Inland waters


Higgins Lake’s crystal waters are under threat. Blame poop (and other stuff)

September 6, 2019 | Joel Kurth

It’s not just Higgins Lake. Leaky septic systems and fertilizers are leading to a growth of algae in northern Michigan’s clear water lakes and could require big-time investments to fix.

Invasive plants choke Michigan waters. So why can anyone order them online?

July 11, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Residents can order invasive plants through specialty websites, even though they are illegal in Michigan. Is there a better way to protect the state’s fish, waters and tourism industry? 

GOP donor’s plans to dredge Grand River meet rough waters in West Michigan

May 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The husband of former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land wants the state to dredge the river near Grand Rapids to allow power boats to reach Lake Michigan. Environmentalists are crying foul.

Booster downplays dredging conflicts: ‘People are allowed to make money’

May 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A powerhouse Republican donor is championing a dredging project that could increase the value of his own land. A former Senate majority leader who steered grants for the project says that’s no big deal.

Fixing typo, Michigan loosens U.P. brook trout limits — for now

April 19, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan anglers can bag up to 10 brook trout on 33 U.P. streams this season,  ranging from a stretch of the Iron River to the north branch of the Pine River. But the relaxed limit could be temporary.

How a typo revived a Michigan fish feud over hungry Yoopers and science

March 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A brouhaha over brook trout has bubbled up in Michigan, pitting older anglers against downstate ones and prompting questions about whether science or special interests sets policy.

Warming temps mean many Michigan lakes won’t freeze in coming years

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Mike Wilkinson

Climate change means that inland lakes in much of the Lower Peninsula may not regularly freeze during winter, endangering the ecosystem and a way of life.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder gets bill to lift protections on small wetlands

December 21, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The House made major changes to lessen the impact of a bill that would have previously lifted environmental protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands and 4,200 lakes.  

Michigan House panel votes to gut ‘radical’ wetlands protections

December 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

‘If we don’t do something, we can kiss personal property rights goodbye,’ says sponsor of measure that would remove protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands. Critics disagree.  

As he exits, Michigan lawmaker wants to gut wetland protection, boost waste

December 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Term-limited Republican Sen. Tom Casperson’s lame-duck bills would cut wetland protections in half in most counties, raise allowable levels of radioactive landfill waste 10-fold and limit local zoning of mining activity.

Court settlement to end commercial fish farm on trout-rich Au Sable River

September 27, 2018 | David Zeman

The settlement was announced Thursday by Anglers of the Au Sable, which had objected to what it said was a threat to the trout stream from fish waste produced by the farm. 

Floods test mettle in Michigan’s UP. Waiting for relief tests patience.

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Yoopers are doing it themselves, digging out after the worst flooding in more than a generation. But money is running out, and folks are getting tired of waiting for emergency relief assistance.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, epic floods reveal stormwater woes

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Officials in Copper Country are rushing to unclog culverts before the next round of heavy rain or melting snow again swamps homes. Some residents are calling for more dramatic action to reshape dangerous drainage systems dating back to mining boom days.

Slideshow | Michigan’s Upper Peninsula picks up pieces after epic floods

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

View photos as Copper Country recovers from this summer’s floods

Hancock nonprofit plays outsized role in Upper Peninsula flood recovery

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Few Yoopers will get insurance payouts after the floods, and homeowners have yet to get federal aid.  Nearly 500 have applied for a Portage Health Foundation program to fill in those gaps.

A truck ferry offers a rare, gorgeous glimpse of Detroit River

May 3, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Slideshow: The Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry offers a vista of Detroit’s industrial past and future that is rarely seen elsewhere.

Two-in-five large Michigan industrial plants exceeded water pollution limits

March 20, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Over a 21-month period, Michigan sites reported 196 excessive discharges of pollutants, including hydrogen sulfide, chlorine and mercury, a report shows.

Forestry company says it won’t do harm to trout fishing paradise

July 10, 2017 | Lindsay VanHulle

Arauco North America is courting environmental groups looking to preserve northern Michigan streams.