Swimmer's itch? Report it here and expect improvement next summer
CLWA contracted with Swimmer's Itch Solutions LLC to conduct swimmer's itch control activities on Crystal Lake during summer of 2017. The public has greatly assisted the success of this program by reporting sightings of merganser broods. As a result, SIS captured a total of 14 broods (including 116 ducklings) which have been relocated to Lake Michigan or Lake Huron. By late July, all merganser broods are thought to have been removed from Crystal Lake. This reduction in the merganser poplulation is expected to result in a lower infection rate in 2018. To read their interim report, CLICK HERE.
Those still experiencing swimmer's itch cases as summer winds down should continue to report them to the SIS website by following this LINK.
The SIS program for 2017 concentrated on trapping merganser broods and moving them to other waters where the swimmer's itch parasites are not present. By reducing one of the parasite hosts, the cycle that releases the parasites into Crystal is broken and swimmer's itch will be decreased. Glen and Higgins Lakes has already had positive results with these methods. SIS has also been testing the potential for eliminating merganser nesting spots (normally holes in trees) and banding the birds to determine more about their migration patterns.
A full report on SIS's work during 2017 will be posted here in September.