Higgins Lake – 2019
SWIMMER’S ITCH CONTROL PROGRAM
Please explore our SWIMMER’S ITCH 101 tab on the top of the page if you want to learn more about swimmer’s itch.
The Current Common Merganser Count
(as of April 15, 2019)
0 Broods trapped off Higgins Lake / 0 Ducklings relocated to Lake Huron
Many of you have recently reported seeing large groups of common mergansers showing up in open water areas on Higgins Lake. Please don’t panic. These particular birds do NOT significantly contribute to spreading swimmer’s itch for the following 2 reasons:
- Most of the individuals in these groups are spring migrants, meaning they only stay around Higgins Lake for a few days before continuing their journey northward to breed on lakes at a higher latitude.
- The cold water makes it extremely unlikely that any parasites passed by these common mergansers will find and successfully infect a snail.
THREE specific ways you can continue to help…..
Early spring (from ice-out until May 31) is the time of year when common mergansers nest on Higgins Lake. If you see a single common merganser flying and landing on the same tree on more than one occasion, there’s probably a nest nearby. Click on the link above to report the location of a common merganser nest.
From June 1 – July 15 the single most important thing you can do to help us control swimmer’s itch is to report any common merganser broods you see on Higgins Lake (click the appropriate link above).
If you aren’t sure that the brood you saw are common mergansers, click on the link anyway and you’ll be shown pictures to help you determine their identity.
Because we removed all 4 common merganser broods off Higgins Lake last summer, we expect to see a significant reduction in the severity of swimmer’s itch cases again this year. Please use the link above to report any and all swimmer’s itch cases on Higgins Lake in 2018. Thank you.