Start Planning Today for a Natural Shoreline Next Summer

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By Mike Gallagher, MLSA President

Have you noticed that some shorelines have changed on the inland lakes of Michigan?  Thanks to the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, MNSP, many lakefront property owners are now choosing to have a natural shoreline rather than a vertical metal or concrete seawall.  They have found that a natural shoreline can be more beautiful and more beneficial to their lake while also being one that can be enjoyed by swimmers, guests and fishermen. 

This past spring the MNSP successfully trained and certified 77 landscapers who now know the best techniques, and have the skills for creating a natural shoreline.  Over the years, hundreds of professionals have been certified. A nearby Certified Natural Shoreline Professional, CNSP, to help you with your project can be found right here.   If you are considering a shoreline project next summer, now is the time to begin planning.  Give a CNSP a call today. Also, be aware that obtaining the necessary permits from the EGLE/DEQ is not a quick process.

Waiting for Summary Data on AIS/AIP Grant Applications

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by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Sarah LeSage of the MI EGLE/DEQ states the 52 Lakes/Applicants have all been notified of the decisions on their grant applications. However, her office is not yet prepared to release the summary data at the current time because of the internal review process that EGLE/DEQ must first adhere to.  She expects that process to be complete in the near future.

LeSage further advised that the program guidelines were adhered to, which appears to mean only ANC Permits for the sole purpose of control/eradication of only AIS would be approved.

MLSA will continue to monitor this new grant process, and will develop findings and recommendations for the future once the results are fully announced.,5664,7-324-71276_92001—,00.html

You Told Us, We Listened

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Our organization was formed in 1961 as the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, INC (MLSA).  MLSA was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation made up of organizations, corporations, associations, and individuals who share the goal of preserving and protecting Michigan’s vast heritage of freshwater resources and protecting riparian rights.  Through the years the dedicated work of MLSA members achieved much and “Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, INC” became a “brand name” for all things riparian, and the same was associated with the often used vernacular term of “Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, INC.”

In 2018, the then Board of MLSA voted to change our name to Michigan Lake Stewardship Associations, INC.  (Still “MLSA” and use of the plural for association). The reason in short was to focus on inland lakes and stewardship. 

Since then we have been faced with constant questions like the following small sample:

  • Are you still doing what the former MLSA did?
  • Where do individual members fit-in for an organization that says it is for “Lake Stewardship Associations”?
  • My lake association is so much more than just “stewardship.” How do we fit-in if we also do social, recreational, and community/neighborhood building?   
  • Can we still call you “Michigan Lakes and Streams” as that is what we called your for so long and see no reason for the change? 
  • Our lake has an inlet and an outlet, which are streams (as many lakes do), so aren’t you going to help me with those resources?

Accordingly, we have heard your concerns and respect the needs of our current and future members!   On August 8, the MLSA board held a Special Meeting and voted with a “super-majority” to change our legal name to “MICHIGAN LAKES AND STREAMS ASSOCIATION, INC” (MLSA) as it has been used by so many people for so many years.  We also committed ourselves to using a strategic plan to serve, educate and represent our members as in the past. We also resolved to take steps and initiate programs that significantly expand our educational efforts and focus on riparian rights. 

We appreciate the direct and critical input from so many of our members and other interested parties.  Without you, positive change would not be possible. You told us, we listened… we then took action, and the best of MLSA is yet to come!  Continue to join us, and work with us, as we as we expand MLSA! The waters we love will appreciate what we do!

Lake and Stream Leaders Institute (LSLI) Participants Enjoy “On the Lake” Training

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BY: MIke Gallagher, MLSA President

It was a great couple of days in July to learn about what’s happening in our inland lakes and streams when the LSLI Class of 2019 visited the Kellogg Biological Station at Gull Lake.  Dr. Jo Latimore and Dr. Lois Wolfson took the class on boats to Gull Lake and in waders to explore Augusta Creek. 

Twenty-six (26) lake and stream lovers were in this year’s intensive, multi-session statewide leadership development program which is offered biennially.

Participants develop their technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, friendship and camaraderie. Classroom and field studies make up the agenda for three weekends this summer which began at Higgins Lake in June and will finish up at Michigan State University this fall.

Regional Meetings of MLSA

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by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

For decades, Region 3 of MLSA (comprised of lakes in the SW Michigan Counties of Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph) has met three times a year.  Two meetings have been “Lake Rep” meetings, and one has been a Short Seminar type meeting, usually in early fall. The meetings provide networking opportunities for the area lakes, and helped address issues unique to their geographical area.  The Region 3 meetings have helped lake associations who could not afford to attend the MLSA Annual Conference, as well lake associations needing “help/suggestions” now, and could not wait up to 365 days until the next Annual MLSA Conference. 

Dennis Babjack of the Coldwater Lake Association organized a Regional Lake Meeting in the South East area of Michigan. The meeting was open to All Lake Associations (regardless of geographic location) for educating, informing and helping each other to better manage your Lake resources. 

The meeting was held on Saturday August 10, 2019 in the Coldwater Lake Association building. 516 Warren Rd, Coldwater MI. Attendees from 18 area lakes participated and all enjoyed the event.  MLSA will work with Dennis to hold future Regional Meetings in that area of our state,


Several Lake Associations in Northeast lower Michigan have expressed a possible interest in having MLSA Regional meeting in their area. MLSA has agreed to explore the level of interest.  If you would like to participate in such a meeting contact MLSA at:  Additionally, Rex Vaughn, Cedar Lake, in Alcona/Iosco County, cell 810-516-6686, has agreed to facilitate questions and answers for lakes in his area. If there is a sustainable level of interest, MLSA will assist in coordinating Regional Meetings in Northeast Michigan.

If other parts of the state have a similar interest, please contact MLSA at:

Recent EGLE/DEQ Permit Requires AIS Protections

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By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Texas Township, in the SW corner of Kalamazoo County, has experienced flooding problems due to changes in weather patterns and rainfall amounts.  The township has many expensive riparian homes and near-by roads that have become unusable due to rising water levels.

After a series of emergency meetings in late 2018, The Township established a Special Assessment District to initiate a major “water pumping” system to drain the flooded areas. A EGLE/DEQ permit was applied for to pump thousands of gallons per minute from one lake to another, and then on to other drains and wetland areas with capacity to accept the water flow additional  and volume.

During the Part 301 and 303 Permit Review an issue was encountered because the lake, from which pumping was to start, was contaminated/infected with Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).  To prevent the spread of AIS to other water bodies in the area, the EGLE/DEQ permit required significant safeguards to be in place before the needed water pumping (really water relocation) could start.

The permittee was required to install a filtration system with a filter mesh of 40 microns or less, and to run all water from Crooked Lake through the filter before it was pumped to the downstream water bodies.  The permit also added that a Riverscreen type intake screen with 0.0277 inch sieve size may be used in addition to the filtration. The screen was required to “prevent the movement and potential spread of AIS.”  The permittee and all contractors were also required to follow strict operational protocols to “minimize the risk of spreading terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.” The required protocols mirror the steps EGLE/DEQ personnel are required to follow when working in the field.

Even though Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPBP9 was approved on March 29, 2019, the actual pumping did not start until much later because of the challenge in finding and acquiring the required filtration/screen equipment. 

MLSA considers the AIS safeguards required by this permit to be significant. If you are aware of other such permits please contact us with specifics.

For more information the MIWATERS website can be searched for Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPB9.

52 Lakes Submit AIS Grant Applications

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by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The ELGE/DEQ system which was open through July 1, 2019, recorded 52 lake applicants for grants under the new Michigan AIS Control and Eradication initiative.  Grants are for eligible applicants for the control or eradication of aquatic invasive plant species in inland lakes. This new grant program, for the 2019 grant cycle, is to cover only necessary permit fees for eligible projects undertaking chemical, physical or biological control of aquatic invasive plant species, or a combination of these methods. 

Sarah LeSage of the MI EGLE/DEQ states 52 Lakes successfully used Michigan’s Statewide Integrated Governmental Management Applications (SIGMA) Vendor Self Service (VSS) ( to apply for the new grants.  (NOTE: SIGMA is the only way for application submission, notification of award, reporting, and subsequent reimbursement).  LeSage also stated the applications are being reviewed and the EGLE/DEQ is on schedule to announce grant recipients by the September 1, 2019 target date.  LeSage further advised that the program guidelines would be adhered to, which appears to mean only ANC Permits for the sole purpose of control/eradication of  AIS would be deemed eligible for consideration.

MLSA will continue to monitor this new grant process, and will develop findings and recommendations for the future once the initial results are announced.,5664,7-324-71276_92001—,00.html

MLSA Membership Continues to Grow

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by Paul J Sniadecki, Board Member

We are pleased to announce that Hess Lake in Newaygo County has joined as the newest Lake Association member for MLSA.  Hess is a 755 acre lake with 4 season attractions, and is one of the most visited lakes in Newaygo County. It has an easily accessible boat launch, dock, and parking areas. There is also year round fishing on Hess lake.

The Hess Lake Improvement Association also purchased 233 Lake Association subscriptions to THE MICHIGAN RIPARIAN magazine published by MLSA.  

MLSA President Mike Gallagher, said, “we welcome Hess Lake to our growing list of members. Since we operate on a very tight budget, all memberships and magazine subscriptions are important funding sources for the work we do for all riparians in Michigan. The more memberships and subscriptions we receive will help us expand the work we do to protect the quality of Michigan’s water resources and protect riparian rights.”

Is your lake association a member of MLSA?  Are you an individual member of MLSA? If not, please consider starting a membership today.

AIS Infestation/Contamination, Scope and Costs, Can Now Be Quantified

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by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

At the present time, there is no State-Wide database to record the cost, range, and impact of AIS contamination/infestation in Michigan’s inland lakes.  As part of the ELGE/DEQ/DNR Task Force for AIS, MLSA has been tasked with attempting to collect such important data.  

Please click-on the link below to access the survey and enter needed information about your lake or stream.  The survey can be completed in under three (3) minutes.

MLSA has beta-tested this survey with Lake Associations in “good standing” and the initial input value has exceeded expectations. Even if your lake or stream does not treat for nuisance weeds/plants or AIS contamination, please complete the survey as that type of  “No Action” data is helpful in developing a comprehensive understanding of state-wide conditions.

Not sure if your lake or stream data has been entered?  Well, no worries if you enter duplicate data or need to update your previous entry. The database has features that will allow MLSA to use only the most accurate entries.

Your help in this important initiative is appreciated !

Link for the survey:

Some HWM Infested/Contaminated Lakes May Require Different Management Strategies

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By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Under a scientific study Funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with a Project state date of 2016 and an estimated project end date of 2019, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) conducted research into the behavior of Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil (HWM), compared to Northern Eurasian Water Milfoil (NWM) and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). 

The study, thus far, has established that HWM produced an intermediate number of stems compared to EWM and NWM. The study provided field-based evidence of hybrid vigor in HWM. Specifically, earlier and increased flowering may increase HWM spread and provide a competitive advantage over parental species. Moreover, increased surface matting may shade out native species to a greater degree than parental species.

This study further demonstrates the importance of distinguishing HWM from parental EWM and NWM, as some HWM infested lakes may require different management strategies.

HWM is best determined through genetic testing of the plants discovered in each lake. To learn more about MAISRC research and findings to date on HWM, follow this link: