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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Intermediate Lake

Appropriately named, Intermediate Lake is situated approximately in the middle of the Elk River Chain of Lakes, which is a series of 14 lakes and interconnecting waterways that eventually flows out into East Grand Traverse Bay. Intermediate Lake is a long, sinuous lake located between Hanley Lake (upstream) and Lake Bellaire (downstream) and connected to both via the Intermediate River.

1,569 acres

OF SURFACE AREA

14.6 miles

OF SHORELINE

69 feet

MAX DEPTH

Overview of Intermediate Lake

Primary Inflows

Headwaters

Primary Outflows

Surface Area

1,569 acres

Shoreline

14.6 miles

Maximum Depth

69 feet

Known Aquatic Invasive Species

Description:

Appropriately named, Intermediate Lake is situated approximately in the middle of the Elk River Chain of Lakes, which is a series of 14 lakes and interconnecting waterways that eventually flows out into East Grand Traverse Bay. Intermediate Lake is a long, sinuous lake located between Hanley Lake (upstream) and Lake Bellaire (downstream) and connected to both via the Intermediate River. The lake has 19 inlet tributaries, including the Intermediate River, Fisk Creek, and Openo Creek. The largest island in the Chain of Lakes is located in the southern portion of Intermediate Lake, one of only two islands in the entire Chain.
The town of Central Lake is located at the lake’s north end and in fact, Intermediate Lake was at one time known as Central Lake. Although the north end of Intermediate Lake has a lot of residential development, a large expanse of coniferous forested wetland exists at the southern end of the lake. Most of the near-shore bottom of Intermediate Lake is sand or gravelly sand, with a few rocky areas and some muck. Muskgrass (Chara), native watermilfoils, and pondweeds are common aquatic plants found in the lake.

Intermediate Lake is popular for all sorts of recreational activities including fishing, boating, and swimming. It is also popular because the lakes of the Upper Chain of Lakes, including Hanley, Ben-Way, Wilson, Ellsworth, St. Clair, and Six Mile, can be travelled to by boat using Intermediate Lake as a starting point. However, the Lower Chain of Lakes (Bellaire, Clam, Torch, Elk, and Skegemog) cannot be accessed by boat from Intermediate Lake because of the dam on the Intermediate River in Bellaire. Fish that have been reported through various Department of Natural Resources surveys include walleye, bluegill, logperch, yellow perch, large- and smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, longnose gar, white sucker, rock bass, whitefish, cisco, muskellunge, northern pike, rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout, and sunfish. 

Monitoring and Research:

Intermediate 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 Intermediate Lake each summer by volunteers as part of the Watershed Council’s Volunteer Lake Monitoring (VLM) Program.

The Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Plan Implementation Team meets regularly and is working to protect the lakes in the Chain.

Intermediate Lake Association
Intermediate Lake Association
Dedicated to the conservation and protection of Intermediate Lake.
PO Box 795, Central Lake, Michigan, 49622

Additional Resources:

See additional resources on our Aquavist page.

Intermediate Lake Association Their Mission is “Ours to Protect””

View an interactive map of Intermediate Lake, including public access sites, on Michigan Fishweb.

A wide variety of maps for this area are available online at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) Data Resources page.

Information about Threatened, Endangered, and Special Concern species in this lake’s watershed is available on the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) website.

TitleCategoriesLinkhf:doc_categories
Comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring (CWQM)Bass Lake, Beals Lake, Bear River, Ben-Way Lake, Birch Lake, Black Lake, Black Lake Watershed, Black River, Boyne River, Burt Lake, Burt Lake Watershed, Carp River Watershed, Cheboygan River, Cheboygan River Watershed, Clam Lake, Crooked Lake, Crooked River, Deer Lake, Douglas Lake, Duncan-Grass Bay Watershed, Elk Lake, Elk River, Elk River Chain Of Lakes, Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed, Ellsworth Lake, Grand Traverse Bay Watershed, Hanley Lake, Huffman Lake, Intermediate Lake, Lake Bellaire, Lake Charlevoix, Lake Charlevoix Watershed, Lancaster Lake, Larks Lake, Little Traverse Bay Watershed, Long Lake, Marion Lake, Mud Lake, Mullett Lake, Mullett Lake Watershed, Munro Lake, Nowland Lake, Paradise Lake, Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Watershed, Round Lake, Scotts Lake, Silver Lake, Six Mile Lake, Skegemog Lake, Spring Lake, St. Clair Lake, Susan Lake, Thayer Lake, Thumb Lake, Torch Lake, Twin Lake, Walloon Lake, Walloon Lake Watershed, Wildwood Lake, Wilson Lakebass-lake beals-lake bear-river ben-way-lake birch-lake black-lake black-lake-watershed black-river boyne-river burt burt-lake-watershed carp-river-watershed cheboygan-river-rivers-streams cheboygan-river-watershed clam-lake crooked-lake crooked-river deer-lake douglas-lake duncan-grass-bay-watershed elk-lake elk-river elk-river-chain-of-lakes elk-river-chain-of-lakes-watershed ellsworth-lake grand-traverse-bay-watershed hanley-lake huffman-lake intermediate-lake lake-bellaire lake-charlevoix lake-charlevoix-watershed lancaster-lake larks-lake little-traverse-bay-watershed long-lake marion-lake mud-lake mullett-lake mullett-lake-watershed munro-lake nowland-lake paradise-lake pickerel-crooked-lakes-watershed round-lake scotts-lake silver-lake six-mile-lake skegemog-lake spring-lake st-clair-lake susan-lake thayer-lake thumb-lake torch-lake twin-lake walloon-lake walloon-lake-watershed wildwood-lake wilson-lake inland-lakes rivers-streams watersheds
2022 Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Management PlanBeals Lake, Ben-Way Lake, Clam Lake, EGLE/EPA Approved Watershed Management Plans, Elk Lake, Elk River, Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed, Ellsworth Lake, Hanley Lake, Intermediate Lake, Lake Bellaire, Scotts Lake, Six Mile Lake, Skegemog Lake, St. Clair Lake, Torch Lake, Wilson Lakebeals-lake ben-way-lake clam-lake watershed-plan-approved elk-lake elk-river elk-river-chain-of-lakes-watershed ellsworth-lake hanley-lake intermediate-lake lake-bellaire scotts-lake six-mile-lake skegemog-lake st-clair-lake torch-lake wilson-lake inland-lakes rivers-streams watersheds
2016 Intermediate Lake Shoreline SurveyElk River Chain Of Lakes, Intermediate Lake, Shoreline Surveyselk-river-chain-of-lakes intermediate-lake shoreline-surveys inland-lakes
2014-2015 Elk River Invasive Species Monitoring Project ReportBeals Lake, Ben-Way Lake, Clam Lake, Elk Lake, Elk River, Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed, Ellsworth Lake, Hanley Lake, Intermediate Lake, Invasive Species Monitoring, Lake Bellaire, Scotts Lake, Six Mile Lake, Skegemog Lake, St. Clair Lake, Torch Lake, Wilson Lakebeals-lake ben-way-lake clam-lake elk-lake elk-river elk-river-chain-of-lakes-watershed ellsworth-lake hanley-lake intermediate-lake invasive-species-monitoring lake-bellaire scotts-lake six-mile-lake skegemog-lake st-clair-lake torch-lake wilson-lake inland-lakes rivers-streams watersheds
2010 Elk River Chain of Lakes Profile CWQMBen-Way Lake, Clam Lake, Comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring, Elk Lake, Elk River Chain Of Lakes, Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed, Ellsworth Lake, Hanley Lake, Intermediate Lake, Six Mile Lake, Skegemog Lake, St. Clair Lake, Torch Lake, Wilson Lakeben-way-lake clam-lake comprehensive-water-quality-monitoring elk-lake elk-river-chain-of-lakes elk-river-chain-of-lakes-watershed ellsworth-lake hanley-lake intermediate-lake six-mile-lake skegemog-lake st-clair-lake torch-lake wilson-lake inland-lakes watersheds

Shoreline Survey:

Elk River Chain of Lakes Shoreline Survey

Project Summary During the summers of 2016 and 2017, the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council led a coordinated effort to conduct a shoreline survey for 15 Lakes in the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed. The surveys were meant to document conditions that could impact water quality, including the

View GIS Map »

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