Power Plant Hazards On Lake Michigan In The Spring

This is the time of year when we who live on Lake Michigan get to enjoy the annual alewife spawn. An alewife is a small fish that seeks out warm lake water to spawn in late April, and about every 7 years they “overspawn” and die off in a huge, dramatic, and very smelly way in May. This past week they have also clogged the water intake system at the Cook nuclear facility in Bridgman, Michigan. Oops. So the plant’s out of operation until they can unclog the water intakes. Interestingly, I sat next to an engineer on a plane a few years back who was helping Cook construct a system to keep zebra mussels out of the water intake at Cook, but that’s a different animal and an August problem.

I wonder if this unanticipated spawn volume means that this is the year for their periodic fishkill … hmmmm.