Will A Dog Food Company Solve The Great Lakes Asian Carp Problem?

Many of us have seen the crazy pictures of Asian carp jumping into a speeding fishing boat along the Illinois River. Unfortunately, it’s become so commonplace that there is now a redneck tournament to round up the jumping carp. Some have taken it to the next level with a thing called “skarping” involving towing a helmeted wakeboard on the river to net the invasive carp as a boat gets them to jump wildly. The species has become so pervasive that we now have a Great Lakes Asian carp problem that must be addressed.

Ilinois has offered a bounty on the invasive species that local fishers are taking advantage of. However, that is an expensive option that critics say is a losing tactic. However, one company in Montreal has a novel approach to help solve the Asian Carp problem

What Are Asian Carp?

Asian carp are classified as invasive species. The four Asian carp species (bighead, black, grass, and silver carp) were introduced to the United States in the 1970s as a technique of controlling nuisance algae blooms in wastewater treatment plants and aquaculture ponds, as well as for human consumption. Within ten years, the carp escaped captivity and spread to the Mississippi River basin and other major rivers like Missouri and Illinois.

Reaching 110 pounds and reproducing very rapidly, they soon become a dominant species in these waters.

Why Are Asian Carp A Problem?

Asian carp compete directly for food and habitat with native aquatic species. Their fast population growth is causing havoc in the ecosystem and food webs of the Midwest’s large rivers. Asian carp have destroyed local fish communities and interfered with commercial and recreational fishing in regions where they are ample.

Asian carp are one of the Great Lakes’ most serious dangers. This population is invasive and has the potential to spread to all rivers and the Great Lakes. In addition, because of their voracious hunger, they tend to eat out other native fish species, resulting in depleted populations and an unbalanced aquatic ecosystem.

Why Do Asian Carp Jump?

The silver carp species are readily disturbed and will jump up to 10 feet into the air in response to a fishing lure placed in the water, passing boats, geese taking off from the lake, or just finding themselves in an unexpectedly tight spot. They also take off when they hear the sound of outboard motors, frequently landing on boats and sometimes harming the passengers. This can be disastrous with a boat speed of more than 20 knots and fish weighing more than 20 pounds. Jumping fish have gravely harmed and damaged several boaters. In addition, water skiing on the Missouri River is now hazardous since the majority of the fish jump behind the boat.

Can You Eat Great Lakes Asian Carp?

All Asian carp have white, firm, mild flesh that is good for table cuisine, but all Asian carp contain intramuscular bones in the filets that many people dislike. Asian carp feed low on the food web, grow quickly, have minimal fat content in filets, and are not often bottom feeders – all characteristics of fish that are low in pollutants. However, like with any fish collected from inland waters, be careful of any prohibitions on consuming fish from any particular waterway.

What One Company Is Doing To Make Use of Asian Carp

Courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A Canadian company based in Montreal, Quebec, takes a novel approach to create sustainable pet foods. Founded in 2015, Wilder Harrier began by making dog treats out of insects such as crickets. 

Recognizing an opportunity, Wilder Harrier reached out to commercial fishing operators in Illinois to target the invasive carp to make dog food. Unfortunately, the fisher uses small boats and avoids catching native species. The fish is then shipped to Montreal for processing into dog food. 

The images below contain affiliate links. If an item is purchased, we may receive a commission.

Will Dogs Eat Asian Carp?

Boys with friends and family hunting duck on a misty overcast morning. – Courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The company notes that dogs crave the taste of Asian carp. People that have eaten it say they taste like a cross between scallop and crab.

They claim that their Sustainable Fish formula is perfect for dogs that have food allergies or intolerances. Fish, in general, are widely used in hypoallergenic dog diets, but Asian carp has the extra benefit of being used in pet food very rarely, maximizing its hypoallergenic characteristics.

They also claim the Asian carp is a full and balanced ingredient, with a higher protein content than beef and a similar nutritional profile to salmon.

Where Can You Buy Wilder Harrier Fish Dog Food.

If you live in Canada, you are in luck. The company’s food is available at stores throughout Canada. For those in the United States, all of their products are available online. 

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AAA Offers Interactive Map of COVID Restrictions In US and Canada

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and for many people, they are traveling for the first time in almost two years. Many families have not traveled since the start of the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not traveling if you are unvaccinated. Traveling is still risky, and the CDC has placed warnings on tourist destinations such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and France. Travel is still tricky.

Most experts think that if you drive, you should educate yourself on community spread. Not only at your destination but also in the cities you’ll be passing through in case you need to make an unexpected stop.

Because COVID regulations and processes may differ depending on where you start and where you go, AAA has created an interactive map that outlines travel limitations within the United States and Canada to assist passengers in planning their journeys.

View the AAA Covid-19 Travel Restrictions map here.

AAA Covid Restrictions in US and Canada Map Features

This map displays the latest recent information about COVID-19-related travel restrictions inside the United States and Canada. It also includes Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case count data by county and state. The data sources are WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national, state, provincial, county, and local governments, and Departments of Transportation. AAA GIS Data Services at the National Office in Heathrow, FL, generated and maintained this map.

Roadway Travel Checkpoints

Checkpoints will be set up along important routes where officials will stop vehicles to inspect them for the origin of travel, destination, and signs of COVID-19. Restrictions differ by state, and extensive information is available on government websites.

Border Crossing Closures

To combat the spread of COVID-19, the borders between Canada and the United States and Mexico and the United States have been closed to all non-essential travel. However, the border is still open for necessary travel.

National Land Closures

National Parks, Monuments, and Memorials that have been closed as a result of COVID-19 concerns.

Citywide Travel Restrictions

Cities in which municipal governments have enacted COVID-19 measures that are more stringent than statewide restrictions.

Countywide Travel Restrictions

Counties where local governments have enacted COVID-19 directives that are more stringent than statewide requirements.

Statewide Travel Restrictions

States in which the governor has issued statewide directives. Restrictions differ by state, and extensive information is available on government websites.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases

Counties – The total number of confirmed cases in the United States and Canada, broken down by county. Johns Hopkins University collects and updates this data as new information becomes available.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases

Counties – Number of confirmed cases in the US and Canada totaled by state. Data collected by Johns Hopkins University and updated as information is available.

Final Thoughts on Covid-19 Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic is now well into its second year. While the survivability remains high, many of those who have had the virus are still coping with the long-term lingering effects of COVID. The best practice is to heed the advice of health professionals and your doctor.


The interactive map is attributed to AAA GIS Data Services, JHU CSSE. Automation Support: Esri Living Atlas team. Data sources: national, state, provincial, county, and city governments and Departments of Transportation; WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC, and DXY.

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Before You Swat That Common Wasp or Hornet, Read This…

You have a few drinks with your buddies on your deck or a family BBQ when a bunch of annoying buzzing guys comes to destroy this occasion. You haven’t seen them all summer long, and all of a sudden, everyone is upset; they’re in a panic. You were waving your arms around like a helicopter against thees buzzing visitors – the common wasp

Always arriving in August and September, you may have wondered, “What is the point of this interruption. Why now?” You might be surprised by the response.

Many Different Types of Wasps and Hornets

Were you aware there are around 9,000 species of wasps? These include the parasites, of which some are so small that they are like pinheads. Of the 250 more giant wasps, the bulk is single and solitary and does not annoy people.

But when we talk about wasps, we almost probably mean the nemesis of our nation, the Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris). You first have to understand their life cycle to see why these flying yellow striped bugs are especially unpleasant this time of year. These bugs are also called hornets in some areas of the United States.

Common wasps are like bees socially, but, in contrast to honey bees, storing food has not been developed to make the colony survive the winter. Indeed, only young fertilized queens who spend the winter sleeping are surviving. Then, in the spring, she emerges to make nests of walnut-size, where she has laid about 20 eggs.

Life of a Wasp

When they mature and become workers, the Queen feeds the resultant larvae until around May. She then focuses on more egg-laying and provides the workers, expanding the nest as they go.

The Common Wasp Nest

The wasp nest has developed by this time of year to roughly 16 inches in diameter and can have a population of up to 10,000 wasps! The most common spots for a wasp or hornet nest around your home include under the roof eaves, behind shutters, or in garden sheds. A hornet nest is made from chewed wood that gives them their characteristic papery walls, with the exclusion of mud daubers that use clay or muck.

Big Change in Late Summer of the Wasp Colony

Then there is a significant transition in late August and September. The Queen stops her egg-laying, and doesn’t produce the pheromone that makes worker wasps serve(except some that will be future queens and males to fertilize them).

These workers are essentially made obsolete and left without employment and unoriented. The trouble for us is that while adult wasps are predators of insects, that meat doesn’t feed the larvae itself. This is because Wasps can’t digest solid food, and sugar fluid is needed to survive in their adult stage. So now they are wildly and insatiably hungry without larvae to feed.

Wasps like simple foods; overripe fruit, carbonated drinks, and juices. Towards the conclusion of their short lives, their hunger leads them, exactly when we will use our gardens and outside areas to devour sweets, to look for simple sugar. For them or worse for us, the timing could not be better.

Tips For Dealing With Uninvited Wasps

So why are those who panic and try to swat them more likely to be stung than those who remain calm? The answer is that they have their pheromone, which helps guard the nest against the assault earlier this year, and it’s essentially a chemical cry for other workers to attack.

Then this rallying cry will go off if you swat the furious wasp and feel attacked. Then, suddenly, it all starts, and more wasps will be fired up and ready to defend their nests in aggressive mode. Therefore, keeping calm is the most excellent suggestion.

Think of it this way, from early summer, that wasp has been working its wings off, helping to keep things nice on planet earth. Now it’s going to die. So why not give it a break, save your swats, put a small plate of ripe fruit and bits of meat somewhere out of your way, and let it go out on a nice sugar rush. At the very least, don’t kill it.

What is the purpose of common wasps? Life would probably not exist without them since our planet would be overwhelmed by further destructive insects such as aphids and caterpillars in the absence of its role as predators.

Related Reading About The Common Wasp and Other Nature Stories

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Closed Due to Fire Danger

This was the notice from the U.S. Forest Service:

The Superior National Forest is closing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, effective August 21, 2021, due to active and increasing fire activity, extreme drought, limited resources. The closure will be in place for seven days and may be modified or extended as conditions allow. 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness stopped issuing entry permits Saturday, closing all land, water, trails, portages, campsites, canoe routes, and wilderness entry points until Aug. 27.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is within the Superior National Forest. The area is one of the most visited federally designated wilderness regions.

This closure includes all lands, waters, trails, portages, campsite, canoe routes, and Wilderness entry points in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 

The Forest has notified permit holders and outfitters and is canceling permits today through August 27. Permit holders will be fully reimbursed. At this time, all overnight paddle, day use, and motorized day use are canceled. The Forest will reopen portions of the Wilderness and for other uses when it is safe.

We did not make this decision lightly. We understand it will have significant impacts on business and our visitors. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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5 Solid Reasons Why Solar Panels Aren’t a Good Investment Right Now

Solar is becoming more popular. An increasing number of Americans are considering making the switch but are unsure if it is suitable for them or their property. Are solar panels a good investment? At a budgetary cost of $1000 per installed solar panel. Typically the number required for a full residential installation is 20 panels. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t invest in a solar installation right now.

#5 You’re Going to Move

If you’re planning on selling your house in the next year, you might want to put off installing solar panels. Although homes with solar panels often sell for more money, you might want to wait until you’ve found a home you’ll be in. Thus in a few more years so you can truly appreciate the savings your solar panels will provide.

#4 Your Roof Is Old and Needs Repair

Solar panels help extend the life of your roof by sheltering it from harsh weather and ultraviolet rays. That is if your home or company has a properly functioning roof. If you need to make roof repairs, you should put off getting solar until those repairs are completed. If you are planning on installing a new roof, contact a professional about what is needed to incorporate a solar panel installation.

#3 Your Roof Is In Shade or Blocked By Buildings

Your solar panels need to be exposed to the sun for long periods to be worth the money. Rooftop solar may not be suited for you if your home or business’s roof is surrounded by barriers that limit the quantity of sunshine you receive. However, if you have enough land on your home that receives adequate sunlight, you might want to consider installing a ground-mounted solar system.

#2 You Lack Enough Space

Solar may not be ideal for you if your home or business has a tiny roof that prevents you from installing enough panels to generate enough energy to make a significant difference in your power cost.

#1 You Cant, Qualify for Solar Incentives and Rebates

The federal government’s solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is the most major solar incentive program accessible, although various incentives and rebate schemes are available for solar panel installations. The ITC gives property owners who install eligible solar systems a 26 percent tax credit on their installation costs, provided they do so by December 31, 2022. In 2023, the percentage reduces to 22% for businesses, 10% for firms in 2024, and zero for residential developments in 2025.

You’ll qualify for this program so long as you don’t owe back taxes, your system is a small-scale photovoltaic system—having a capacity of less than 1 megawatt (MW), and you’re placing it on a qualifying owner’s property. However, if you can’t meet those requirements, then solar might not be suitable for you.

What is the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Panel Installations?

The Homeowners Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics noted that the federal home solar energy credit is a federal income tax credit. This can be claimed for a percentage of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.  (Although other sources of renewable energy are eligible for equivalent credits, they are outside the scope of this guidance.)

Congress extended the ITC in December 2020, providing a 26 percent tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022. In addition a 22 percent tax credit for systems installed in 2023.  Unless Congress renews it, the tax credit will expire in 2024.

There is no limit to the amount that can be claimed.

Case Study A 2018 Solar Installation Pays Off

Here is a video of a homeowner who went through a solar panel installation on his home in 2018. He reports the economics of his investment nine months later. While the average payback period is typically up to ten years, some recover their investment in four years or less.

Take-A-Ways – Are Solar Panels A Good Investment?

Its only been in the last few years that wind energy is paying off as a good investment in renewable energy. It’s thought that solar energy isn’t far behind.

Before taking on an expensive investment with installing solar panels on the exterior of your home it’s worth talking to a professional installer. They will evaluate the suitability of your structure, its roof, and the general environment. Contact All Energy Solar. They will determine if your home or business is right for solar. They will review the incentives & rebates you may qualify for and provide accurate ROI forecasting.

Disclaimer: This essay is not intended to be expert tax advice or financial advice. It should also not be utilized as the sole source of information for making purchasing, investment, or tax choices. Nor when entering into any legally binding arrangements. Seek the advice of a professional.

Related Reading for Solar, Wind, and Renewable Energy

Residents Of Michigan Are Eligible For A Free College Education

The State of Michigan announced a program that will give any Michigander the chance to get a tuition-free associate degree from a Michigan community college or skills certificate. The new scholarship. Michigan Reconnect is an initiative that offers a historic tuition-free opportunity. It’s available for more than 4.1M Michiganders age 25+ to earn an associate degree or skills certificate.

In Advanced Education, Michigan Lags Below Other States.

As of 2019, only 41% of Michigan’s working-age residents had an associate degree or higher, placing Michigan at 31st in the nation. According to the Michigan Community College Association, the average age of Michigan’s 365,232 residents currently enrolled at a community college is 25.7 years old. More than 36% of the students are 25 or older.

Michiganders without a college degree or training credential often face economic challenges. For example, a 2020 analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges reports the median earnings of full-time employees with a high school degree is $40,510 annually, while those with an associate degree make $50,079 per year, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 

The Michigan Reconnect Program

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and a bipartisan group of lawmakers announced the $30 million Michigan Reconnect program in February 2021. “I’m proud of the hard work that has gone into creating this historic new opportunity and look forward to continuing bipartisan work with lawmakers toward our goal of ensuring 60% of Michiganders will have a postsecondary degree by 2030.”

For eligible people who desire to pursue an associate degree or a skills certificate at their local community college, Michigan Reconnect will cover the cost of tuition. More than 70 private training schools with 120 programs offering certificates. Many in high-demand careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, healthcare, or business management participate in the program, which offers skills scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition.

Eligibility for the Michigan Reconnect Program and How to Apply

To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, you must: 

  • Be at least 25 years old when you apply 
  • Lived in Michigan for a year or more 
  • Have a high school diploma 
  • Have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelors) 

All Michigan community colleges offer Reconnect scholarships, and they are also available to qualifying people who are already enrolled in their local community college. After other state and federal financial aid has been applied, the program pays the remaining amount of tuition and obligatory fees. In addition, reconnect will cover the in-district component of tuition for people who want to attend an out-of-district community college.

You can submit applications at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.

Mid-Public Michigan’s Community Colleges

Delta Community College – University Center (South of Bay City)

Delta Community College serves the counties of Saginaw, Midland, and Bay as part of its district. University Center, Michigan is made up of Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University. The college has 15,000 students enrolled.

Mid-Michigan Community College – Harrison

Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) is a public community college in Michigan with Harrison and Mount Pleasant campuses. The institution, founded in 1965, offers one- and two-year certificates and associate degrees in transfer, occupational, and health science programs.

Kirkland Community Collage – Grayling

Kirtland awards degree and certificate programs, including transfer associate degrees and areas of study in arts and sciences, business, professional programs, industrial trades, health science, public safety, and other programs. Evening and online courses are available.

Community Collages Just Outside Mid-Michigan Area

Lansing Community College – Lansing

Each academic year, Lansing Community College provides 230 associate degree and certificate programs and about 1,150 courses. The Higher Learning Commission has granted its accreditation. LCC is al training center for the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. Most of the classes in this center are located at the college’s West Campus. Student enrollment 18,000. 

Macomb Community College – Warren 

University transfer, early college, professional certification, job development, continuing education, and enrichment programs are among the college’s offerings. In addition, it offers bachelor’s degree completion and graduate-level programs It’s nationally famous University Center, which was founded in 1991.

Montcalm Community College – Sidney

Sidney Community College (MCC) is a public community college in Sidney, Michigan. Montcalm Community College, founded in 1965, has 2,080 students enrolled in 2005.

Mott Community College – Flint

MCC offers over 100 different Programs and hundreds of specific classes. Offering degree, college transfer, or career training, Mott Community College is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

St. Clair County Community College – Port Huron

SC4 offers certificate and associate degree programs. It also provides online classes as well as four-year transfer programs. Students can also acquire Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees without ever leaving the SC4 campus by collaborating with University Center partners. In addition to its main campus in Port Huron, SC4 maintains learning facilities in Harbor Beach, Algonac, Yale, Peck, and Croswell. SC4 services a substantial chunk of Michigan’s Thumb region through these regional centers.

The Michigan Thumb Region’s Hot Jobs in 2021

Skilled individuals with a certificate or associate degree from a community college are needed for the following jobs. These jobs are in high demand in Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, St. Clair, Lapeer, Genesee, and Shiawassee counties.

  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics – Median Hourly Wage: $ 17.08
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses – Median Hourly Wage:$ 23.23
  • Machinists – Median Hourly Wage: $16.06
  • Maintenance and Repair Workers, General – Median Hourly Wage: $15.84
  • Medical Assistants – Median Hourly Wage: $14.08
  • Nursing Assistants –  Median Hourly Wage: $14.72
  • Personal Care Aides – Median Hourly Wage: $ 11.09
  • Pharmacy Technicians – Median Hourly Wage: $ 13.60
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters – Median Hourly Wage: $ 33.86
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers – Median Hourly Wage: $16.38

Mount Pleasant Indian Boarding School Investigation

Over the four decades that the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School operated in Michigan, thousands of Native American children. Michigan’s Mount Pleasant’s Indian Boarding school is under investigation for deaths of 227 children. The search for their remains continues …

Mount Pleasant Indian Boarding School Investigation

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Number of Drownings in Great Lakes Jumps in 2021, Nonprofit Says

High water levels in the Great Lakes have created many changes. Especially on Lake Huron. Of the 2021 drownings, 15 occurred in Lake Michigan, compared to 12 a year ago. Five drownings were reported in Lake Huron this season, in addition to six in Lake Erie and six in Lake Ontario. More drownings have been reported in the Great Lakes so far in 2021 than by this time last year, prompting officials to urge swimmers to practice …

Number of Drownings in Great Lakes Jumps in 2021, Nonprofit Says

Related Reading on the Great Lakes and Lake Huron

Michigan Beach Closures & Advisories

The Michigan DEQ offers an updated listing of all beach closures and advisories. Thumbwind is offing this service in 2021. The site is publishing the most current Michigan DEQ beach closures and advisories reported on the 1224 public beaches in the state…

Michigan Beach Closures & Advisories

More Reading about Michigan Beach Closures and Other News

Governor Whitmer Declares State of Emergency in Huron, Ionia, and Washtenaw Counties

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today amended a recent state of emergency declaration to include Huron and Ionia counties due to tornado damage and Washtenaw County due to widespread flooding. 

Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County on June 26 after heavy rainfall caused severe flooding, damaging infrastructure and private property. Huron, Ionia, and Washtenaw counties were added to the emergency declaration following local damage assessments. 

“The residents of these three counties have suffered significant hardship due to the recent severe weather,” said Governor Whitmer. “Adding the counties to the declaration commits available state resources to help the communities as they rebuild and recover.”   

In Huron County, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado tore a 7-mile path through Port Austin, Michigan. The EF-2, the tornado damaged or destroyed six houses, two garages. In addition, one barn was destroyed, along with substantial tree damage along its path.

State of Emergency Declared

By declaring a state of emergency, the state of Michigan will make available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area as outlined in the Michigan Emergency Management Plan. 

The declaration authorizes the MSP/EMHSD to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already done in conjunction with local agencies.  

All three added counties declared a local state of emergency, activating local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor’s declaration, these counties and their communities have determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation. State assistance is required to protect public health, safety, and property to lessen or avert the threat of an emergency. 

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