News Flash

Water - Spotlights

Posted on: June 1, 2022

Lake Management Projects in Washtenaw County

Photo of two people in Kayaks from lake level perspective

The Office of the Water Resources Commissioner's Public Works team, with support from the Board of Public Works under Public Act 185 of 1957, is one avenue available to help local communities with lake management and improvement projects. These types of projects work to manage aquatic plants, improving the health of the lake and providing a place for all to enjoy.

Invasive plants that are not native to Michigan can grow rapidly out of control, choking out other plants and organisms and reducing recreational options in the lake.

Some invasive species that lake management projects work to control are Curly Pondweed, Eurasian Watermilfoil, and Starry Stonewort.

Invasive Species Plant Profile

Informational image describing aspects of Curly Pondweed

Informational image describing aspects of Eurasian WatermilfoilInformational image describing aspects of Starry Stonewort

Report Invasives

If you spot an invasive species on the Michigan Watch List, report it to the State of Michigan at: https://www.michigan.gov/invasives/0,5664,7-324-68002_74282-368761--,00.html

Project Costs

Lake management projects are not funded by Washtenaw County general fund taxes. Each lake management project is supported by a special assessment that covers the cost of evaluating and managing the lake. Property owners in the area surrounding the lake receive a special assessment on their winter tax bill to cover the cost of the lake management activities. In this way, everyone who benefits from the lake improvement project helps to cover for the associated costs.

Implementing a Lake Improvement Project 

  1. Lake property owners meet with the Washtenaw County Public Works Division to determine interest in a project.
  2. Property owners ask their municipalites to support a project with the Washtenaw County Board of Public Works (BPW).
  3. Municipality approves Initiating Resolution requesting assistance from the BPW.
  4. BPW approves a resolution to proceed.
  5. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners approves resolution to proceed.
  6. A Lake Management/ Improvement Plan is developed, and a Special Assessment District is identified.
  7. BPW holds two public hearings to gather feedback from the community on the plan.
  8. If BPW decides to proceed with the project, they pass a resolution to place the special assessment on the December tax roll.

Get Involved

There are many ways you can actively protect your shoreline and maintain the recreational opportunities of the lake. Small changes have big results!  Protect your lake by becoming a Shoreland Steward. The Michigan Shoreland Steward Program recognizes homeowners who protect inland lakes through best management practices on their own property. 

Take the RiverSafe Homes survey to learn about water quality protection and pollution prevention activities you can do to protect the waters near your home.  

Reach out to us to schedule a consultation at your home. Our certified staff can help you create a plan to protect your lake and preserve the natural beauty surrounding your home.  Contact a Water Resources staff member to schedule a time to visit your property. 

Remember to clean, drain and dry your watercraft before moving to another body of water. 

  • Clean boats, trailers and equipment and remove all mud, debris, and aquatic plant material from trailers and watercraft before launching or retrieving a watercraft. Use a hose or power washer when available and dry all equipment thoroughly before leaving the access area.
  • Drain live wells, bilges, and all water from boats before leaving the access site. Disinfect live wells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water) when possible. Fish diseases and microscopic life stages of aquatic invasive species can be hiding in seemingly clean water, so draining is an important step. 
  • Dry everything for at least 5 days before going to other waters or decontaminate with high-pressure water at a temperature of 120°F or above.  
    • Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water. The release of bait and minnows can lead to the unintended introduction of aquatic invasive species. DO NOT TRANSFER FISH to water bodies other than where they were caught. This helps prevent the spread of both aquatic invasive species and fish diseases. 

Photo of two kayakers with the text

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