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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Bass Lake Shoreline Survey 2022

Project Summary

Bass Lake is located on the northern side of the Village of Elk Rapids, between Elk Lake and Grand Traverse Bay, in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed. It is a small inland lake, covering 144 acres. In 2022,Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council completed a shoreline survey on Bass Lake to document shoreline conditions and their impact on the water quality of the lake. The shoreline survey included recording the state of the following along the shoreline: algae density, erosion severity, shoreline alterations, greenbelt scores and parcel development. The shoreline survey created a comprehensive data set that can be used as a lake management tool, and help determine next steps to maintain lake health and the water quality of Bass Lake.

For the full 2022 Bass Lake Shoreline Survey Report, click here.

Welcome to the 2022 Shoreline Survey of Bass Lake. First, find your unique ID on the mailing letter sent to your property. Next, enter your unique ID in the box on the left under “Unique ID number–Type in your unique ID.”

A legend for each map layer is shown by clicking the arrow next to the checked layer. 

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council conducted a 2022 Shoreline Survey of Bass Lake with funding from a Special Assessment District of the Township of Elk Rapids. The Watershed Council circumnavigated the entire Bass Lake shoreline on kayaks to document signs of nutrient pollution (algal growth), habitat loss, and shoreline erosion.

Bass Lake Association
Bass Lake Association


Greenbelts are a natural buffer of native vegetation between the water’s edge and your lawn that helps to reduce erosion by stabilizing the soil, filtering nutrients and other pollution. Greenbelts can also deter geese who prefer well-manicured lawns and unrestricted access to the water.

Erosion Severity

Erosion introduces sediments and excess nutrients attached to soil particles. An abnormal increase in sediments can clog the gills of fish, macroinvertebrates, and degrade habitat including fish spawning grounds. Increased nutrients can cause algal blooms that degrade lake water quality.


L = Exposed soils, gullies up to 1″ deep.


M = Exposed soils, gullies greater than 1″ but less than 6″ deep, and/or banks undercut by 6″ (minor slumping)


H = Exposed soils, gullies greater than 6″ deep, and/or banks undercut by more than 6″ (severe slumping)

Cladophora Density

Cladophora is an algae that grows as a film and in later growth stages as filaments on hard substrate near the shoreline. Increased nutrients, such as phosphorus from failing septic systems, enhance Cladophora growth to abnormal levels. Monitoring Cladophora serves as a useful bio-indicator of changes to nutrient inputs near the shoreline.

To improve your stewardship of the ERCOL, visit the Michigan Shoreland Stewards (MiSS) website. ​The MiSS program provides recognition for lakefront property owners who are protecting inland lakes through best management practices on their property and provides recommendations for improving your shoreline