Inland Lakes

Click the links below for more information on each topic.

  • Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) Elevations: In 2023, the Township hired Wade Trim to survey the the most populated of the Forest Lakes to determine the OHWM elevation to serve as a benchmark for zoning setbacks. The elevations shown for the Ordinary Highwater (OHW) and Traverse Points were obtained from GPS observation utilizing a base station and the MDOT CORS. The elevations for Benchmarks were then transferred from the Traverse Points using a Total Station observation. The OHW elevations were derived by observing changes in vegetation, water staining and changes in the slopes of soils at different locations around each lake. Elevations were established at each location by GPS observations, and then the mathematical mean was used as the OHW elevation. Please reference the East Bay Township Zoning Ordinance for how these elevations inform waterfront setback requirements in the Forest Lakes area.
  • Inland Lakes High Water Levels:  Due to the widespread and prolonged nature of the flooding, many citizens are left questioning why this is happening, what they can do to prepare and/or what they can do to respond when high water or floods affect their homes and businesses. This webpage is intended to provide some resources for understanding what is happening and how EGLE's Water Resources Division can assist. 
  • Managing High Water on Inland Lakes: This video features Limnologist Ralph Bednarz, who lives on Rennie Lake in East Bay Township, along with other experts discussing best practices related to shoreline management given rising water levels. 
  • Loons on the Lake:  It is estimated that Michigan has fewer than 500 nesting pairs of Common Loons remaining in the state. The Common Loon is threatened in Michigan. They are especially vulnerable to personal watercraft entering into critical areas such as small islands, inlets, coves and quiet bays. Read this document to better understand how to protect nesting Loons in East Bay Charter Township.
  • Natural Shoreline Landscapes on Michigan's Inland Lakes: A publication by Michigan State University Extension with the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership. This guidebook provides an overview of elements of a healthy lake ecosystem, tips for implementing a natural shoreline, benefits of a natural shoreline, and policies related to natural shorelines. 
  • Grand Traverse County Boating Control Ordinances: Enjoy boating responsibly with the guidance of these boating ordinances.
  • Grand Traverse County Sheriff Department Marine Safety Section: Safety information for boaters.
  • Arbutus Lake Association Boater Information: Rules and regulations for boating on Arbutus Lake.
  • Spider Lake Boater Information: Similar rules for Spider Lake boating.
  • Forest Lakes Overlay District Zoning Regulations
  • Forest Lake Overlay Development Checklist
  • Single Family Development in Forest Lakes Overlay