NMC Students Share Study Results of Elk Lake

“I had heard that there was nobody better equipped with sophisticated sonar and other equipment to probe the depths and see, give us a better idea of what’s down there,” says Bob Campbell, President of the Elk Skegemog Lakes Association.

This summer students from Northwestern Michigan College spent time on Elk Lake, mapping it and looking into its habitat.

“We were taking a class as part of our bachelors degree in marine technology. And we were looking at mapping and surveying area of Elk Lake for evidence of habitat,” says Director of the program Hans VanSumeren.

NmcStudents were able to use industry-standard equipment, allowing them to better prepare for their careers after graduation.

Student Nolan Tomandl commented “It was really really fun because it was very hands on. Everybody in the 440 class was out on a boat using the side scan sonar and other boat using a multi beam sonar.”

Being able to see what’s going on under the surface can tell these marine technology and freshwater studies students a lot about what’s going on with the lake.

“We were able to locate areas where there was some change in the bottom, the types of the bottom, the substrate we call it. And then also some areas where there were some steep drop offs,” said VanSumeren.

These drop offs indicate potential for a spawning habitat for trout.

“I know a lot of people there enjoy fishing lake trout and they are also predatory fish. They’re going to be eating smaller fish, keeping them in control, full circle of life,” added Tomandl.