Protecting and Preserving Black Lake and the Surrounding Watershed

Category: ‘Announcements’

Posted on September 25th, 2020

Update on Algae Bloom in Black Lake

Public Health Awareness Bulletin Update on Algae Bloom in Black Lake

District Health Department No. 4, in consultation with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), is continuing to issue a public health awareness bulletin about an algal bloom in Black Lake near Onaway, Michigan. People and pets should avoid direct body contact with algae in the lake or with water that is blue-green or water that looks like it has a green sheen or spilled paint on its surface. The algae layers may contain flecks, foam, or clumps. People and pets should also avoid swallowing the lake water.

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Posted on September 17th, 2020

Public Health Awareness Bulletin re 9/11/2020 Algae Bloom

A Public Health Awareness Bulletin was issued on September 15, 2020 about the algae bloom reported on Black Lake on September 11, 2020.

Posted on December 8th, 2019

Statement on Water Level Management

The Black Lake Association’s position on lake level management has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and posted in the FERC eLibrary on 11/29/2019.  That document is available here as well.

You can access other related documents through the FERC eLibrary.  The docket number is P-11730-000. 

Posted on October 27th, 2019

Public Notice concerning the Alverno Dam

The Black Lake Association received notification on October 22, 2019, from the General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who thanked everyone involved in the mediation process concerning Black Lake levels for their time and effort. Unfortunately, at this time it did not appear that the parties would be able to resolve the existing issue. Due to the impasse the mediation is discontinued. If the parties want to resume discussions in the future it will be available.

Posted on October 11th, 2019

Launch Ramp at Black River Marina Site Open

The following message was received from Keith Cheli, October 10, 2019, re the opening of the launch ramp at the site of the former Black River Marina.

Good Morning –

Good news, as of today the improved launch ramp at the Black River Boating Access Site is open for public use.

Please note that a vault toilet and skid pier for the ramp will not be installed until next spring 2020 so site users will need to be prepared to make the necessary accommodations in the interim. Also of note is a new vehicular maneuvering pattern on site. When entering the site, follow the “one way” traffic signs which will take you around the north side of the former marina store and concession building. Continue driving around the east side of the building and pull up along the south side of the building. This maneuvering pattern will allow an easy back up maneuver nearly straight on to the new ramp. It is important to note that the site access (and temporary orange construction fencing) will provide for all traffic to remain on public and not private property. If you haven’t visited [the visited] the site recently you will notice improved conditions that include dilapidated dock and finger pier removals, limited shoreline stabilization, new gravel and grading, removal of the store from porch and deck, site cleanup of tires and containers and basic site directional signage.

Furthermore, this week we received approval of our funding request to move forward with site environmental cleanup. We have begun the administrative process to organize this effort which will be our next priority. Our goal will to complete the site cleanup next spring/summer.

Thank you, we will continue to provide updates to this group as information becomes available.

Keith Cheli, Landscape Architect
Regional Field Planner
MDNR Parks and Recreation Division
Cheboygan Field Office
120 A Street
Cheboygan, MI 49721



Posted on November 1st, 2017

Watershed Academy Monitoring Session

Several members of the Black Lake Association recently participated with Onaway High School students in a Watershed Academy Monitoring Session led by Eli Baker and Maria Affhalter from Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.  Dave Turzewski and Ron and Sharon Dulak donned waders to spend a day with the students performing water chemistry tests and assessing stream macroinvertebrates to determine the health of Stoney Creek and its watershed.  Not only was their time with the students fun and educational, but the outcome indicated that Stoney Creek is healthy.

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Posted on June 6th, 2017

Black Lake Association at Work Protecting Black Lake

Two Surveys Scheduled This Summer

Shoreline Survey

The Tip of the Mitt (TOTM) Watershed Council will begin the first phase of the Black Lake shoreline survey in mid- to late June, according to Matt Claucherty, Tip of the Mitt Monitoring and Research Coordinator. The shoreline survey process will include assessment of the greenbelt (vegetative buffer), shoreline erosion, and cladophora algae growth (nutrient pollution). The survey will identify possible problem areas that may be a result of septic tank leakage, over-fertilization of lawns, or inflow from nearby tributaries. You’re likely to see a kayak or two in front of your property, with the occupants taking pictures and making notes while the information is being collected. Matt encourages you to ask questions.

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Posted on March 9th, 2017

P-11730 – Alverno – Black Lake Levels Testing

The testing to bring the headpond (at the dam) down to the 608.5 mark began this past Sunday (March 5, 2017). By 6:30pm that day, we had the spillgate at Alverno open to 13 inch height opening and the units running at about 60% gate opening (and cavitating). Flow indications had flows (total) from the spillgate and units (powerhouse) at a combined flow of 950 cubic feet per second (cfs). However, please note that these flow measurements taken from a computer table for spillgate opening and wicket gate opening and were made several years ago when the headpond was at the 612 mark, or a head differential between pond and tailrace level of approximately 18 feet. Since the pond was actually at 608.5 and the head differential (from headpond to tailrace level) was at about 14.5 feet on Sunday, really the flow, therefore is reduced by approximately 20% to the 760 cfs mark.

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Posted on March 5th, 2017

P-11730 – Alverno Dam – Black Lake Levels Concerns

Good Morning All:

Further to Jim Tucker’s email,  I think Jim meant to say on Sunday afternoon when the temperatures get mild from this current cold spell, we will move the head pond down from its current level of 609.89 to the 608.5 level and hold it steady there.

We will do that for 48 hours into Tuesday afternoon. It appears that we will have until Wednesday afternoon for mild weather, then it will be turning frigid again. If we find that the lake level continues to drop, we will likely maintain the 608.5 until Wednesday.

However, we will assess after 24 hours and after 48 hours. We do believe with the warm temperatures Sunday and Monday that the Kleber dam outflow will pick up again.

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Posted on February 14th, 2017

Upper Black River Dams Meeting

On February 11, 2017 the Department of Natural Resources and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, along with a team of University of Michigan graduate students conducted an open forum meeting at Forest Township Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to gather information from the public and to hear their concerns related to the possible closing and removal of the Tower and Kleber Dams and begin a conversation that would help the decision making process.  The meeting was attended by about 100 citizens and representatives from the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Huron Pines, Sturgeon for Tomorrow and the Black Lake Association.

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