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Island events to have snakes and scientists

By Tom Jackson • Apr 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM

PUT-IN-BAY — Lake Erie water snakes will be slithering out to greet visitors when Stone Laboratory hosts a series of summer events.

Scientists and other island creatures will be around, too.

Many events are free, and the others are cheap. The events are family friendly. Many children will enjoy getting to know the snakes and the sea lampreys, the underwater “vampires” who attach their mouth suckers to fish and suck out fluids.

Some of the highlights include a July 2 program on the sea lamprey and a July 16 program featuring Stone Lab scientist Kristin Stanford and Lake Erie watersnakes. Stanford is sometimes known as the “snake lady” for her efforts to restore the snake population.

People attending the July 16 program will be allowed to touch the snakes “up close and personal,” Stanford said.

Here’s a look at events to put on your calendar:  

• Free tours of the South Bass Island Lighthouse, 2368 Langram Road, Put-in-Bay, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 7 and Oct. 12.

Tours of groups of 10 or more can be scheduled from April to November by calling 419-285-1800. The lighthouse grounds are normally open from dawn to dusk. The lighthouse is on the southwest tip of the island.

• Free tours of the Aquatic Visitors Center, 360 W. Shore Blvd., Put-in-Bay, are available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, from June 19 through Aug. 24. Group tour reservations costing $5 per person are available May through October by calling 419-285-1800. Children 15 and under can borrow fishing gear and fish for free from the pier.

• Science and history tours of Gibraltar Island are offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Thursday from June 20 to Aug. 8; to attend, show up at 9:45 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. at the Boardwalk Restaurant dock, 341 Bayview Ave, Put-in-Bay. Cost is $10 per person, $5 for kids 6-12, plus $6 for the boat trip to and from Gibraltar Island.

• “Wild Tuesdays” are offered on Tuesday, from June 18 to Aug. 6, at the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, 255 Meechen Road in Put-in-Bay. While the nature center charges admission, all of the Wild Tuesday events are free, Stanford said.

A full schedule of Wild Tuesday events is available at the nature center’s website, lakeerieislandswildlife.com.

• The Stone Laboratory open house will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Gibraltar Island, with tours and lectures and free rides to Gibraltar from the Aquatic Visitor Center.

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