Michigan DNR Finds Botulism in East Grand Traverse Bay After Ducks Die

A toxin in East Grand Traverse Bay is killing waterfowl.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently diagnosed type C botulism in the water.

Dead mallards were collected from the shoreline and tested at the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab.

The rising water levels in Lake Michigan have spilled over onto mudflats, creating small pools of water where the toxin is picked up by waterfowl.

It’s not harmful to humans, but pet owners need to be careful.

“Folks dogs for example. So making sure that you keep your dog on a leash so they don’t mouth any dead birds that you might find on the shoreline,” says Christine Crissman, executive director of the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. “Really it is a toxin that sort of occurs in that aquatic environment so water fowl are most effected by it.”

If you see any dead or dying birds along the water you are asked to call the Traverse City DNR Office at 231-922-5280.