airboat takes soil samples from Muskegon Lake

 
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by: Ken Stevens
published: 26 March 2013

MUSKEGON, MI — While ice fishermen and ice boaters were enjoying the final days of ice on portions of the western end of Muskegon Lake on Monday afternoon, Mike Russell and Mike Dobson went to work across the icy surface.

Mike Dobson, and co-worker Mike Russell travel on the Muskegon Lake ice from the Grand Trunk boat launch ramp on Muskegon Lake, Michigan on Monday, March 25, 2013 on Russell's airboat. Russell, owner of Russell Marine Engineering based in Muskegon, and Dobson set out to drill holes through the ice to gather soil samples on the lake bottom for a client.

Mike Dobson, and co-worker Mike Russell travel on the Muskegon Lake ice from the Grand Trunk boat launch ramp on Muskegon Lake, Michigan on Monday, March 25, 2013 on Russell’s airboat. Russell, owner of Russell Marine Engineering based in Muskegon, and Dobson set out to drill holes through the ice to gather soil samples on the lake bottom for a client.

Russell, owner of Russell Marine Engineering in Muskegon, and Dobson set out on the ice from the Grand Trunk boat launch ramp in Russell’s 15-foot airboat to do work for a client who couldn’t wait for the ice to melt.

First, Dobson had to use a chainsaw to cut through the ice to make room for the trailer and boat to get in the water. The two then pushed the boat on the surface of the ice, turned it around and fired up the Chevy V-8 engine and sped away.

After reaching their destination just several hundred yards from the ramp, behind Great Lakes Marina and Storage, Russell and Dobson drilled through the ice to gather soil samples from the bottom of the lake for a client.

“It’s pretty handy,” Russell said of his boat’s ability to skim across the ice. Russell said it is the third time already this year that he has been out on the ice with the boat for clients.