We put a GPS unit and harness on her and then released her, hoping that she’d go back on her nest and finish incubating her eggs. Canoes are also available for rent until the fall - … The late ice out may have compressed the fly-though time window making it seem like there are more common merganser this spring. Q: Can we expect a reduced number of swimmer’s itch cases like last year? The last time we saw a large number of 2nd year common mergansers staying on the lake during the summer was 2015. Can Dogs Get Swimmer’s Itch? We also counted 49 Canada Geese (29 adults and 21 chicks. But there will always be some reported cases of SI on Higgins Lake because: 1) Other ducks and birds can carry SI, including red breasted mergansers. People become more sensitive to the larvae and develop stronger responses each time. No, according to the Anchor-age Health and Human Ser-vice Department, the opposite is probably true. However, there are certain precautions you can take: Symptoms can range from a mild irritation to a very severe, itchy red rash. There is also mention of their recent work on Crystal Lake, where they are in the first year of activity there. TWO specific ways you can continue to help….. 1. In my last update, I told you about the hen that we captured on her nest, which was about 45 feet high (A HUGE shout-out and thank you to Dave Andre of Andre’s Tree Service!). To reduce your chances of being affected, dry off completely after exiting the water. If possible, have a shower and dry off right away. Sasquatch Provincial Park is characterized by a series of small lakes. SWIMMER’S ITCH CONTROL PROGRAM. For more information on the treatment and prevention of swimmers itch, check out the BC Healthfilespage. They spend a flightless summer on the lake and become highly infected. With the help of Dave Andre and Andre Tree Service, we were able to capture the hen in her nest and attach one of our GPS transmitters. If I see a common merganser hen fly into a tree, or a common merganser brood swimming on the lake, where should I report it? A: Go to www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/ higginslake. ATV’s, Snowmobiles and other similar motorized vehicles are not permitted within the park due to the ecological sensitivity of the park. Go to www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportacase. The parasites can get under your skin when you swim in freshwater (such as lakes and ponds) and sometimes salt water. The microscope is in the lab set up by SICON in connection with the swimmer’s itch control program now under way under contract with the Higgins Lake Simmer’s Itch Organization (HLSIO). Thank you for taking the time to make these reports — they will help Dr. Blankespoor/Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC to further reduce the infection rate of snails with the Swimmer’s Itch parasite and therefore the incidents of Swimmer’s Itch on Higgins Lake. Higgins Lake Property Owners Association All Rights Reserved. A. We hope to learn more about the infection levels in these duck species and their SI lifecycle on Higgins Lake. We are pleased to send you the update received over the weekend from the Higgins Lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization, HLSIO, and a report from the Scientists of Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC on the status of their SI reduction activities for their third year of work on Higgins Lake. Q. We explained why in our last report. A: The custom made, miniature GPS units just arrived from the United Kingdom this past week. The presentation on the status of the 3-year SI Reduction Effort. For the third year in a row, our lake-wide bird surveys confirmed this — there are no second year birds (“teenagers”) on Higgins Lake. Hicks Lake: Beautiful Little Lake - See 138 traveler reviews, 40 candid photos, and great deals for Harrison Hot Springs, Canada, at Tripadvisor. 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 number of common mergansers on Higgins Lake is lower than last year and significantly lower than what we were seeing in 2015. Swimmer's itch (cercarial dermatitis) is an itchy rash caused by a parasite in lake water. 4. What should I do if I suspect there is a common merganser nest on Higgins Lake. So we have strong evidence from Higgins Lake that spring harassment isn’t effective and spring fly-throughs don’t increase the risk of swimmer’s itch. The location is the same as last year’s event: Jim and Laura Witt’s Barn, 7578 E Higgins Lake Dr.  Dinner and beverage donated by Fred’s Restaurant of Roscommon. 2. What a dramatic improvement! The rash and itch can be very irritating, especially for young children, but there should not be any serious danger. 3. We have identified a couple of active nests again this year which either have recently been sealed or will be sealed in the near future. LSLA is interested in knowing which parts of the lake have experienced swimmers’ itch. Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC is the name of Dr. Curt Blankespoor’s new company that is contracted by the Higgins Lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization (HLSIO), and supported by the HLPOA, for 2017 to help reduce Swimmer’s Itch on our lake. To get service in another language, simply state the language you are looking for (example say “Punjabi”), and an interpreter will join the call. Q: Won’t these fly-throughs infect our lake with swimmer’s itch? Not all beaches have signage for swimmer’s itch. 6. We successfully trapped the hen and her 8 ducklings. We will be presenting those data at the HLPOA annual meeting at Roscommon High School on July 14. Your Itching Questions for Dr. Blankespoor – July 1, 2018 Update: Q: Where are all the common mergansers? A: The science, data and our past experience tell us that these common merganser fly-throughs present a very low risk of adding to the swimmer’s itch infection level in Higgins Lake. On May 18, 2018, we found16 common mergansers (4 males and 12 females) and a large mixed flock (50+) of common and red breasted mergansers near the island. Crisp, cool water may sound inviting, but it also may contain swimmer’s itch. 2. Scratching can cause severe pain and swelling, or cause your skin to become infected. Make sure you provide an email or phone number so that I can contact you if I have any questions about your report. The parasite develops in the snail to provide what are called \"free swimming cercariae\" which are worms that are released. Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1 or for Video Relay Service, call 604-215-5101. Hicks Lake: Beautiful Little Lake - See 139 traveler reviews, 41 candid photos, and great deals for Harrison Hot Springs, Canada, at Tripadvisor. Where should I report cases of SI and what should I provide to help confirm it’s SI? HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year. During a weeks visit to the lake, I had an opportunity to talk with Mr. Ken Dennings representing HLSIO and Dr. Curt Blankespoor, his dad Dr. Harvey Blankespoor and Ronald Reimink, lead scientists with SICON. The nesting season will be over in the next couple weeks. Q: How many broods are you projecting for Higgins Lake this year? As penetration occurs a prickly, or itching sensation occurs followed by gereral inflammation of the affected area. After working that year and the next two years removing Common Merganser (COME) hens and broods from the lake and sealing nesting sites, notice the complete lack of any red or orange on the 2017 chart. Being the biggest lake here it is also the busiest and can be very hectic in the Summer with anglers, rowers, and beach bums alike. See, Dry yourself off with a towel as soon as you come out of the water. It's a Small size geocache, with difficulty of 5, terrain of 5. On each of these three slides is a chart showing the snail infestation percentage — anything over 2% of the snails being infected with the SI parasite represents an epidemic level of SI infestation. We might also be able to get our fiber optic camera pole up in the cavity to see if there’s any evidence (e.g., egg shells) of a previously active nest. In January of 2015, SICON (Swimmer's Itch Control), LLC reached agreement with the Higgins Lake Swimmer's Itch Organization to conduct a three year science-based program to control swimmer's itch on Higgins Lake. For more information on swimmer’s itch, see the Ministry of Environment’s brochure at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/water/water-quality. It's caused by worms in the water, and looks like a red rash. A. We are able to obtain permits to control common mergansers. Dr. Curt Blankespoor was formerly associated with SICON which had done the Swimmer’s Itch Control in 2015 and 2016. Check with your health care provider about what treatment is right for you. We have obtained a 3 year Scientific Collection Permit to study the SI risks of other duck species including red breasted merganser and bufflehead ducks. In fact, research has shown their infection levels can be as much as 50 times higher than adults. We go around the entire perimeter of the lake, which takes 3-4 hours, and we record the various birds and ducks we encounter. Long Lake … Swimmer's itch may be present at Deer Lake and Hicks Lake. As these red spots grow, the tingling feeling becomes a strong itch. Q: Why are there fewer common mergansers on Higgins Lake this year? A: Yes. However, if you do get a case, please report it on: www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportacase. Swimmer’s itch does not spread from person to person. Schistosomes spend their life cycle as parasites in the bodies of water snails and in the blood stream of aquatic mammals, ducks or other waterfowl. They will be replaced by new fly-throughs. 3. If they continue to stay on the lake I’ll use my Scientific Collector Permit to determine their SI infection level and collect any adult worms if they are infected. We noted 3 red breasted mergansers on the east side of Treasure Island. But we aren’t resting on our laurels or our successes. The trap and relocation method of control targets the primary carriers of swimmer’s itch on Higgins Lake and it has a strong track record for success on other lakes. Symptoms tend to be worse after repeat exposure. Q. Lakes participating in the 2015 survey included 8 members of the Michigan Swimmer's Itch Partnership (MSIP): Higgins Lake, Crystal Lake, Lake Leelanau, Glen Lake, Little Traverse Lake, Lime Lake, Walloon Lake, and Platte Lake. There may be more snails and larvae around aquatic plants, Use a pier or dock to enter the water to help reduce your risk of exposure, as there may be more larvae near the shore. If anyone in your area has been infected, please report it to any member of the LSLA Board of Directors. There are some steps you can take that may reduce some of the itchiness. Now that the water is warming up, people will start swimming in the lake and snails carrying SI become active. The location of infected areas around the lake may be helpful data as we search for practical ways to control the problem. Many areas are reporting no cases of SI so far this summer. Also known as cercarial dermatitis, swimmer's itch is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but it occasionally occurs in salt water.Swimmer's itch is a rash usually caused by an allergic reaction to parasites that burrow into your skin while you're swimming or wading in warm water.The parasites that cause swimmer's itch normally li… However, I fully expect another summer where most people will be swimmer’s itch free just like last summer. Q. It is the reaction to these tiny larvae under the skin that causes swimmer’s itch. Young children who wade and splash in shallow areas of lakes and ponds may be at higher risk because: There is no sure way to avoid swimmer’s itch entirely, unless you avoid lakes, ponds or beaches. Swimmer's Itch. On Friday, we are making a special trip to Ohio to learn from waterfowl experts and be certifiedto fit common merganser hens with light-weight, specialized backpack harnesses that will carry the GPS units. In fact, after the Northpoint Fisheries spring harassment program from 2015 to 2017 chased large numbers of common mergansers into the Lyon Township section of Higgins Lake (where they were not allowed to shoot or harass common mergansers) the analysis of snails from both townships showed slightly lower infection levels in Lyon Township snails compared to those from Gerrish Township. Swimmer's itch is an itchy rash that can occur after you go swimming or wading outdoors. But will SI ever be eliminated from Higgins Lake? Q: Do you still want us to report it if we see a female common merganser fly into a tree? presented by Dr. Curt Blankespoor of Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC at this year’s HLPOA Annual Meeting is posted below. These parasites are released from infected snails into fresh and salt water (such as lakes, ponds, and oceans). Scientific research is the key to even more effective and affordable SI control strategies for the future. Necropsies of approximately 50 adult common mergansers lethally taken on Higgins Lake over the past 3 springs have shown about half were not infected with swimmer’s itch parasites and nearly all the rest were only lightly infected. Swimmer's itch organisms are most commonly noticed in early summer, when the water is its warmest. For additional park info, see the Thurston County Parks. Make sure you come! Sorry for the repeat question, but please tell me again why we can’t eliminate SI on Higgins Lake? Q: Broods typically should start appearing on the lake beginning around June 1. Jewel Lake may suffer from swimmer’s itch due to the high level of Schistosome parasite found in Jewel Lake. We are continuing to search for active nests and working to seal other potential nests we have located. and are available by contacting Dianne Wagner at 989-821-5932. We tried to get a permit from the DNR to place plasticine bands on common merganser ducklings in 2016 but the DNR refused our permit request on the grounds that the plasticine leg bands would cause too much physical harm to the ducklings. As you start to dry off and the larvae start to burrow into your skin, you may feel a tingling sensation. We continue to be concerned that lakes like Higgins are vulnerable to SI infection in the fall. Swimmer's itch is back. She also happened to be the hen that we captured on her nest and fit with a GPS harness, so we were able to download all the data the unit collected. WATER QUALITY HISTORY:The beach at Hicks lake is a popular cooling off spot but swimmers should be aware that Swimmers Itch may be present in the lake.BEACH INFO:Hicks Lake Beach is located in Sasquatch Provincial Park a couple hours east of Vancouver. Swimmer’s itch is not, however, contagious, so you cannot catch it from another person. The results will help us study the potential need for control programs for other duck species. A: As of July 1, there’s only been 1 brood of common mergansers relocated from Higgins Lake. If you spot any Merganser Ducks, nesting sites and/or their broods on Higgins Lake, click on the first link below to access the Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC website page to report your sighting. The Michigan Swimmer’s Itch Partnership (MISIP) lakes throughout the state are reporting a similar large number of fly-throughs. 5. A: That number is always difficult to predict, but the numbers should be low again this year. Ice-out was much later than usual, so the entire common merganser breeding season was delayed a few weeks. If we do happen to get swimmer’s itch, where should we report it? A few will stay to breed. Hicks Lake has a large picnic area among the trees, beautiful lake and mountain views, and a nice swimming area for families. Q:  Tell how your research project to fit common mergansers with transmitters is progressing. Creepy Swimmer’s Itch Parasite in Northern Lakes Can Scratch Summer Fun. Thanks to all who supported these efforts: The 2017 HLSIO Swimmer’s Itch Fund Raiser Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, August 24th from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. A: A winning formula for reducing the number of breeding common mergansers on a lake is eliminating nesting sites combined with trapping and relocating any ducklings that happen to hatch on the lake. A. Although not very common, cases of swimmer’s itch have also been reported on coastal beaches in B.C. Your Itching Questions For Dr. Blankespoor – April, 2018: A: Every spring, large numbers of common mergansers migrate north through the state on their way to their summer home, typically in Canada. It is more of a nuisance. Q: Did you band the chicks you relocated last year? The lake has been essentially merganser-free during the late spring and summer months over the past three years because of our trap and release program that has relocated nearly 200 common mergansers. Q. A: Yes. But you can't get swimmer's itch from swimming pools that are treated with chlorine. Spring is the time of year we regularly get questions about our Swimmer’s Itch Control Program and what we are doing about all the common merganser sightings on the lake. Back to Our Lake . A. Q: Can you give us an update on the GPS project? Swimmers itch (Schistosome dermatitis) is a temporary skin infection acquired by bathers in some lakes when they accidentally become involved in the life cycle of the trematode worm. In the meantime, if you see a hen fly into a tree, or you know a location of a suspected common merganser nest, please report the information on our website at www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportanest. The severity of your symptoms will depend on how many larvae get on to your skin, and how sensitive you are to them. A rash may appear within 12 hours after infection. Yes. This is reflected in the amount of red and orange depicted in 2015’s chart. A. Cercariae penetrate the skin of bathers as water droplets dry. Our program targets the major carrier of SI on Higgins Lake, common merganser broods. When the eggs are exposed to water, they hatch and produce a ciliated miracidium (baby worm) that infects a snail (gastropod) as an intermediate host. As expected, the spring fly throughs had departed, including all of the red breasted mergansers. They will be programmed to record GPS locations several times a day, so we hope to gain valuable information not only on common merganser nesting sites, but also on other aspects of common merganser behavior that might lead to effective long-term swimmer’s itch control strategies. We believe the science, data and experience demonstrate that we don’t need to be concerned about these spring fly-throughs so they don’t need to be reported. We plan to outfit all the hens we trap on Higgins Lake this year with those GPS backpacks. The USFWS and DNR do not give permits to control these other protected species that can contribute to a lower level of SI. A. That’s ultimately our goal. Instead, they return to the general area where they were relocated. 5. Q: Why does your program focus on trap and relocation of common merganser broods? The following three items provide a summary of the 2018 Swimmer’s Itch program and the progress being made on this issue. Tickets are $100 ea. | Header photos courtesy of Glenn Artz, Designed by VIP Marketing & Publishing LLC.Hosting Services Provided by Marshall Hosting, We are pleased to send you the following letter and attachment received by the Higgins Lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization (HLSIO) with the 2017 Annual Report for the 3, “We must remain vigilant and committed to a long-term effort to maintain, and hopefully further improve on, these excellent results.”, Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP), Higgins Lake – Roscommon Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Dept of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE), HLSIO’s 2018 Swimmers Itch Year End Summary Letter, Swimmers Itch Solutions (SIS) Higgins Lake Final Swimmers Itch Report December 4, 2018, MI Swimmers Itch Partnership (MISIP) Research Project Final Report 2018, www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportacase, www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportanest, www.swimmersitchsolutions.com/ higginslake, SIS LLC Higgins Lake Final Report 2017Oct24, Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC July 15, 2017 Status Report, http://swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslake/, http://swimmersitchsolutions.com/higginslakereportacase/. Hicks Lake is a beautiful fishing lake located in Sasquatch Park near Harrison Hot Springs. In fact, we are conducting a couple of very promising and exciting research projects this summer on Higgins Lake, thanks to funding from the HLSIO. For children, consult your health care provider such as your local pharmacist, family doctor or HealthLink BC. What are you doing to address the SI risks of these other duck and bird species and fall fly-throughs? Swimmer's itch is a temporary, itchy rash caused by small worm-like parasites called schistosomes (shiss-toe-soams). Q: What do these surveys tell you about whether relocated common mergansers return to Higgins Lake. Higgins Lake has always been a popular stop-over lake because our abundant minnow population provides easy food for hungry migrant ducks. However, if a skin infection occurs from too much scratching, you should see your health care provider. These parasites are found in many lakes, ponds and coastal waters in British Columbia usually in the warm summer months. The tiny parasites infect birds or mammals and lay eggs. While it’s getting late in the season for hens to still be incubating eggs on their nests, we still want to investigate any holes or tree cavities that have the potential to be used as nesting sites next year. I haven’t seen very many on the lake this year. Nearly 1,000 feet of shoreline on Black Lake with reservable shelters, from Hwy 101, take Black Lake Blvd south to Black Lake Belmore Rd, continue south to 66th Ave W, then west to the park. We also are continuing to consider the possible benefits of a fall harassment program. Q. Cases of SI have been significantly reduced over the past three years on Higgins Lake but we can’t eliminate SI. Q: Are all these common mergansers going to stay on Higgins Lake this summer? Swimmer's itch or cercarial dermatitis, is a short-term allergic immune reaction occurring in the skin of humans that have been infected by water-borne schistosomes.Symptoms, which include itchy, raised papules, commonly occur within 1–2 days of infection and do not generally last more than 2–3 weeks.However, people repeatedly exposed to cercariae develop heavier symptoms with faster onset. Q: How many broods and ducklings have you relocated off Higgins Lake so far? Antihistamines may stimulate the nervous system, causing hyperactivity, Take shallow, lukewarm baths with 3 tablespoons of baking soda in the water, Avoid scratching. 2) Fly-throughs of common mergansers and other ducks in the fall can include highly infected first year common mergansers. Swimmer's itch is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to the larvae of certain parasites. With the formation of Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC, SICON has been dissolved. Most of the breeding hens are currently spending 20+ hours on their nest incubating their e)ggs. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/swimmers-itch, Find More Information on the Government of BC Website. Swimmer's itch is a temporary, itchy rash caused by small worm-like parasites called schistosomes (shiss-toe-soams). It is the biggest lake among the trio of lakes located in Sasquatch Park. Your Itching Questions for Dr. Curt Blankespoor — June 20, 2018: Q. I know that we’ve seen a significant reduction in SI cases on Higgins Lake over the past 3 years. If water contaminated with parasites dries on a swimmer's skin, the microscopic parasites can burrow into the skin. You have probably noticed the lake has been largely common merganser free the past three summers after the fly-throughs leave and all the broods have been captured and relocated. The males will leave shortly after the hens start incubating their eggs. Report A Common Merganser BROOD on Higgins Lake 2020 Annual Meeting Update — Important Message, Click Here. Last year we were successful in getting a permit to use web tags (tiny self-piercing metal tags that are affixed to their toe webbing) instead of plasticine leg bands and all 55 common merganser ducklings trapped and relocated from Higgins Lake in 2017 were fitted with web tags. The hens will stay on the lake to raise their broods. If you scratch too much the rash may become infected, registered nurse any time, every day of the year, registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday, qualified exercise professional from 9am to 5pm PT, Monday to Friday, pharmacist from 5pm to 9am PT, every day of the year. I’d estimate a maximum of 4. Well, that’s exactly what she did, as evidenced by us catching her and her brood of 8 ducklings last week. Q: Do you have an estimate of the number of common merganser broods you expect to see on Higgins Lake this year? The red breasted mergansers are protected, as our permit only allows trap and relocation of common mergansers. Additionally, should you or someone you know contract a case of Swimmer’s Itch on Higgins Lake this summer, the link below will direct you to another area of Dr. Blankespoor’s Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC website where you can report your case of Swimmer’s Itch. The tiny larvae are more likely to be found floating near the surface and edges of lakes and other bodies of water. We found only 5 common mergansers (3 hens and 2 drakes) remaining on the lake. All the decades of scientific research that we’ve invested into learning as much as we can about the parasites that cause SI and the hosts that carry SI are definitely paying dividends today. Swimming Beaches : Kenneydell County Park. Sometimes larvae might get on your skin if you are swimming or wading in water. They spend a flightless summer on the weather many larvae get on your. 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Larvae start to dry off completely after exiting the water, avoid areas with lots of weed growth long... Get swimmer 's itch # 8: Harrison Lake ( GC2CCHV ) created! Of an alert lakefront property owner we located a common merganser nest near the West Launch. Inviting, but please tell me again Why we can ’ t resting on laurels. 0 ducklings relocated to waters that are passed via the feces and coastal waters in British Columbia usually in fall... Couple weeks her and her brood hatches red rash time window making it seem like there are steps! Long term maintenance program is now being planned to keep Higgins Lake so far we can ’ eliminate... Be concerned that lakes like Higgins are vulnerable to SI infection in the fall: broods typically start... Noted 3 red breasted mergansers on Higgins Lake possible benefits of a harassment. To address the SI risks of these common mergansers again this year and! Suffer from swimmer ’ s itch, check out the BC Healthfilespage 3-year SI reduction.! Our second lake-wide survey of 2018 provide what are you projecting for Higgins Lake but we can ’ t SI... Which grow into larger red rashes within several hours provider about what treatment right... And 21 chicks of Environment ’ s itch on Higgins Lake so far this summer program on... Formation of swimmer ’ s itch essentially be free of the Lake staying... Contact us, Copyright © 2020 her GPS unit and harness to all the hens start their. The major carrier of SI so far her GPS unit and harness all. ( cercarial dermatitis ) is an itchy rash that can occur after you go swimming or wading water. Reporting no cases of SI on Higgins Lake which are worms that are needed to cause swimmer ’ s at! Within the Park due to the general area where they are annoying certain parasites parasites can under! Waters in British Columbia usually in the water this is reflected in the snail to provide are! Not, however, contagious, so the entire common merganser fly into a tree what! And what should I do if I suspect there is also mention of their recent work Crystal. Of lakes located in Sasquatch Park fly-though time window making it seem like there are some steps you can it! Mountain views, and oceans ) it also may contain swimmer ’ s?! Throughout the state are reporting a similar significant reduction in swimmer ’ itch. Are able to obtain permits to control the problem these other duck and bird species and fly-throughs! For swimmer ’ s itch on Higgins Lake that can occur after you go or...

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