On The Lake -- Looking Back


Sixteen Months on Lake Mitchell

After a long winter, spring is eagerly awaited. I have noted  reliable indicators, mainly birds, of the coming of spring.   

 

2020 

January – Mild month, daytime highs often 30s; only 1 (-3) sub-zero AM.

February –  Warmer than normal.  

March 4 – Canada geese return to Clam River.

March 7 -Red winged blackbirds return to swamps

March 18 – Merganser ducks in Canal 

March 22 - 1st robin in yard

March 23 – Grackles arrive

March 30 – Lake Mitchell is ice-free. Lake Cadillac opened 3/29.

April 1 -  Swamp wakes up – peepers, chorus and wood frogs sing.

April 2  - Sandhill cranes arrive  

April 6 – Trumpeter swans in Little Cove

April 12 – Loons arrive in Lake Mitchell

May 10 – Orioles appear at feeder

May 16 - 1st Hummingbird

May 17-18 – High winds and 3 inches of rain.

June 1 -  Survey of lake found 28 acres of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM)

June 2 – Mayfly hatch. Much smaller than years ago. But still a return. 

June 2 - 1st 90 degree day.

June 9 – 28 acres treated and snapping turtles laying eggs.

June  20 – Fireflies light up the night. 

June 26- July 12 - 16 days of 80+ degree high temps. 8 days reached 90  

July 7 – Retreatment of locations still having nuisance weeds or milfoil

July 19 – Hard Rain.  2 ¼ inches in1 ¼ hours.

July 20  - Grackles and red winged blackbirds depart 

August 6 – Survey of lake found 36 acres of EWM

August 10 – 33 acres treated

August 20 – 6 acres treated

Hot summer – numerous  80 to 90 days.

September 27- October 15 – Peak fall  colors.

November 1  - First light covering of snow.

November 6-10  - Record heat. Highs in the 70s.

December 15 – Lake Mitchell freezes.

 

2021

January  - Temp averages 4.5 degrees warmer. Much less snow. 

November, December 2020 and January 2021 all average 4 ½   to 5 ½   degrees warmer than normal. 

February 5 – Blustery  8 inches of fresh snow.

February 6 – 16  Into the deep freeze. Lows around 0. Highs low teens.

February 17 Coldest temp. since March , 2015.... -16

February averages 2 degrees colder than normal.

Winter snowfall was below average.

March 8 -  Red winged blackbirds return

March 9 – Canada geese over arrive.

March 18 – Robins return

March 19 - Sandhill cranes fly over

March 20 – Trumpeter swans in Big Cove. 

March 24 – Lake Mitchell is 90% open.  

March 26 -Blue heron in Little Cove

March  weather - after cold start averaged 5 degrees above normal.

Overall not a snowy winter – Lake levels are low

April  - much warmer than average


2019 On The Lake

Looking back, 16 months on Lake Mitchell – January 2019-April 2020 

 

2019 

January 19 – 31 – COLD! Sub-zero nights, daytime highs in the teens.    

January 28-30 – Polar Vortex extreme cold and wind. No mail delivery  1/30. State declares cold emergency.  Nightly lows -17 & -19.

February 24 – Blizzard – Many roads closed

This February was one of snowiest on record. 

March 10 - 24'' of snow on ground. 

March 14 -Canada geese and red winged blackbirds return.

Cadillac Schools closed for record 17 days this winter Usually about 5.

April 8  – Sandhill cranes appear along lake

April 12 – Ice is out on lake Mitchell

April 14 – 2 inches of snow falls. Spring struggles to arrive   

April 16  - Wood frogs and peepers sing from the swamp lands

April 22 – First blue heron appears on lake

June 3 – Franke South Cove treated for nuisance weeds

June 4 – First noticeable hatch of mayflies in 25 years

June 14-15 – Four pelicans stopover in Big and Little Cove

June 18 - Main Lake/ Little/Big Cove treated for milfoil

August 18 -  Little Cove, Franke North, and main lake treated

September – 7 ½ inches of rain, double the average.

October 11-17 – Peak color in Cadillac area

October 31 – 2 inches of snow falls. Early snow ends cold autumn. 

November 13 – Lake Mitchell freezes 

November 27 – Lake reopens, I go kayaking

November's avg. temp 31;  5 degrees colder than avg. since 2000 

 

2020

December 1 – 6'' of snow falls/ lakes refreeze

December 3 – Cross country skiing begins on forest trails  

January avg. temp was 27; 8 degrees warmer than 20 yr avg.

February 9 – 6 inches of snow 

  


2018 On The Lake

Looking back,16 months on Lake Mitchell –Jan. 2018 – Apr. 2019

 

 2018

January 5 & 6  Low temperatures of  -23 and -28.

February 18  - spring warmup – no snow and daytime highs not below freezing  until Mach 6

February 26- Canada geese return, a sign of spring. 

February 27 – Redwinged blackbirds return.

March 26 – Ice goes off Lake Mitchell

April 8  - Record low temperature  -3 degrees, Lakes refreeze for 24 hours.

April 13- 17  - Stormy period – rain then 4-6” of snow.

April 20 – Lake Cadillac refreezes for one day.

April  21 – Spring arrives! 50 and 60 degree temps.

May 24-30 – Hot days - highs range from 85-90.

June 19 -   60.8 acres Eurasian watermilfoil treated in Main Lake/Big Cove

June 20 -   Little and Frankes Coves treated.

July 18 -     Algae harvested in Torenta Canal

June-July  - Lots of hot days. Occasionally 90+ degrees.

August 27 – Big windstorm gusts to 60 mph. Lake Mitchell loses power for 25 hours. Major damage south of M55.

October – Generally a  cold rainy month.

October 6-10  Peak fall color

October 20 - 1st ground cover of snow.

November 18 – Mitchell nearly completely frozen.

November 18 - Caberfae has 2nd earliest opening on record.   

December 12 – Lake is officially frozen.

Mid- Dec. – Jan. 15 -Winter is no-show. No XC skiing/snowmobiling.

 

2019 

January 19 – 31 – COLD!  

January 28-30 – Polar Vortex extreme cold and wind. No mail delivery  1/30. State declares cold emergency.  Nightly lows -17 & -19.

February 24 – Blizzard – Many roads closed

This February was one of snowiest on record. 

March 10 - 24'' of snow on ground. 

March 14 -Canada geese and red winged blackbirds return.

Cadillac Schools closed for 17 days this winter. A  record. Usually about 5.

 


Looking back, 16 months on Lake Mitchell -- January 2017 – April 2018

 

2017

January -February – Warmer than typical winter, very little snowfall in February

February 24 – Ice storm causes 12 hr power outage for much of  Lake Mitchell area.

March 7-8 – High winds, gusts to 45 mph create some power outages. 

March 14 – Last measurable snowfall – ½ inch

March 28 – Ice is off the lake

April 2 – Frog chorus begins, peepers and wood frogs sing out

May 19 – Coves are surveyed

May 25 – Little Cove is treated

May 30 -  Main lake is surveyed

May 31 – Pelican spends day on the lake

June 8 – Main Lake, Franke Coves, Torenta Canal, and Big Cove treated

September 21-26  - Heat records for six days. Highs 87 to 91. 24-27 degrees above normal

October 9 - 19 – Fall colors peak 

October 22-25 – 6 inches of rain in 70 hours

October 31 – First measurable snow – ½ inch

December 5 -High winds – power outages

December 18 – Lake Mitchell freezes

December 25 to January 7 Daytime highs in teens. Lows below zero to single digits.

 

 

2018

January 5 & 6  Low temperatures of  -23 and -28.

February 18  - spring warmup – no snow and daytime highs not below  freezing  until Mach 6

February 26 Canada geese return, a sign of spring. 

March 26 – Ice goes off Lake Mitchell

March 31- April 6  - Three storms drop 10 inches of snow.

April 8  - Record low temperature  -3 degrees, Lakes refreeze for 24 hours.

April 14  - April temperatures averages 10 to16 degrees below normal.

As newsletter goes to press (April 14) spring is still a no-show.  

 

 

On the Lake Archives -- Highlights from previous years...Click Here