Best Practices

Disposal of Wastes

Recycling Centers: Elk Rapids (231) 264-8921 (call for hours and location)
  Kalkaska (231) 258-3369 (call for hours and location)
Dumpsters: Acme (by Ace Hardware)
  Williamsburg (5777 Vinton Rd., Whitewater Twp. Hall) -recycling of #1 and #2 plastics, tin, glass, cardboard, and paper.
Hazardous waste: Dispose of hazardous wastes, such as paints, antifreeze, and motor oil, by contacting the Antrim, Grand Traverse, or Kalkaska counties hazardous chemical collection programs. Never pour toxic substances in your drain or on the ground.
Septic Systems: Septic tanks should be pumped out, depending on use and size, at least once every 3–5 years. Use only low phosphate or no phosphate detergents and household cleaners.

Lawn and Property

Fertilizer: Do not apply fertilizer or weed killer within 50 feet of the lakeshore. Use a low phosphate or no phosphate fertilizer. If you use a lawn service, direct them to ensure protection of the lakeshore.
Plantings: Allow native plants, vegetation, and trees to grow adjacent to the lakeshore (a 30′ green belt) for erosion protection. Riprap and other artificial barriers require a permit and should be used only as a last resort. Never plant or propagate non-native invasive plant species, such as Purple Loosestrife.
Run-off: Storm water run-off and gutters should be directed away from the lake.

Boat and PWC Operation

Personal Watercraft: PWC’s must be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner at all times. PWCs must maintain “no wake” speeds when operated within 100 feet of shore, docks, swimmers, rafts, star buoys, or moored boats. It is illegal to operate a PWC between one hour before sunset and one hour before sunrise.
Boats: The legal speed limit in Michigan for all watercraft is 55 mph. Boats must maintain “no wake” speeds when within 100 feet of shore, docks, swimmers, rafts, star buoys or moored boats. It is illegal to tow skiers, surfboards, or any device of this type between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Observe all no wake zones.
Laws Download the
Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities Manual

Good Neighbors

Fireworks: Explosive fireworks or rockets are illegal in all counties of Michigan.
Night Lighting: Don’t be a light polluter! Help maintain the beauty of our night skies. Use outdoor lights with motion detectors and timers. Make sure that any outdoor lighting illuminates the ground and not the sky. Do not leave bright flood lights on all night.
Property Rentals: Property rentals should be selective and occupancy should be consistent with dwelling and lot size.

Guest and Visitors

  Please share these best practices with your guests, visitors, family, and renters.

Protecting Loons

  If you are lucky enough to see a loon in the area, please be careful not to approach the loons. They are fragile waterfowl and will abandon their young if disturbed.

Feeding Waterfowl

  Please Don’t!
Waterfowl feed on plants and other aquatic organisms, then excrete nutrients which support new plant growth. This is a natural cycle. When we provide artificial sources of food, waterfowl congregate and many more nutrients enter the lake. A feeding program which supports a large population of semi-domesticated ducks can contribute hundreds of pounds of phosphorus per year to a lake and cause unnatural weed and algae growth.
Waterfowl feed on plants and other aquatic organisms, then excrete nutrients which support new plant growth. This is a natural cycle. When we provide artificial sources of food, waterfowl congregate and many more nutrients enter the lake. A feeding program which supports a large population of semi-domesticated ducks can contribute hundreds of pounds of phosphorus per year to a lake and cause unnatural weed and algae growth.