Clark Lake’s Endless Variety

It would be hard to find two days precisely the same at Clark Lake.  The lake offers infinite variety, and this week is evidence.  With the help of rain, today most of the lake was open.  But as you can see in Joe Pudil’s photo, there is still enough ice to create remarkable views.  This photo was taken at 6:29 pm, looking east from Eagle Point.

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Earlier today, Bill Leutz captured this view, looking west from the Eagle Point shore.

To illustrate how things have changed, take a look at these photos of ice pile ups from Monday, also captured by Bill.

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Soggy Day at the Lake

Just how soggy was it?  According to Tucker Boyers, about an inch of the wet stuff fell from the skies. That took out most of the snow, leaving behind a few forlorn patches here and there.

Tucker’s photo shows the view from Hyde Road looking toward Mud Point at 4:45 pm today.

TB 2017 02-07

And from the opposite direction, a bit earlier in the day, the view from the Eagle Point shoreline looking west.

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Sunset Scan

Just before the sunset yesterday (Friday), BJ Lyons flew Eagle Spirit One to take in current west end lake conditions.  As you will see in this video, there was substantial open water.  Last night’s cold temperatures caused the surface to freeze again.

The view follows the curve of the shoreline, starting at Eagle Point, heading south, then west.

Here are some more looks at the lake from earlier in the day, taken by Bill Leutz.  This view reveals the open water between the Eagle and Kentucky Points. 

This is a similar view, but angled more westerly.

This photo looks west from the Eagle Point shoreline.


Sun Returns to Clark Lake

The sun made its presence known at dawn, and it looks to hang around, at least for a while.  After being missing in action, this is a welcome change.  Ann Swain caught the sunrise in this photo.


A short time later, this is how the lake looked if you were facing west.

looking west 2017 02-01

Here are two more looks from Ann’s Hyde Road vantage point.


Always on the main page of this website is the Clark Lake forecast.  As of 9:34 am this morning, here’s the prediction.

A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 33. West wind around 10 mph.
A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. Wind chill values as low as zero. West northwest wind 11 to 15 mph.
Partly sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 11 to 15 mph.
Thursday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind around 9 mph.
Partly sunny, with a high near 21. West wind 7 to 11 mph.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 10.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 25.
Saturday Night
Snow showers likely, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19.
Scattered snow showers, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33.
Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21.
Partly sunny, with a high near 37.
Monday Night
Rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28.
Periods of rain and snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 43.

Another Look at Polar Plunge 2017

As participants’ memory of their plunge into 31 degree Clark Lake water begins to fade, there are more lasting reminders.  That includes the $31,343 raised for Special Olympics plus photos of those taking the plunge. You watch stop action of each plunge by clicking Saturday’s story here.

Now here are some airborne videos of the event courtesy of BJ Lyons.  This was definitely a droneafilable event.  Eagle Spirit One hovering over Eagle Point on Saturday proved it.

First is Jesse Meston, the new father of twin boys, both born on Christmas eve.  His costume evidently played into that happy scenario.  Along with Jesse is someone else well known at Clark Lake, Dan Omo, also wearing the bare-minimum.

And here’s Bill Leutz’s stop action of Dan in flight.  That splash is Jesse, now underwater.

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Eagle Spirit One zoomed in over Eagle Point to give an overview and record this plunge.

A number of uniformed groups observed proper military courtesy.  Before jumping, they saluted.

Eagle Spirit One flew closer to capture more detail.

This next group was stopped in midair via Bill Leutz.  

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There were 240 participants who collected contributions and took the plunge.

Although the video ended before the next group took their turn, this photo assures you they did line up, and made it into the lake.

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The water temperature was 31 degrees.  What was the affect of the wind on bare skin?  Significant.  Combining the air temp with the wind created a windchill factor of 16 degrees.

You can view all the photos through the website’s Saturday story by clicking here.

Thanks to those who helped put our coverage together:  Bill Leutz, BJ Lyons, and Jessie Tucker.


Ice Pile Up

As participants in the Polar Plunge took their leap, there was something else going on.  If you listened carefully, you could hear ice crunching as it pushed against several shorelines around the lake.  Bill Leutz reports more areas opening and large floes shoved by Saturday’s winds.

Floe 1

Is that for ice on the lake this winter?  According to Bill, water temperature was 31 degrees Saturday.  Cold weather in the forecast could change the thaw to a refreeze.  It’s happened before.

Floe 2

Thanks to Bill for these photos.  

Polar Plunge 2017 Results

mascot psBraving a 16-degree wind chill, 240-people jumped into the icy waters of Clark Lake this morning.  Those hardy souls raised $31,343 for the Michigan Law Enforcement Polar Plunge for Special Olympics held at Eagle Point. 

Dressed in costumes that offered little protection from the potential hypothermia-inducing exposure, individuals and teams showed their courage by jumping into the lake, one after another.  Once the plunging concluded and participants warmed up, awards were announced.  Here are those who raised the most money by category and the best costume winner:

Most Money Raised by Group – Consumers Energy
Most Money Raised by an Individual – Christina Tagget
Most Money Raised by a School – Northwest High School
Most Money Raised by a College – Adrian College
Best costume – Slums

Here are those who took the plunge–photos courtesy of Bill Leutz.  For best viewing, click the first photo.  It will enlarge, and then advance to the next by clicking the arrow on the right edge.

Here are the plungers in approximate order of their descent from the Marina dock into the crystal clear, but frigid water.

MDOC Emergency Response Team
MDOC – Jackson /Hillsdale Parole/Probation
MDOC – Team RGC – Charles Egler Reception & Guidance Center
MDOC – Team JCF- G. Robert  Cotton Correctional Facility
MDOC – Team JCS – Jackson Cooper Street Correctional Facility
Paw Pride
Carters Crew (Precious Angel)
Lifeways CMH
Consumers Energy
Western High School
Michigan Center Cardinals
Adrian College Bulldogs (56 Jumpers)
Mountie Nation – Northwest High School (In memory of Bailey)
Reflector News – Jackson High School
Baker College
Baker College – Criminal SU
R.W. Mercer
Columbia Firefighters
106.9 Home Radio
Theta Chi/Zeta Beta
Orthocicles – Allegiance Health Orthopedics
Home Town Plungers – Beach Bar
Jackson Police Department
221 Squad – Area 19
Dan Ono & Jesse Metson

These events don’t happen without a lot of planning and support of volunteers.  Here is the crew at the Marina dock.

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Advisory from Columbia Township Police

Advisory from the Columbia Township Police:

“The Columbia Township Police Department is currently handling what was initiated as an assault investigation between several students at Columbia Central High School.

“At approximately 4:20 P.M. on Thursday, January 26, 2017, Officer Justin Shadis was dispatched to the Columbia Central High School Fitness Center for a fight between several students (three high school and two junior high students). Thanks to the intervention of three Columbia School District staff members, the impact of the altercation was minimized.

“Officer Shadis arrived and obtained relevant information, and contacted the Jackson County Youth Center requesting that one of the students be lodged. This was declined. He continued his investigation and learned that one of the students had been making threats to shoot up the school and burn it to the ground.

“He again contacted the Youth Center regarding the threats by this student, and was given authorization to lodge him at the Youth Center, which has since been done.

“The report on the incident will be completed and forwarded to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review of charges related to the altercation, as well as regarding the student lodged for making the threats against the school. All the students involved are juveniles, and accordingly their information will not be released.

“Although the student lodged for making the threats against the school had no readily apparent means to carry out such a threat, these incidents are always taken seriously, and prosecution will be sought in each case where this happens. Any potential threat by this student has been mitigated by lodging him at the youth center.

“All the students involved in these incidents have been suspended from school.

Clark Lake’s January Thaw

by Bill Leutz

Today’s weather shift has resulted in some changes at the Lake. The temperature is still 35–the last gasp of the January thaw, but 15-mph winds came up from the south-southwest last night and continue today from the west. The lake is now open on both sides of the Eagle Point and, and extends along the north shore from Kentucky Point eastwards. Most of the west side of the Lake is still covered, as is the cove behind Eagle Point, but as the pictures show, some small amounts of ice have piled up at various points along the north shore. 

This photo shows the open water from the west side of Eagle Point, looking north.

01-Looking N from Eagle Point

What’s ahead?  Since the forecast for the next two weeks calls for temperatures below freezing with many nights in the low-to-mid teens, it is probable the lake will re-freeze, and we might even get back to some ice fishing in February.  For an updated and extended outlook, see the main page of this website.

This photo shows the view looking west southwest from Eagle Point, with ice still formed about 100-feet from shore.

02-Looking west from Eagle Point

Here’s a look from the east side of Eagle Point, looking east at the ice, with open water beyond it.

03-Looking East from Eagle Point

And the final photo shows a small buildup of ice against the shore west of Kentucky Point.

04-ice against N. shore

Here Comes the Sun…

And at Clark Lake this morning, it stayed visible for about ten minutes.  According to Ann Swain, “then the clouds took over again.” But for those moments, the golden glow illuminated the lake.

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Thanks to Ann for these photos of this morning’s sunrise.

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