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Higher Tides, Dead Alewife, and Very Little Beach on Lake Michigan in Manitowoc

With the Temperatures in the eighties, today seemed like a great day to head to one of my families favorite beaches along the lm1lake-shore of Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and Two Rivers Wisconsin. Most of the time this stretch of beach has been very clean and semi secluded, compared to most public beaches, with nice sand beaches and a nice long walkout before the water gets too deep which is great for the kids to play. But on this day (Friday 6/18/16) the beach was a little funky. The water or tide was high leaving next to nothing as far as a dry sand beach to relax on. In fact, it was so high that we had to walk through water just to find a little area in the middle of grass, sticks, and trees to make a spot in the sand to sit. Did I mention all of the dead fish? There was a lot of dead *Alewife floating near and washed up on the shore. This made it kind of gross to swim and made that usual light fishy smell that you get near the water a little stronger. Since we had drove 40 minutes to get there, the kids wanted to stay and swim. They still enjoyed themselves, and we will make another short drive back again soon.

lm2This does not, by any means, mean that the beach will be this way all year long. If there is one thing I have learned, is that the status of the beach can change literally weekly. So make time to check out the beaches along Manitowoc and Two Rivers. At their very worst, they are still beautiful and relaxing.

*Aelwife were originally a salt water fish. They made their way into Lake Michigan from the Atlantic Ocean back in the 20’s and 30’s. They normally hang in deeper water, but head to the shallow water to spawn. The reason they die, is because their bodies cannot handle the drastic temperature change. In fact, in 1967 their was a huge Alewife die-off which was blamed partially on Toxic Algae. The die-off was so bad that they had to use bull dozers to get them off the beach. Because of the lack of predators, the Alewife became a problem and hurt tourism on the lake-shores because the smell. In the early 60’s a plan lm3was introduced to stock Lake Michigan with Salmon to help reduce the population of the Alewife and boost sport fishing. That plan, though risky (as Salmon are also generally a salt water fish), has helped in all aspects it was created for.

What do you think?

Written by Lane

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