Apr 26-19

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2019: April: Apr 26-19
Stampsand Choking Traverse River    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Barbara Bouwkamp
Birch Trees on Superior's Shore    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Barbara Bouwkamp
Tobacco River Flowing into Superior    ...click to play video
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Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, April 26, 2019 - 10:47 pm:

This is the time of year when folks hop in the car and head to the shores of Lake Superior to see what the Big Lake is doing. Barbara Bouwkamp did just that, this past weekend, stopping to check out what the gray sands (stampsands) had done over the winter at Big Traverse Bay. You can see in her first photo, that itís just about choking off the entrance/exit to the Traverse River once again, leaving just a narrow opening for boats to pass through. This not only hampers fishermen from getting in and out onto the Big Lake, but if it goes across to the opposite iron much futher, it could cause some flooding for the camps along the river when thereís no outlet for the water to flow into Lake Superior. Hopefully this will get dredged out again this year to open it up wider again.

Barbara also snapped a scenic shot along the way to the mouth of the Tobacco River just past the town of Gay. White birch trees are one of my favorites and throw in Lady Superior as a backdrop, well it just doesnít get much better than that.

The Tobacco River was really stirred up and rapidly running out to join Lake Superior when Barbara stopped there and luckily she made a video so we all get to see the sights and sounds of the roaring water.

By D. A. (Midwested) on Friday, April 26, 2019 - 11:34 pm:


The shifting Gay stamp sands are indeed an ongoing disaster for the local community but it is also a big disaster for the Lake Superior Lake Trout and Whitefish population. I recently learned that an estimated 90% of the original stamp sands have already washed into the Lake. This has been slowly covering up an underground conglomerate/cobble reef called Buffalo Reef. This is the spawning grounds for an estimated 25% of all of Lake Superior for these species. No one really knows what's going to happen.

Saving Buffalo Reef

As far as the dredging operations go, I found this November 2018 article showing the federal government via the EPA and Corps of Engineers allocated almost $1,000,000 for more dredging.

Gay Stamp Sands Dredging

I think continued dredging (while certainly needed) is a Band-Aid for a much larger issue. If this were in a larger population area with more political clout I think a better cleanup of the entire area would be on the table, much like so called superfund sites. But maybe, just like Torch Lake, the environmental damage is so great, no one wants to actually talk about it on the grand scale needed.

By Uncle Chuck (Unclechuck) on Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 12:00 am:

D.A., I too have read about Buffalo Reef, Traverse River and shoreline. This Clean up should take place for the preservation of the Great Lakes! Washington, can you hear the U.P. calling?

Terrific video, reminds me of our smelt dipping days while at NMU, around this time of year! Those were great times and memories!!

By john mich (Johnofmi) on Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 12:54 am:

here is a good map of the problem area: DNR Map

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