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Managing Our Inland Lakes

Michigan’s inland lakes grace our landscape like sparkling jewels. These priceless creations of the last ice age provide unlimited high quality recreational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of our citizens and visitors to our magnificent state as well as economic opportunity for tens of thousands of Michigan residents. The near shore areas of these freshwater gems provide unique lakefront living opportunities with enhanced property values that benefit hundreds of Michigan communities and public school districts.

The aesthetic, recreational and economic value of Michigan’s inland lakes will play an important role in creating the diversified, revitalized and sustainable economy of our future. Striving to preserve and protect our inland lakes for future generations is a role that Michigan Lake and Stream Associations assumed over fifty years ago‐we invite you to join us and our partners in this worthy endeavor.

MICHIGAN INLAND LAKE FACTS

  • There are 62,798 inland lakes in Michigan with a surface area of at least 0.1 acres or larger.
  • Michigan enjoys 1,300 square miles of inland lakes or 1.3 % of Michigan’s total area.
  • Michigan hosts a total of 11,037 inland lakes of five acres or more in size.
  • Michigan is graced with 6,516 inland lakes of 10 acres or more in size.
  • Michigan has 1,148 lakes exceeding 100 acres, 98 lakes exceeding 1,000 acres and 10 lakes over 10,000 acres.
  • Houghton Lake is the largest inland lake in the state, with a surface area encompassing 20,044 acres.
  • Torch Lake is Michigan’s largest lake with respect to total water volume with a maximum depth of 285 feet.
  • Approximately 67% of Michigan’s inland lakes enjoy healthy, high quality aquatic ecosystems.
  • Michigan’s inland lakes provide critical aquatic habitat for 154 freshwater fish species.
  • Michigan inland lakes generate approximately $15B in direct and indirect economic activity annually.
  • The total value of Michigan inland lake shoreline exceeds $200B that generates $3.5B in local property tax revenue for local governments (Kevern, 2005).
  • The economic value of Michigan inland lakes is inextricably linked to water quality ‐ poor water quality and/or excessive aquatic plants or algae may reduce the value of inland lake shoreline property by as much as 40%.