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Lake Management Projects

Lake management and improvement projects help control invasive and nuisance aquatic weeds. These projects help to enhance fisheries habitat, improve water quality, expand recreational opportunities and protect and increase property values.

Aquatic plants are an important part of any lake or pond. They provide food and protection for for fish, waterfowl, insects, mammals and microscopic animals. These plants also help replenish oxygen to the aquatic environment, critical for the survival of fish and other aquatic organisms.

However, aquatic plants can also become a nuisance. 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.  

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, can help local communities conduct lake management and improvement projects to control aquatic plants, improving the health of the lake and providing a place for all to enjoy. 

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Active lake management projects

Publications and reports are available that detail the treatments and management activities for active lake projects.

Special assessment information

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 treating the lake. Property owners in the area surrounding the lake receive a special assessment on their winter tax bill to help pay for the lake management activities. In this way, everyone who benefits from the lake improvement project helps to pay for the associated costs.

Process for establishing a lake management project

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Lake Management Process Infographic

Process for appealing a special assessment

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BPW Special Assessment Appeal image

Lake management opinions where a project has not been established

In past years, several assessments were conducted on local lakes to determine the severity of invasive weeds. Management opinions were written for each lake and are available below.

Prior lake management projects

These projects are no longer administered by the Washtenaw County Board of Public Works.


  • Shoreline Management Best Practices Video - Green Room video on shoreline management
  • Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership - Recommendations for shoreline erosion control, including planting and landscaping options near an inland lake
  • Aquatic Nuisance Control - Information from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on the control of aquatic plants and algae, and snails associated with swimmer’s itch
  • MIWaters - The State of Michigan's online water resources permitting information database, which includes public notices and information contained in lake treatment and application permits

Contact information

Jeff Krcmarik
Environmental Programs Supervisor
Office of the Water Resources Commissioner 
(734) 222-6865

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