Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Bass Lake

Bass Lake is situated on the north side of the Village of Elk Rapids, between Elk Lake and Grand Traverse Bay. Being adjacent to the City of Elk Rapids, the southern half of Bass Lake is more heavily developed and impacted by removal of shoreline vegetation (greenbelt loss), hardened shorelines (e.g., seawalls, riprap), and urban stormwater runoff. The northern half of the lake is more intact with vegetated areas in and among the cottages.

144 acres


2 miles


24 feet


Overview of Bass Lake

Primary Inflows


Primary Outflows

Surface Area

144 acres


2 miles

Maximum Depth

24 feet

Known Aquatic Invasive Species

Monitoring and Research:

Bass Lake is monitored every three years through the Watershed Council’s Comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring (CWQM) Program for dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, pH, nitrate-nitrogen, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and chloride levels.

Water transparency, chlorophyll-a, and water temperature are also monitored in Bass Lake each summer by volunteers as part of the Watershed Council’s Volunteer Lake Monitoring (VLM) Program.

Additional Resources:

Aquatic Plant Survey of Bass Lake (1992) – hard copy

The Gem Lakes of Northern MichiganBass Lakebass-lake inland-lakes
2022 Bass Lake Shoreline SurveyBass Lake, Shoreline Surveysbass-lake shoreline-surveys inland-lakes
2010 Small Gem Lakes ProfileBass Lake, Birch Lake, Deer Lake, Huffman Lake, Larks Lake, Long Lake, Marion Lake, Nowland Lake, Silver Lake, Susan Lake, Thumb Lake, Twin Lake, Wildwood Lakebass-lake birch-lake deer-lake huffman-lake larks-lake long-lake marion-lake nowland-lake silver-lake susan-lake thumb-lake twin-lake wildwood-lake inland-lakes

Welcome to the 2022 Shoreline Survey of Bass Lake. The results of the survey can be found here.

First, find your unique ID on the upper right corner of the shoreline survey letter mailed to your property. Next, enter your unique ID in the box on the left under “Unique ID number–Type in your unique ID.”

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.