Higgins Lake Swimmer's Itch Organization (HLSIO) 

June 9, 2016

HLSIO is requesting you supply information to Swimmer’s Itch Control (SICON) throughout the summer. SICON is compiling data specifically for Higgins Lake to be processed through their website.

(It is important that you report at the SICON site even if you choose to also report SI cases to Gerrish Township.)  

PLEASE use the link:        http://www.swimmersitchcontrol.com/

Go to: Quick Links

Go to:   Find Your Lake (Higgins Lake)     Higgins Lake


1.            Report a Common Merganser brood 

2.            Report a Common Merganser sighting 

3.            Report a case of swimmer’s itch

Additional Volunteers Needed:

To assist Dr. Tom Raffel and his Oakland University team by spending one hour daily collecting Higgins Lake water samples during July specifically from:  

1.    The W. Pine Road road end between Woodlawn and Supreme View.

2.    The Gerrish Township Park between the Pinewoods Camp and Sovereign Park.

You will be trained on June 23 by Dr. Raffel and his team.  This research project is sponsored by HLSIO and is part of a 15 lake study in northern Michigan using DNA analysis of SI parasites.

Please contact Jim Vondale at jvondale57@gmail.com with questions or to volunteer.  Getting volunteer partners on your own or with our assistance to help with the sample collection for the month is encouraged.

A Reminder: 

SICON will be holding open houses each Monday in June from 6 – 8:00 p.m. with the exception of June 20th which has been moved to Wednesday June 22nd. They will also be open each Monday in July from 6-8:00 p.m.

The Dragonfly House, 104 Webster Boulevard

Located off W. Higgins Lake Road at W. Pine Road (at the Gerrish Fire Hall corner) to Webster.

The Lyon Township Board Supports SICON


See Below for additional Swimmers Itch Information



A 4th of July Parade is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, 2016.


Anyone interested in participating in the parade should contact the

township office at 989-821-9694

Line up for the parade is set for 9:00 a.m.

The parade will start at West Higgins Lake Blvd. 

near the Phoenix Park parking lot 

& will be ending at the Fire Hall. 

The parade is slated to begin at 10:00 am. 

Hope to see you there!


Swimmer's Itch News

There is a swimmer's itch meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at the Roscommon High School auditorium. The meeting is open to the public at 12:30 and there will be a number of experts offering swimmer's itch information and answering questions

Swimmer’s Itch Update June 2016

SICON, a team of Swimmer’s Itch experts hired by the Higgins Lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization (HLSIO) has begun its second year of a three year program to control the incidence of Swimmer’s Itch.  

In the first year of operation, SICON examined in excess of 10,000 snails and determined that two species were present in Higgins Lake that produced the infectious cercariae parasite. The predominant one being the Stagnicola emarginata and that the infection rate lake-wide in 2015 was slightly in excess of 3% or, measurably higher than in other lakes tested by SICON.  Additionally, clinical examination of the feces samples from resident Canada geese, Mallard ducks and Common Merganser ducks revealed that only the Common Mergansers are contributing to swimmer’s itch at Higgins Lake.  In other words, it takes the Common Merganser as the definitive avian host and the Stagnicola snail as the intermediate host to complete the parasite’s life cycle that can cause cercarial dermatitis when coming in contact with susceptible humans.

The science-based SI control program supported by the Lyon Township Board, other Higgins Lake organizations and hundreds of property owners employs four qualified biologists and is being conducted from the Dragonfly Cottage located in the South basin, at 104 Webster Blvd.  The public is invited on Monday evenings from 6 to 8:00 pm during the months of June and July to stop and meet with SICON’s professionals . . . the leading experts on swimmer’s itch in the country.  They will be available to respond to questions, provide updates on this year’s control progress and offer an opportunity in their lab to view the shedding of thousands of parasites by a single Stagnicola snail found in Higgins Lake.

Representatives from the Higgins lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization and SICON are available to meet with lake associations/organizations to further explain our three year comprehensive science-based control program to significantly reduce swimmer’s itch on Higgins Lake. A meeting in June or July can be arranged by calling Ken Dennings, Vice President of the HLSIO at 989-821-6711.

SICON has a website (swimmersitchcontrol.com) and we encourage people to report cases of swimmer’s itch and Common Merganser brood sightings on Higgins Lake.

The Higgins Lake Swimmer’s Itch Organization is a nonprofit Michigan corporation recognized by the IRS and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit  organization qualified to accept tax-deductible contributions.  If you have already contributed, the HLSIO thanks you.  If you have not, your donation would be welcome.  Donation forms are available at the Lyon Township Office.  



Lyon Township does not require a permit for the placement of public docks at a public road-end at this time. Per the Lyon Township Dock Resolution, docks should be placed near the center of road-ends. Lyon Township continues to follow the Jacobs decision which allows for one non-exclusive dock at a road-end.

A new Senate Bill No.680, was recently passed authorizing the local unit of government to govern use of road end docks. Due to the Jacobs vs Lyon ruling nothing is changing with regards to what is or is not allowed at the road ends. As in the past, liability for a road-end dock and the decision concerning insurance coverage rest with the owner of the dock.

While Lyon Township does not mandate individuals supply us with contact information on road end docks, we request that the person(s) responsible for the dock provide the township with contact information. This form is below and may also be picked up at the Township Office.