Legal Lake Levels
Legal Lake Levels are defined the "normal level" for a given lake. The "normal level" means the level of the water of an inland lake that would provide the most benefit to the public, best protect the public health, safety, and welfare; best preserve the natural resources of the state; and best preserve and protect the value of the property around the lake. Legal lake levels in Michigan are established under provisions of Part 307, Inland Lake Levels, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, PA 451 of 1194.
The Montcalm County Drain Commission currently oversees the Legal Lake Level for five lakes within the County; Crystal Lake, Duck Lake, Indian Lake, Lake Stanton, and Winfield Lake. The Drain Commissioner levies taxes against the properties within the special assessment district to maintain the established legal lake levels.
The legal lake level for Crystal Lake was originally established in 1932 at a summer level of 800.49 feet and a winter level of 799.49 feet. The special assessment district for Crystal Lake was established in 1983. The control structure for the Crystal Lake Legal Lake Level is a trapezoidal concrete structure with two inch angle Iron to fasten a steel trapezoidal weir plate to maintain the summer elevation.
The legal lake level for Duck Lake was established in 1963 with a level of 781.00 feet. The special assessment district for Duck Lake was established in 1990. The control structure for Duck Lake is five foot by five foot concrete drop structure with a twenty-four inch diameter, and a four foot wide by one foot deep stop log opening.
The legal lake level for Indian Lake was originally established in 1975 with a level of 902.20 feet. The special assessment district was created with the establishment of the lake level. There are four pumps installed around the lake to maintain the legal lake level.
The legal lake level and special assessment district for Lake Stanton were established in 1969 at a level of 894.10 feet. The control structure for Lake Stanton is a seventy-eight in concrete pipe riser with a trash rack and a seventy-two inch corrugated metal outlet pipe that is seventy-five feet long. A catch basin with a beehive inlet discharges directly into the seventy-two inch outlet pipe.
The legal lake level for Sand Lake was originally established in 1966 with a level of 895.50 feet. The special assessment district for Sand Lake was established in 2023 through an Order to Amend the Legal Lake Level in both Kent and Montcalm Counties.
The legal lake level for Winfield Lake was established in 1973 with a summer level of 911.50 feet and a winter level of 910.70 feet. The special assessment district for Winfield Lake was also established in 1973. The control structure for Winfield Lake is three vertical stand pipes with trash racks, outlet pipes, and one drawdown valve with an inlet pipe.