Frequently Asked Questions
There are many positive actions you can take as a resident to protect the quality of our lakes. There is an entire chapter devoted to Watershed Care in our Riparian Handbook, but here are some basic suggestions:
- Arrange to have your well water tested periodically (your health department provides this service).
- Always work with reputable, licensed well drillers that secure the proper permits.
- Never dispose of toxic chemicals; such as gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, solvents, etc., in your drain.
- Familiarize yourself with the location, operation, and design of your septic system.
- Preserve green buffers around wetlands, creeks, and lakeshores.
- Avoid the use of fertilizers. Most soils in Michigan don’t require artificial fertilizers to support healthy grass.
Towel off vigorously after swimming and change into clean dry clothes. Avoid swimming at midday when the cercaria (the swimmer’s itch parasite) are most active, and avoid the areas exposed to prolonged onshore winds (the larvae drift near the surface and accumulate in a wind). Other precautions to take include swimming in deeper water where the snails are unlikely to occur, and avoiding feeding waterfowl and attracting them into your swimming area. Their presence will only exacerbate an existing problem. Rubbing on baby oil before swimming has helped in some cases.
No Wake sign on all ESLA waterways means that watercraft must maintain a 100-foot distance from the shoreline, docks, swimmers, swimming areas, fishing boats, sailboats, or moored vessels. Other rules that apply to watercraft:
- A person must be 12 years old to operate a jet ski or motorboat. Persons 12 to 16 years old must have direct adult supervision while running a jet ski or carry a boating safety certificate.
- The owner or person in charge of a watercraft is personally liable for illegal use.
- PWC may not be operated between one hour before sunset and 8:00 AM..
- Sailboats and other non-motorized watercraft always have the right of way over motorboats.
- Circular boat operation, such as waterskiing, must be in a counter-clockwise fashion insofar as it is reasonably possible.
- Boats and PWC towing waterskiers must carry a second person or “spotter” in addition to the driver, and be equipped with a rear view mirror.
You should call the Sheriff’s department in your county.
Antrim County 231-533-8627
Grand Traverse County 231-922-4500
Kalkaska County 231-258-8686
If you are interested in joining ESLA, please contact the ESLA Membership Committee at [email protected]. ESLA membership is open to all interested parties.
A watershed is all the land that drains into a body of water such as a lake, river, stream, or wetland.
Consider using a raft or buoy out 100 feet from dock or swimming area to help keep watercraft at a safe distance.