Click this link to read the entire 2020 PLM Lake Water Management Plan.

Big Whitefish Lake Resident Update 2020


Permitting & Treatment Limitations

PLM is required to obtain a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) for any treatments conducted on the Big Whitefish Lake. The permit outlines where treatments can take place within the lake as well as what type of herbicides can be used.  EGLE also has a set of general rules that are in place for all waterbodies across the state.  Some of these rules impact the way PLM treats and manages Big Whitefish Lake.  Some but not all of these rules and/or limitations are explained below.

  • Native Plant Control: EGLE allows for treatments of native plants.  However, PLM can only treat a maximum of 100 feet per residential property.  Also, native plant control is limited to water less than 5 feet deep and no greater than 300 feet from shore for the 2020 season.
  • Algae Treatments: EGLE allows for filamentous and macro-algae control.  However, treatments are limited to one time every 2 weeks.  Also, PLM is only allowed to treat in developed shorelines out to 5 feet of water depth or 300 feet offshore, whichever comes first for the 2020 season.
  • Exotic Plant Control: EGLE is much more flexible when it comes to exotic plant control. Exotic plants can be treated essentially any place where found. However, there are some limitations when it comes to the types of herbicides that can be used (systemic and/or contact).  Contact herbicides for the control of Milfoil or Curlyleaf pondweed can be used one time only (offshore in areas greater than 5 feet of water) prior to June 15th.  After June 15th, only systemic herbicides can be used offshore.
  • NEW 100-foot Rule: Beginning in 2021, treatments for native plants and algae will be limited to a maximum of 100 ft x 100 ft per residential property.  The old rule allowed for treatments out to 300 feet as long as the water depth was less than 5 feet.  This change will reduce the potential treatment area on several area of Big Whitefish Lake.

Big Whitefish Lake Management Plan for 2020

The 2020 aquatic plant management program will detect and treat any areas where Eurasian watermilfoil is found, control curly leaf pondweed, control any SSW, and control any areas where native plants become sufficiently dense to interfere with recreation (if requested).  Areas of excessive filamentous algal growth will be controlled using copper-based algaecides.  Chara will only be controlled where it interferes in boating and swimming activities (if requested).

The product SeClear will be used for algae management on the lake.  SeClear is one of the first algaecide and water quality enhancers in one, designed to replace routine algaecide programs. SeClear provides effective control of a broad-range of algae species while reducing in-water phosphorus levels with each application. SeClear uses nutrient locking technology to bind phosphorus in the water, thus removing it from the water column.  Once bound, it is unavailable for algae growth.  It can therefore treat the symptoms and the root cause of algae growth.

Aquatic vegetation and water quality will be monitored to document the condition of the lake and to provide warning of any changes in the condition of the lake that need to be addressed by additional lake management activities.

 Big Whitefish Lake Residential Questions and/or Concerns

Big Whitefish Lake residents who have any questions regarding the overall health of the lake or lake management activities are encouraged to attend the Big Whitefish Lake Association meetings.  These meetings are public and all residents are welcome.  If you cannot attend the meeting and have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to board members or PLM Lake and Land Management for assistance.

** See “PLM 2020 Plan” for 2020 managements goals.