Prehistoric hunting grounds found deep in Lake Huron

 

By ERIC FREEDMAN

Capital News Service

LANSING — Deep below the chill waters of Lake Huron, scientists have found long-submerged physical evidence that prehistoric peoples systematically and strategically hunted caribou thousands of years ago.

Searching 50 miles offshore from Alpena, researchers discovered “drive lanes” — in effect, runways of death that channeled unwitting caribou into the clutches of hidden hunters — and stone hunting blinds where hunters awaited their prey.

“Caribou have a thing for linear features. They like following lines,” said scientific researcher Lisa Sonnenburg of the environmental consulting firm Stantec Consulting Inc. in Hamilton, Ontario. “Line stones up in a row and caribou will follow them. It’s something about how their brains work.”

Today, scientists and shoreline property owners pay close attention to annual fluctuations of Great Lakes water levels, but water levels between 8,350 and 9,000 years ago were unusually low, according to a newly published study by Sonnenburg and John O’Shea, the curator of Great Lakes archaeology at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. Continue reading

Great Lakes writer tackles tale of survival 50 years after Lake Huron shipwreck

By NATASHA BLAKELY
Capital News Service

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Michael Schumacher

LANSING — Michael Schumacher was born and raised in Wisconsin and has been living right by the shore of Lake Michigan all of his life.

“The lake means a lot to me so I won’t take it for granted, ever,” said Schumacher, 62. “I tried to read a lot of the history, learn as much as I can. The more I can learn the better, and I’ve learned the five Great Lakes have separate personalities; they’re all different in their own way.”

He should know. Schumacher recently wrote “Torn in Two: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man’s Survival on the Open Sea.” It is his 13th published book, and the fourth in his series on Great Lakes shipwrecks. Continue reading

High tech studies Lake Huron shipwrecks

By JULIANA MOXLEY

Capital News Service

LANSING — Diving isn’t the only way to get an in-depth look at the mysteries beneath the surface of the Great Lakes.

Lasers, underwater robots and other innovative technologies are simplifying the discovery of and research about hundreds of shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

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This image of the shipwreck Monohansett in Lake Huron was created with a laser. Credit: Sarah Waters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a 4,300-square-mile shipwreck sanctuary in northwestern Lake Huron near Alpena. It has one of America’s best-preserved and nationally significant collection of shipwrecks.
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Wave of mudpuppies on Lake Huron beaches puzzle scientists

By JENNIFER KALISH

Capital News Service

LANSING — A large number of unusual salamanders called mudpuppies washed ashore on many Lake Huron beaches during Superstorm Sandy.

“When I was walking our dogs on the beach I counted 40 in front of our home and the two houses just south of us,” said Barbara Stimpson of Fort Gratiot Township.

Photo: David Mifsud via Great Lakes Echo.

Five miles south of Stimpson’s home, Dave Dortman found more than 50 dead mudpuppies washed ashore within 100 feet on Lakeside Beach in Port Huron.
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Researchers focus attention on Lake Huron

By SARA MATTHEWS

Capital News Service

LANSING — Lake Huron has the most shoreline and is the second largest of the Great Lakes, yet it gets perhaps the least scientific attention.

That will soon change now that Lake Huron is the home of a new long-term research program started by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

From the agency’s base at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, scientists are studying water quality, invasive and native species, nutrient levels and physical properties of the lake. Continue reading

Efforts to boost Lake Huron herring threatened by fish disease

Algae blooms, overfishing and invasive species depleted once thriving schools of Great Lakes herring.

Now Michigan officials want to bring them back in Lake Huron. But there’s a new concern – lake herring are highly susceptible to an emerging fatal fish disease.

Researchers found that lake herring are prime targets for Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus. It causes organs, skin and muscles to hemorrhage. The eyes of the sick fish bulge, they are covered by open sores and they eventually die.

Once a highly popular commercial fish, lake herring numbers have dropped drastically in the Great Lakes. Photo: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The study didn’t examine why lake herring are vulnerable, but the slender schooling fish is more susceptible than the rest of the trout and salmon family to which it belongs. Continue reading