing has died out; otherwise, it's best to look at sailing." Experts agree that wake boarding, wake surfing, kayaking and paddleboarding are hot sports this year, but water skiing is still an art. "Water skiing has taken second-place to wake boarding," Aggressive Marine owner Stigleman said. "But you need a boat with a tower for wake boarding and that's why there's been a rise in the MasterCrafts. It's a hugely popular sport." Kayaking has grown steadily popular over the years. "It's a healthy activity that is peaceful and reasonably affordable," Stigleman said.
Kayaks come with one- or two-person seating and range in cost from $300 to $500. "We recommend the one-person," Stigleman said. "The two-person is unwieldy if you end up going out by yourself." Boating Supply Company's Wade said kayaking remains a staple among water sports enthusiasts. He also mainly sells one-person kayaks. "I haven't sold a two-person kayak in a long time," he said. "Most kayakers go out in the early morning or early evening. It's a sport for all ages." Some well known and reliable kayak manufacturers are Old Town or Ocean Kayaks. new novelty here in Oakland County is the stand-up paddleboard. Equipment can get pricey, however, starting at $1,300 and up. Some of the reputable manufacturers include Boardworks, Surftech, and Bic. "The stand-up paddleboard is a good cross-trainer and a serene experience," Wolf said. "These are excellent for core and balance, and a good workout for abs and legs. All kinds of athletes use them." The board itself is akin to a large surfboard and the paddle is constructed from carbon fiber. Some of the better manufacturers include Connelly and Blue Water Boards, a Michigan-based company. Palmer concurs with Wolf that paddleboarding has attracted a greater following. "It has gained grounds in popularity," Palmer said. "We bought 50 percent more product (to sell) this year. We doubled our sales last year compared to the
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year before." Wade concurs with Wolf that paddleboarding has gained more attention in recent years despite the product being on the market for over 30 years. "It's very popular and an Olympian activity," Wade said. "It's a nice way to be active and enjoy the waterfront and when you get tired you can sit down on it." Stand-up paddleboarding seems to appeal to those who want a little more excitement than kayaking can offer. "Paddle boarding gives that sensation of more freedom and is more exciting than kayaking, and it's easy to do," Palmer said. f you're looking for something unique in a stand-up paddleboard, Oxford's own Matt Campbell, a former professional snowboarder and veteran of the coatings industry, can be commissioned to produce a board custom shaped, manufactured and decorated with his own original graphics. "There is no substitute for a hand-laminated board when waters are bumpy and wavy," he said. "That's when the paddleboarding is the most fun." With vast experience shaping various kinds of boards, Campbell takes pride in shaping boards around each client and their ability. "Stand up paddleboarding is our big focus locally," he said. "My customers can form a relationship with the shaper, which allows me to manufacture a custom-tailored board fitting their size, weight, performance requirements and custom graphics. I like working here in Oakland County because the customer can come to me and get a better sense of what they want and need." Another trend that's catching on this year is wake skating. Like wake boarding and water skiing, wake skating is done behind a boat. It differs from these other sports in that wake skating does not require bindings, but is still challenging and exhilarating. There are two types of wake skates: Wood-based or the lighter composite material-based version. The surface of the board also comes in two varieties, grip tape or foam. Foam is best for the novice since it reduces the risk of injury. "We carry both wake boards and wake skates by O'Brien, but wake skating is definitely a new trend," staff at American Marine said. "O'Brien backs their products up if there's a problem, so we stick with this company." Freeway Sports Center owner Richard Adams started off his Fenton business as one that sells motor
homes, motorcycles, snowmobiles, lawn and garden tractors, all-terrain vehicles, outboard motors, boats and even chain saws. It soon morphed into a diversified center for machines that made the great outdoors a fun experience. Apart from a wide selection of motor craft, Freeway Sports sells skis, tubes, ropes, and hoists and docks. "People seem to be upgrading their existing equipment because we've seen an uptick in dock and boat hoist sales," Adams said. However, Adams said he has seen interest in tubing and wake boarding plateau over the years. "I don't see a huge growth in tubing and wake boarding; it's a steady groove. Most people buy new items to do things with their families," Adams said. For water skiers and wake boarders who need a new boat to tow them, Adams said the Yamaha Sport ski boat is a hot seller. "Basically it's safer," he said. "It gets better fuel economy and has a lot of pluses to them like more interior space than other ski boats." The Yamaha Sport costs between $35,000 and $50,000. Freeway Sports also sells plastic paddle boats starting at $600, and aluminum or fiber glass ones starting at $2,500. "I recommend Aqua Cycle because it's easiest to pedal," Adams said. reeway Sports is also a distributor of innovative rafts like those by Island Rafts and Toys, which is based in White Lake Township. The polyethylene foam-constructed rafts are available in larger sizes and promise fun for the entire family. The close-celled foam prevents water from penetrating. "I'm the only one making this particular product made of foam," said Island Rafts and Toys owner Rick Unsworth. "My only competition is the blow-up rafts that are expensive. Typically those get holes in them and must be replaced every year." This year, Unsworth rolled out a larger 6-foot by 8foot raft. The smaller 4-foot by 6-foot rafts weigh about 25 pounds and are available in natural and blue. The 5-foot-by-6-foot comes in natural, blue, green and yellow. The 6-foot-by-8-foot, which floats over 1,500 pounds, is available only in natural and gray. "I am finding people like the larger sizes, but also like colored rafts," Unsworth said. Prices range from $199 to $429, depending on
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size and color. "My rafts are durable and last easily 8 to 10 years," Unsworth explained. "They are versatile and act as a play raft or barge. Adults put lounge chairs on them to relax." Unsworth contracts with distributors throughout Michigan. "Most of my sales are referrals as a result from trade shows," Unsworth said. That base for sales has expanded to youth camps like the YMCA because they are kid-friendly. "One of the things that is critical to me is safety
and these won't scratch or hurt," Unsworth said. "They are very safe, made for all age groups." Each Island raft is engineered with a customdesigned, clip-on stainless steel eye bolt for anchoring or tethering to a boat or dock. The rafts can be purchased directly by visiting islandraftsandtoys.com, or via Oakland County distributors American Marine, Freeway Sports, Wilson Marine, or Lake Orion Marine. "I deliver directly to the house and constantly have neighborhood specials," Unsworth said. "I also give an additional discount if two or more are purchased." ❏
The following is a sampling of southeast Michigan businesses that carry water sports equipment and accessories: • Skiers Pier, 2505 Dixie Highway, Waterford. 248-674-8800; • Aggressive Marine, 4158 Pioneer Drive, Commerce. 248-360-7225; • Boating Supply Center, 2093 Orchard Lake Road, Sylvan Lake. 248-333-1441; • Summit Sports, 2876 Orchard Lake Road, Keego Harbor. 248-738-4444; • Summit Sports, 8180 Grand River Avenue, Brighton. 810-227-6877; • Freeway Sports, 3241 W. Thompson Road, Fenton. 810-629-2291; • Island Rafts and Toys, islandraftsandtoys.com. 810-588-3839; • Matt Campbell/BlkBox Surf, Oxford. 248-830-4122; • American Marine SC, 6777 Highland Road, White Lake. 248-887-7855; • Wilson Marine, 4440 Haggerty Road, Commerce. 248-363-5240; • Wilson Marine, 5866 E. Grand River Ave., Howell. 517-546-3774; • Wilson Marine, 6095 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton. 517-546-3774; and • Wilson Marine, 36355 Jefferson Ave., Harrison Township. 586-307-3180. www.oaklandlakefront.com
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atricia Boyle's legal career began at a time when it was difficult for women to find work in the profession, and the Wayne State Universityeducated attorney has seen her share of change. A former Michigan Supreme Court justice from 1983 to 1998, the mother of four who lives on White Lake Township's Oxbow Lake has noticed great strides in the level of acceptance women are having in the profession — and others. "I am just thrilled to see how things have changed for women today," said Boyle, who noted that her most taxing time during her tenure on the state's high court was during the infamous "Baby Jessica" case that gripped the nation. "It was dehumanizing for this child. It was a tragedy all the way around," she said.
Rather than spending much time on a boat or fishing on Oxbow Lake, Boyle describes herself as a "lake viewer" who often admires the natural beauty surrounding the lake. Boyle and her husband looked at over 100 homes — a self-described "real estate person's nightmare" — before picking their current residence. "It's just this pristine area," the two-time recipient of the National Organization for Women Feminist of the Year Award said, adding that Henry Storm, president of the Oxbow Lake Homeowners Association, does yeoman's work on behalf of the lake. "It's hard to believe it's even here." "I think (living here)," said the Detroit native, "has taught me to be a better preservationist." — Kirk Pinho — Oakland Lakefront photo/Amy K. Lockard
Photo courtesy of Aerial Graphics - Exclusive Images of Every Michigan Lake - 1.616.956.0419 - AerialGRAPHICS.COM
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Location: Village of Holly, Holly Township Total Water Acres: 110 Lake Type: Natural lake with a dam Lake Character: Warm and cold water â€” two-story Total Shore Length: 2.4 miles Lake Bottom: Gravel, marl, organic sand Best Fishing: Panfish, pike Greatest Depth: 47 feet Islands: None Public Access: No
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Due to budget constraints and the economic decline, the Marine Division no longer had the funds to keep patrol boats stationed for the summer at specific lakes after the 2009 boating season. Before facing the cuts, it regularly patrolled more than two dozen county lakes throughout the boating season, free of charge. "We had to cut over $1 million from the marine patrol budget," said Undersheriff Mike McCabe. For the past couple years, municipalities had to enter into contracts with the OCSD if they wanted its Marine Division to patrol their lakes. "We call them 'mini-contracts,'" said Marine Division Sergeant Patrick Hatfield last year. This year, the Sheriff's Department is charging an increase of 19 cents per hour for marine patrol services. Last year, the Marine Division charged $31.18 per hour of marine patrols, while this year patrols will cost $31.37 per hour. The overtime rate for a deputy with a boat is $40.69 per hour. Those rates cover the cost of the boat, gas, maintenance, and the deputy's wages. Services of a Marine Division deputy without a boat cost $20.38 per hour, while the overtime rate for a marine deputy without a boat is $29.70. The Sheriff's Department enters into a contract with the local governing bodies, which in turn enter into contracts with the lake or subdivision associations that want the marine patrols on their lakes. Highland Township Supervisor Triscia Pilchowski explained that individual lake improvement boards and lakes associations can't enter into a contract with the county Sheriff's Department individually. Instead, each unit must go through the local governing body. Both Highland Township and White Lake Township had to contract with the Sheriff's Department for Marine Division patrols on White Lake as it's located in both townships. The funds paying for marine patrols on White Lake come from a special assessment district (SAD), with the assessments collected through White Lake's lake improvement board. The SAD is a funding source requested by the White Lake Citizen's League for the past three years. Commerce Township Clerk Dan Munro explained how the contracts are settled. "Generally, we enter into an agreement with the OCSD to provide services," he said. "At that point, there are individual agreements between the township and the lakes associations to enter into individual agreements that comply to the overall agreement with the OCSD. The ones paying for the contract are the subdivision associations that have requested (marine patrols)." According to McCabe at press time, the Sheriff's Department expects to have contracts for 2012 patrols on 13 different lakes located within seven different www.oaklandlakefront.com
townships and one city. These contracts appeared before the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for approval on March 22. Addison, Commerce, Highland, Orion, West Bloomfield, White Lake, Waterford and Independence townships, as well as the city of Orchard Lake Village, have all requested to enter into contracts with the department for marine patrols during the upcoming summer. Lakeville Lake, Lower Straits Lake, Lake Sherwood, Commerce Lake, Long Lake, White Lake, Deer Lake, Orchard Lake, Lake Orion, Voorheis Lake, Williams Lake, Pine Lake, and Walnut Lake are the bodies of water that will receive Marine Division patrols this summer. Addison and Independence townships have each requested one part-time marine deputy, an employee not eligible for benefits, for 125 hours. Commerce, Highland, Waterford and White Lake townships requested one part-time deputy for 250 hours for the duration of the contract, while Orchard Lake asked for a part-time deputy for 240 hours under its contract. Orion Township has requested one part-time deputy to patrol 640 hours, while West Bloomfield has requested two part-time marine deputies for 1,700 hours. With the exception of Orchard Lake's, all of these contracts take effect Monday, May 21. Orchard Lake's went into effect Tuesday, May 1. Some of these lakes' residents feel safer and more content with marine patrols on the lake, such as those living on Orchard Lake. However, according to Orchard Lake Shore Association President Pete Russ, they may request fewer patrol hours this year. "We coordinate with the police on scheduling. That's what we've done for the last three years," Russ said. "The hours will be considerably less than previous years. The traffic on the lake has been low over the last 5 to 6 years. We've cut back and have what we feel is adequate protection for the hours that are fairly busy on the lake." Orchard Lake Shore Association members pay for weed harvesting, marine patrols, goose round up and nest destruction through a SAD. Meanwhile, other lake associations and subdivisions have opted out of contracting for marine patrols. Some municipalities may choose to take the path Walled Lake did two years ago and have their own city police patrol the local waters, with the department's one patrol boat they acquired in 2009. According to Police Chief Paul Shakinas, the department has have someone patrolling on the weekends and on the holidays, normally from noon to 8 p.m. Shakinas said all the department's officers have been trained on the boat. "There's a 24/7 response," he said. "If anything OAKLAND LAKEFRONT
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happens on the lake, we can be on the water in five minutes. We're happy to have our patrol boat, and we've pretty much filled in the hole left by the lack of (Oakland County Sheriff's Department) marine patrols. The residents are pretty much content. We've had very little problems." The Village of Wolverine Lake also has opted to handle marine patrols itself instead of contracting with the Sheriff's Department this year. In 2010, the Wolverine Lake Village Council agreed to contract with the Marine Division to patrol the village's namesake on weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, in 2011 and again this year, the service will be placed in the hands of Wolverine Lake police officers. "We tried it in 2010 and it reverted back in 2011 using our personnel," said Captain John Ellsworth, the police department's acting chief. "There are no bad feelings. We tried it once and wanted control back in the hands of Wolverine officers." The village's two marine officers are specifically trained and hired on a seasonal basis. They will be patrolling on weekends and holidays, and conducting random patrols throughout the week as determined by various factors like weather, activity, and complaints. Backup is available when necessary. "All our other officers are trained and can respond if needed," Ellsworth said. Other lakes may simply decide to not do anything, and leave it up to their citizens to adhere to water safety rules. Cass Lake has a little bit of both worlds, according to Christopher Letts, the vice president of the Cass Lakeside Community Association. As the largest lake in Oakland County, Cass Lake is situated in four different communities: West Bloomfield and Waterford townships, Orchard Lake Village, and the city of Keego Harbor. It also has one of the largest sandbars in the area, which is a popular congregating spot for lake users. "It's very neat how the sand bar is set up," Letts said. "You have the younger people who like to party and hang out. Then you have another section that is more family-oriented. And then you have the older residents who also just like to hang out." A lot of the congestion on Cass Lake can therefore be found in the sand bar area, which runs along the entire Keego Harbor side, which just so happens to have it's own police department that also conducts marine patrols. "We have Keego Harbor officers that help control that part of the lake," Letts said. "In my personal opinion, the Keego Harbor Police Department does a great job and is respected by everyone there." He also said that there is an element of "selfpolicing" between boats on the lake. www.oaklandlakefront.com
"If there are people going through the sand bar too quickly, especially near the area with families, those people get addressed by the boaters anchored around the area," Letts said. "While more police presence isn't a terrible thing, the lake does a good job controlling itself. It's part of the boating culture. Occasionally, you get guys that aren't being considerate to the people around them. But with the boating culture, there is accountability. You can find yourself being ostracized quickly by those who have been on the lake for years if you aren't respecting your fellow boaters. There is a culture of accountability. If there is a problem, people find out and it's worked out." Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Department will still continue to patrol and offer marine assistance during emergencies on all county lakes. However, that's a more reactive approach. "We have two jump boats that can respond to calls for service on lakes in the county," McCabe said. "For example, one boat may be on Lower Straits Lake in Commerce Township and a call from Cass Lake comes in and the deputy will then take the boat on the trailer (to Cass Lake). They can respond to where they need to go from where they happen to be." The Marine Division continues to maintain and operate its 12-member dive and rescue team, while still offering courses in boater, snowmobile, and hunter safety to train and educate the public. Each of the division's two jump boats will have two deputies and will most likely be out and about during peak boating traffic periods, such as Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. One group of deputies will patrol from about 1 to 6 p.m., while another will take over from 6 to around 11 p.m. Meanwhile, it looks like these "mini-contracts" for marine patrols may be the new normal. McCabe said he doesn't foresee returning to non-contract patrols around many of the lakes in Oakland County for quite some time. "Maybe many years (they'll return) down the road after we turn around economically," he said. "The Oakland County Board of Commissioners (has) to restore them, and I don't think they are in the position to do so in the foreseeable future as of now." Despite the decrease in patrols on the lakes, there has not been an increase in complaints, according to McCabe. "It's amazing," he said. "Actually, last year was one of the safest years we've had on the lakes." For more information about contracting with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department for marine patrols, call the department's non-emergency number at 248-858-4911. â?? Staff writer Leslie Shepard contributed to this report. OAKLAND LAKEFRONT
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IF YOU HAVE CHAMPAGNE TASTE AND A WINE COOLER BUDGET, THIS IS IT! Brazilian cherry flooring, a beautiful entry door, tall baseboards, wide casement molding. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,819 sq. ft., deluxe bathrooms, recessed lighting, stamp concrete driveway. Jetted tub, stand up corner power shower with body sprays. Vessel sink in upper bath. Patio & shed. $137,000 MLS#212043226 (2974C3)
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24 ACRE ESTATE IN MILFORD AREA! Exceptional all stone and cedar home with 1,600 ft. frontage on private Downey Lake. Exotic woods throughout. Tigerwood floors, rosewood and walnut species used for custom cabinetry. Gallery style spaces and large outbuilding for workshop or storage. Five car garage with home elevator. $1,500,000. MLS#211088015. Also, home is offered on 13.2 acres. $1,350,000. MLS#211088932 (809H3)
HIGHLAND VALLEY This home is on one of the nicest lots in the sub! Backs to private Kyle Park and Downey Lake. Enjoy wooded and lake views. Canoes and kayaks allowed. Home features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an island kitchen with granite counters. Hardwood floors in entry, dining, kitchen and den! Unfinished bright walkout with lake picture window. Beautiful decking! $329,900 MLS#212022371 (788J3)
ALL-SPORTS WHITE LAKEFRONT ON MAIN LAKE Stunning setting off Ridge Rd. Rare find! Boathouse with electric boat hoist inside! Docking along the waterside and rooftop deck on boathouse. Home is 1.5 story with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. Over 3,200 sq. ft. with walkout. 2 bedrooms on main floor and 2 upper beds. Master on main and view of lake. 2 car attached garage. Wet bar. $369,900 MLS#211111348 (1784L3)
ENCHANTING PROPERTY & HOME! All brick, 4 bedroom, 5.5 bath, 4,114 sq. ft. home. Exterior with stone accents, master ensuite with 2 walk in closets, 2 baths and connecting exercise room! Spacious kitchen with dual Jennaire gas range/griddle tops. Home theatre. Walkout includes fireplace and wet bar/second kitchen. Lower level workshop, 5 car garage, 2 lakes. $549,321 MLS#211115821 (4534T3)
ALL SPORTS WHITE LAKE LOT Dream home lake site on all-sports White Lake. On one of Oakland Countyâ€™s largest lakes. Buildable lot ready for your plan or sellers. All leg work done. Plans, permits and engineering approved septic. Land contract terms available. Has perks, surveys and drawings for plot plan. $119,900. MLS#212045338 (3016W3)
WHITE LAKE HOME ON MAIN LAKE AND ACREAGE LOT! Terrific home on all-sports White lake. Move right in and enjoy! Fantastic views! Deep lot, room to play! Approx. 100 ft. on water. Soaring ceilings. Lakeside master suite has sitting room/sun porch. Solid surface counters in new hickory kitchen. Finished walkout. More! $659,900 (3900D3)
LAKE LOT ON 2 LAKES! Now is the time to build! Affordable interest rates, builders are anxious for work! Located in Mallards Landing on Cul-de-sac. Fronts 2 lakes that connect! Beautiful homes in area. Almost one acre build site! Walkout possible. Past perk on file. EZ build restrictions. $69,900 MLS#212026422 (MAL3)
25 South Main St. Clarkston, MI
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hris Czarnecki, 36, the head rowing coach at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory School, originally didn't have ambitions to be on the lake. Czarnecki was recruited to walk onto Grand Valley State University's football team out of high school, but after tearing a ligament in his knee the weekend before reporting to training camp, he followed one of his friends to Grand Valley's boathouse. That was when he decided to give rowing a chance. "That was August 1994 and there hasn't been a day since that rowing hasn't been a part of my life," he said. "It was like a twist of fate." Czarnecki competed throughout the 1990s for Grand Valley, as well as the Wyandotte Boat Club, in
events including the Royal Henley Regatta in England. He then became St. Mary's head coach in 2004 and is now entering his ninth season, having led the Eaglets to championships on the state, regional and national levels, in addition to teaching English. A native of New Jersey before moving to Northville, Czarnecki is married and has one son. He knows how fortunate he and his students are to be in their position at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. "I've seen a lot of places where people row and we have got it made, to have a lake on our campus. To have one as beautiful and clean as Orchard Lake is a rarity," he said. — Michael Shelton — Oakland Lakefront photo/Amy K. Lockard
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wo species of freshwater mussels that contributing to the decline in species richness. have been known to have a presence In his paper, "Freshwater Mussels in the in Oakland County have been added Clinton River, Southeastern Michigan: An to the federal Endangered Species Assessment of Community Status," Hunter List, according to the U.S. Fish and wrote that watershed urbanization is "the Wildlife Service (USFWS). greater threat in rivers, while (exotic species The two species â€” the rayed bean (Villosa invasion) is the greater threat in lakes." fabalis) and the snuffbox (Epioblasma While Hunter and his team found six triquetra) â€” are native to parts of the individual snuffbox mussels, they were unable Midwest and East, and have been found in to find any rayed bean mussels during the rivers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and survey. Tennessee. According to the study, Hunter had found The snuffbox is a small (up to 2 inches), the rayed bean at the Cooley Lake Road triangular mussel found in small- to mediumbridge over the Clinton River back in 1995 sized creeks in areas with a swift current. Its and 1996. Because the rayed bean is difficult shell is thick and yellowish on the outside to locate, he still believed the species was with numerous, broken, dark green rays. present at the site in spite of not being able Adults often burrow deep in to find any in 2004. Dr. Douglas Hunter, a Shells of the rayed bean had sand, gravel or cobble substrates, except when they biologist with Oakland been found at that site during are spawning or the females his study eight years ago, University, looked for however. are attempting to attract host fish, according to the USFWS. both species during a Meanwhile, the Cooley The rayed bean is a small Lake Road bridge site had a survey he conducted relatively large population of mussel, usually less than 1.5 inches long. Its elliptical shell in 2004 with the help the snuffbox mussels. is light to dark green or olive According to Hunter's survey of graduate student in color, with heavy wavy and another survey conducted rays. It lives in smaller, Debbie Morowski and in 1978, the snuffbox had the headwater creeks and prefers and most stable undergraduate student densest gravel or sand substrates. It is population of the three Luke James. typically found buried deep in endangered mussels in the sediment. Clinton River, even though the Previously, the rayed bean and snuffbox Cass Lake population had been completely were both listed on the state Endangered decimated by zebra mussels in the late 1990s. Species List. The USFWS added the rayed bean and the Both species have been found in Oakland snuffbox mussels to the federal endangered County's Clinton River Watershed. list earlier this year because of a dramatic Dr. Douglas Hunter, a biologist with decline in their populations. Because Oakland University, looked for both species freshwater mussels require clean water, their during a survey he conducted in 2004 with decline often signals a decline in the water the help of graduate student Debbie quality of the streams and rivers they inhabit, Morowski and undergraduate student Luke according to the USFWS. James. The final ruling placing the species on the During that summer, Hunter surveyed 76 endangered species list appeared in the Feb. sites. His findings showed a decline from the 14 Federal Register. Their listing as 24 mussel species originally found in 1978 to endangered species gives them protection 14 in 2004. under the federal Endangered Species Act He believed that the invasive, non-native against practices that kill or harm them, and zebra mussel affected the native species, requires planning for recovery and along with watershed urbanization conservation.
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Angela Boyer, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species biologist, said recovery plans are being drafted to foster the two mussel species. The USFWS is now working with other organizations to develop the recovery plans and to coordinate efforts to conserve their habitats.
Maintenance or establishment of vegetated riparian buffers can help protect mussel habitats from many of their threats, and control of zebra mussels is critical to preserving native mussels. And as with all mussels, protection of their host's habitat is also crucial. According to the USFWS, male rayed bean nder the federal Endangered Species mussels release sperm into the water column Act, "endangered" means a species is in that is then siphoned by females to fertilize danger of becoming extinct throughout their eggs, which develop into microscopic all or a significant portion of its range. It's larvae, called glochidia, within special gill illegal under the law to kill, harm or otherwise chambers. "take" a listed species, or to possess, import, Females expel mature glochidia, which then export or conduct interstate or international must attach to the gills or fins of specific host commerce without authorization from the fish species to complete development into USFWS. juvenile mussels. After The Endangered Species attaching to host fish, The rayed bean Act also requires all federal glochidia mature within a few has been eliminated weeks. Juvenile mussels then agencies to ensure actions they authorize, fund, or drop off and continue to grow from 73 percent of undertake do not jeopardize if they fall onto appropriate its historical range, the existence of listed species. substrate. Using fish as a host while the snuffbox The rayed bean has been species allows the rayed bean eliminated from 73 percent of to move upstream and has disappeared its historical range, while the populate habitats it could not from 62 percent of snuffbox has disappeared otherwise reach. from 62 percent of streams The Michigan Natural streams where it had where it had historically been Features Inventory states that historically found, including in several the snuffbox mussel had been been found. southeast Michigan rivers, confirmed in the Pine, Belle, according to the Michigan and St. Clair rivers in St. Clair Natural Features Inventory. County, and the Detroit River in Wayne In addition to the Clinton River, the rayed County. eproduction of the snuffbox mussel is bean mussel had been reported in the Belle similar to that of the rayed bean and Pine rivers in St. Clair County, the lower mussel. The species is sensitive to river Huron River in Monroe County, and the Raisin impoundment, siltation and disturbance. River in Lenawee County. There was also As with the rayed bean mussel, threats to evidence of the species' presence in the St. the snuffbox mussel include natural flow Joseph River in Hillsdale County, Lake St. Clair alterations, siltation, channel disturbance, in Wayne County, and Lake Erie in Monroe point and non-point source pollution, and County. However, in the last 20 years, live exotic species. In many cases, the threats are rayed bean mussels have only been found in not from actions in or adjacent to rivers; the Pine and Clinton rivers, according to the rather, threats are from widespread problems features inventory. on uplands at the highest elevations of Like other mussels, threats to the rayed watersheds. Habitat restoration will require bean include natural flow alterations, siltation, improvements across the entire watershed, channel disturbance, point and non-point according to the USFWS. â?? source pollution, and exotic species.
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any people who have had the pleasure of wading in an inland lake have at one time or another just been splashing around when all of a sudden a sharp pain travels through their foot. The culprit? A pesky zebra mussel, an aquatic species invader. Of course, zebra mussels are not the only aquatic invasive species in Michigan — and they won't be the last. That's why the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released an updated draft of a proposed Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Management Plan. According to the National Invasive Species Council, an invasive species is "a species that is not native and whose introduction causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." Over 180 such species from around the world — ranging from fish to invertebrates, from microscopic organisms to aquatic plants — have made their home in the Great Lakes Basin. Some of the more commonly known AIS in Michigan waters include Eurasian watermilfoil; purple loosestrife; round goby; sea lamprey; spiny water fleas; and zebra mussels. But these are just a few of the state's AIS, and many of them are posing a threat to the Great Lakes and Michigan's inland waters by competing with native species for food and habitat; preying on native species; disrupting ecosystem stability; impacting water quality, as well as commercial and recreational activities; and costing millions of dollars in prevention and control measures. It's estimated that aquatic invasive species continue to arrive in the Great Lakes at a rate of one every eight months, according to Michigan Sea Grant, part of the National Sea Grant College Program and a cooperative program between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Through research and outreach programs, the organization helps to promote better understanding, conservation, and use of Michigan's coastal resources. Aquatic invasive species are introduced to the Great Lakes region in a variety of ways. Some are unwanted fish and aquatic plants released from aquariums. Others are imported for commercial purposes — like Asian carp, which were brought to the U.S. to control algae in fish farms along the Mississippi River. They then escaped during flooding in the 1990s before moving quickly up the Mississippi River and into the Illinois River, the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Calumet-Sag Channel to become a threat at the door of Lake Michigan. Other AIS hitchhike along with unsuspecting boaters and freighters. About 30 percent of new species are brought to the www.oaklandlakefront.com
Great Lakes unintentionally in the ballast tanks of ocean-going freighters. One such AIS is the zebra mussel, which can be found in numerous inland lakes around the state. Michigan's original AIS State Management Plan was completed in 1996 and was last updated in 2002. Since knowledge of AIS prevention and management issues has evolved, DEQ officials decided it was time to update the plan to improve the state's efforts in the battle against AIS. "Program collaboration is critical to the success in accomplishing the goals of the AIS State Management Plan: preventing new invaders, limiting the spread of AIS, early detection and rapid response, and management and control," said DEQ Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Sarah LeSage. "To be successful, we need to have collaboration between not only our state agencies but with our partners, including other states and the general public. Recreational boaters and anglers are our eyes. They're going to be the ones to see something first." The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) agrees. "MBIA is pleased the state is engaging all partners to help in the AIS fight," said MBIA spokesperson Nicki Polan. "This (revised draft plan) will strengthen the fight. All stakeholders should be educated and engaged in preserving our waters. Recreational boaters and anglers can be a strong information source, as well as an even stronger communication force between all users. It is our duty to protect Michigan's freshwater resources for future generations. We cannot afford to ignore the effects of aquatic invasive species as they jeopardize water quality and subsequently lifestyle, health and economics here in Michigan. Boating, fishing, swimming, communities, and business operators all stand to be negatively affected by AIS." Kent Wood, the legislative affairs manager for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), also recognizes the need for collaboration in the fight against non-native invaders. "(The plan) appears to be off to a good start," he said. "Identifying that we need better communication and buy-in from public and private and regional and local spheres is good to see. This is not an issue that will just be solved at the state or federal levels of government." Wood said he was also pleased to see an emphasis on the "early detection and rapid response" program. "The quicker we can detect new species and develop and carry out a plan to respond to them, the more likely we are to keep new invasive species out of our system," he said. Using funds from a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant, the updated AIS management plan draft was written over the past year with input OAKLAND LAKEFRONT
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from DEQ staff and managers, state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) personnel. "Part of the reason it took so much time to develop the draft is because we wanted it to be collaborative process among the state departments. And all those departments took time thinking about the strategic actions that need to happen in their own programs," LeSage said. Because aquatic invasive species aren't picky about which waters they take over, Michigan is not the only state currently grappling with the nuisance of aquatic species. For example, Asian carp are a major concern in the all the Great Lake states since they have the potential to wreak havoc on the Great Lakes region's multibillion dollar annual fishing industry. Several states, Michigan included, have even banded together in a lawsuit over this one invader. "MBIA is particularly interested in stopping Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, as well as any new species that could devastate Michigan's fisheries," Polan said. "Michigan's $3.9 billion boating industry and its $7 billion fishing industry are at stake." With such an ominous threat affecting an entire region, numerous management plans and measures have already been compiled by various organizations. "We currently have multiple agencies trying to tackle this problem, and probably for good reason because invasive species affect many different sectors of life," Wood said. "We still have no centralized management system for dealing with AIS that would allow all issues dealing with AIS to go to one place." According to LeSage, additional time was spent researching what these different organizations have implemented. "A lot of time was spent building knowledge between agencies â€” reviewing what's already out there," she said. "Especially with regards to Asian carp, we spent a lot time reviewing the other plans of state agencies and what they are doing in the region. We made sure we were considering what all the other efforts were doing. We wanted to build off of what is already existing." The revised plan identifies several top priorities which focus on AIS introduction prevention. The first is to prevent the introduction of AIS through canals and waterways, specifically Asian carp through the Chicago area waterway system by continuing "existing efforts to expedite federal action on the hydrologic separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, especially at the Chicago area waterway system." Preventing the introduction of AIS through ballast water exchange is another major priority identified in the revised draft. The completion of this goal relies on www.oaklandlakefront.com
continuing existing efforts to prevent ballast water containing AIS from ocean-going vessels from being released in the state's waters through Michigan's ballast water discharge permit, and influencing ballast water regulations on the federal level to "ensure a protective national standard," all while coordinating with other Great Lake states and Canadian provinces. Another primary goal is to prevent in trade and commerce the introduction of AIS through organisms. The plan calls for more significant efforts to prevent AIS introduction that may occur through Internet and pet shop sales. However, the plan acknowledges there is a lack of funding to implement the existing laws and regulations with regard to these issues. The plan specifies that "enhanced efforts to address organisms in trade are needed, including developing and implementing a science-based risk assessment process to inform the prohibited and restricted species risk." A secondary priority is to develop capacity for early detection and rapid response (EDRR) activities, which include monitoring with coordination at the regional and state levels. While there are existing public and privatized efforts along those lines, the revised draft labeled them as "patchy and largely focused on certain aquatic plants," with the exception of Asian carp. The revised draft says these efforts should be continued, enhanced, and expanded to include other species. It also states that a successful monitoring program will provide a way to gauge the effectiveness and limitations of current prevention and control activities, in addition to identifying new or previous unknown vectors of AIS. It may even provide a greater ability to predict new invasive threats and where they may come from. The plan became available in late March when the DEQ released it for public comment. "It's something we want to have our partners and the public look over to make it better and to fill in the gaps of things we might have missed," LeSage said. "We are looking forward to getting responses from the public on how we can strengthen the plan." A public meeting on the plan was held on April 12 in Lansing to provide background on the AIS State Management Plan and give interested parties an opportunity to provide feedback and comments. According to representatives who attended the meeting, a "good discussion" was had among the participants and covered both the drafted plan and its implementation. "It was generally very positive, with a diverse group of interested participants," said Matt Ankney of the DNR's Wildlife Division, one of the authors of the revised draft. Ankney's focus had been on the EDRR section of the revised draft. OAKLAND LAKEFRONT
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Ankney said the group in attendance included representatives from researchers, landowners, government entities, as well as others. Both LeSage and Ankney said most people felt the current draft was comprehensive and are looking forward to its implementation. The DEQ accepted public comment on the plan up until May 1. LeSage said that after state officials are done collecting input from the public, the team will revise the draft again to incorporate additional ideas. "We're looking for certain strategic actions we might have missed initially," she said. "We want to strengthen our plan. Then we will go to the federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force for final approval before moving on to implementation. Of course, this will all be contingent upon finding longterm funding." The funding to write the revised draft was provided by a GLRI grant. However, that funding will not be enough to support a long-term program. "We need a long-term solution for the long-term program of preventing and detecting new invaders early on and to deal with the problems we already have," LeSage added. According to the report, funding for AIS prevention and control has been "inadequate," resulting in "limited"
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and "sporadic" efforts. The report suggests that, at a minimum, the AIS program should be funded at $1.5 million annually in order to put into action the highest priority strategic actions in the management plan, as well as to maintain the current level of efforts in the war against AIS. Acquiring long-term funding is one of the tasks allotted to the recently formed AIS Advisory Council, which was created last year after a package of bills was approved by the state Legislature. The council is comprised of 19 members representing a broad range of interests, including regulated entities, citizen organizations, governmental agencies, academia, and citizen stakeholders. "Part of what the council is tasked to do is to make recommendations on the state management plan and to make recommendations for long-term funding for implementation of the plan," LeSage said. The council had its first meeting in last month where the revised plan was discussed, along with organisms in trade and ballast water. The draft AIS State Management Plan is available for review at michigan.gov/deqaquaticinvasives. For more information, contact LeSage at firstname.lastname@example.org. LeSage said state officials hope to have a final updated plan completed by the end of the year. â??
Walled Lake Pictured
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Following are the waterway level readings for lakes and rivers across Oakland County, as compiled by personnel in Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John P. McCulloch’s office. Legal levels are denoted by elevation in feet from sea level. Current (one month prior to press time) levels are denoted both in elevation from sea level and as plus or minus the legal level in hundredths feet. Prior year elevation from sea level is provided as a comparison. River depths are measured from the river bottom, at the point of measurement.
+ OR -
NOTES & REMARKS
Winter Lvl: 1016.70
Winter Lvl: 965.45
Winter Lvl: 927.87 2)
7) Winter Lvl: 917.00
Dawson Mill Pond
6) Winter Lvl: 927.25
5) Winter Lvl: 992.12
Long (Commerce Twp.)
Middle & Lower Straits
1) 2), 3) 6) Winter Lvl: 927.25
Walled & Shawood
Winter Lvl: 932.10
NOTES: 1) Oxford-Multi includes: Cedar, Clear, Long, Squaw, Mickelson & Tan Lakes. 2) Waterford-Multi (WML) includes: Cemetery (Middle), Dollar, Greens, Maceday, Lotus, Lester, Van Norman, Williams, Mohawk, Wormer, Schoolhouse, Silver, Upper Silver and Loon Lakes. 3) The Loon Lake control structure also controls Mohawk, Wormer, Schoolhouse, Silver and Upper Silver Lakes. 4) The Van Norman control structure also controls Greens, Maceday, Lotus and Lester Lakes. 5) Lake Angelus, Huron River and Clinton River levels not under the jurisdiction of this office. 6) The Dawson Mill Pond and Sylvan-Otter Lakes are controlled by the Price Dam. 7) Crystal Lake is controlled by the Walter Moore Dam. 8) Lake Louise and Huff Lake are controlled by the Ruth Johnson Dam.
WEEKLY Lake Level Updates @ oaklandlakefront.com oaklandlakefront.com
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