Monday, September 24, 2012

Turtle results

The trapping on the pond by #17 green is almost done. We were able to relocate 5 painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 4 large snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina.) to the pond by #8 green.

Here are some pictures and videos.

David Mifsud, City of Ann Arbor herpetologist, taking one of the snapping turtles out of the transportation tub.

This guy was estimated to be up to 70 years old.

This smaller female was thought to be 40-50 years old.

Just to clear up some things about this project. This will be a joint undertaking between the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commision, The City of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The main point of the project is not enhancement of the golf course, although that will be a secondary benefit, but to reduce phosphorus and sediment flowing into the Huron River and to minimize stream fluctuations after large rain events. 

Funding for the project will come from the City of Ann Arbor Stormwater maintenance fund, with up to 50% loan forgiveness from the State of Michigan because of environmental improvements to the storm drain (Traver Creek.) 

The permit from the MDEQ contains the following "Prior to hibernation, turtles shall be trapped from the north and south detention basins and be relocated to undisturbed sites by a qualified herpetologist."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Turtle Relocation

As part of the Traver Creek Restoration Project through the City of Ann Arbor owned Leslie Park Golf Course, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna will be relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek in the Golf Course.  This week, barrier fencing was installed around the pond on hole number 8 at the LPGC to receive and retain relocated animals before the construction starts.

The City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation's (NAP) staff Herpetologist, David Mifsud, will coordinate the relocation efforts with assistance from NAP staff and volunteers. The hope is that we will be able to relocate the majority of the animals from the ponds well within the time needed for them to successfully overwinter in the relocated area.  NAP will document all collected animals and monitor the receiver area(s) in subsequent years to qualitatively assess the results of the relocation.

The turtles will be live trapped with hoop traps baited with sardines. There will be six of each of three different size traps for a total of 18 traps. Here are some pictures of the traps.

The smallest trap. Notice the yellow, foam swim toy (noodle) which will help keep the trap afloat.

Here is the largest size trap.

Putting the traps out.

The traps need to be staked out so they don't float away.

These nets will help direct turtles into the traps. They hit the net and follow it until they get to the trap.

Here is the set up with one of the large nets.

Another perspective of the traps in the water.

This is the pond on #8 where the turtles and other animals will be relocated.

The silt fence will keep the animals from trying to move back to the pond where we are trapping them.

If you have interest in helping with this project please contact Tina Roselle, the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation at or call NAP at (734) 794-6627. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August 2012 Monthly Weather Summary

This summary is a couple of days late, due to the Labor Day weekend and aerification of greens that was completed Tuesday and Wednesday. The practice green was done last week and after 7 days, the holes have almost completely healed. This is great news and I am hopeful that the rest of the greens will have as speedy of a recovery. This is the advantage of aerifying the greens now instead of late October. Later in the fall, the holes may not totally heal and you run the risk of having the aerification holes until the following spring. In a couple of weeks, golfers will be asking when we are going to aerify, since they will (hopefully) not be able to tell that we have already done them.

The high temperature for August was 92.7 degrees Fahrenheit (August 3rd) and the low was 47.3 (Aug 18th.) Compare that with June (98.3 degrees) and July (100.3.) and you can see that the temperatures are starting to come down. There were 3 days with high temperatures above 90.0 degrees. June had 5 and July had 10. The average temperature for the month was 70.1 degrees.

We also got some much needed rain in August with a total rainfall for the moth of 2.81 inches. The maximum rain was 1.18 inches on the 10th. We had 9 days of at least a trace of rain and 4 days where over a tenth of an inch fell. The yearly total rainfall at Leslie Park is 13.14 inches.

The highest wind speed recorded was 33.0 mph on August 4th. The average wind speed was just 1.7 mph.