Duck Lake, Calhoun County, Michigan is a beautiful lake with clear water and ample opportunities for boating, fishing and sailing.

The Duck Lake Association is a Michigan Non-Profit Lake Association

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The Watershed Committee Report 2018-2023

DLA Watershed Committee Report 2018 - 2023 Maintaining and improving the Duck Lake water quality has been and continues to be the Duck Lake Association’s number one goal.

In 2018 The Duck Lake Association (DLA) funded Restorative Lake Sciences (RLS) to develop a Practical Watershed Management Plan. The DLA formed a committee in May 2019 to further study the problem and pursue action. The committee started our mission off by meeting with the Calhoun County Water Resource Commissioner to get some background information and to better understand the responsibilities of the county department of water resources (this department used to be called the “County Drain Commissioner”).

The committee of Nan Hibler, Sarah Cool, Mike Snyder, and Ken Cool met multiple times during the summer of 2019. We discovered early-on that multiple agencies are involved in surface water runoff. The committee met with (1) the State of Michigan, EGLE (Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy… formerly DEQ), (2) the Calhoun County Conservation District, Maureen Reed, Director, (3) the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, Patty Hoch-Melluish, and (4) the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Tiffari Jenkins, District Conservationist. Our goal was to establish a working relationship with these agencies and find out if any grants were available.

The committee met with Maureen Reed of the Calhoun County Conservation District on Aug.15, 2019.

Julia Kirkwood and Janelle Holm from EGLE journeyed to Duck Lake to meet with us on August 29, 2019. It was an informative and productive meeting. While there is no grant money, we established a good working relationship. There was much discussion of shoreline management to slow, reduce and “clean-up” what was around the homes on Duck Lake. An example is an EGLE program called “Score the Shore” that identifies positive shoreline practices.

The committee met Patty Hoch-Melluish of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council Director on September 10, 2019. She has a background with a private consulting firm specializing in lake and river management.

Finally, we met with Tiffari Jenkins, USDA District Conservationist, of the Natural Resources Conservation Services on September 26, 2019. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is the agency that encourages and funds farmers to work on soil conservation to limit runoff. They do have funding for farmers who enter their programs.

During the summer of 2020, Pat Moffit and the newly created “Duck Lake Stewards” group focused on using proven ideas to help lakefront owners develop their properties into water-friendly yards. (Michigan Shoreland Stewards )

In the fall of 2021, your Duck Lake Association sponsored a professional Lakeshore Landscaper (Mr. George Wise to spend an afternoon on Duck Lake observing the shorelines around our lake. That evening, Mr. Wise was our speaker at a public meeting. He emphasized a shoreline that would require minimal maintenance and no fertilizer. Rain barrels, native plants and grasses are examples of small changes lake front owners (riparian’s) can make to improve water quality in Duck Lake.

The committee learned from these meetings, that there is no quick and easy fix to address our priorities. It does not appear that any agency has grants for which we qualify. Here are the conclusions:

  • 1. Any improvements to the drains flowing into Duck Lake would need to come from the landowners.
  • 2. The USDA seems to be the best agency to help us attain our goal.
  • 3. The Duck Lake Association will continue a shore management education program for our homeowners around Duck Lake. This year we will help to pay for native plants and grasses that are purchased and planted in lakeside lawns and under downspouts.
  • 4. Part of the Watershed Committee is scheduled to meet with our State Representative, Jim Haadsma to share our continuing concerns and ask for support.
  • 5. Finally, we remain committed to do all we can to improve conditions of surface water runoff into Duck Lake and to maintain our water quality. This spring of 2023 we are planning to continue our important quest for help from local, state and/or a federal agency to give us support and help move us in a positive direction forward. Updated information will continue to be posted here and in upcoming DLA newsletters.

Invasive Aquatic Weeds: Past and Present.

Years ago the Duck Lake Association (DLA), with the input of lake scientists, Grand Valley University, and experienced riparian lawyers, set about to inform Duck Lake riparians about the perils of invasive weeds, specifically Eurasian milfoil.

There were extensive discussions about how to best combat the aquatic weeds and finance the process of protecting Duck Lake. Experts were consulted and the decision was made to seek a special assessment district that would include all lake front property owners. A petition drive was mounted and a majority of lake front property owners approved. The Clarence Township Board approved the decision, held public hearings, and the special assessment district was approved. The first year assessment was $130 and has settled down to $50 per property.

The special assessment district was set for seven years, (the limit for assessment districts), and that seven years will be up with the winter tax collection in December 2021. The DLA will consult with our lake manager, Dr. Jennifer Jermolowicz Jones, and our Attorney, Clifford Bloom this winter for assistance in proceeding. We will communicate our finding with Duck Lake riparians.

Submitted by Mike Snyder, Trustee at Large, District 6, for the Fall 2021 Newsletter

DLA Special Assessment District News:


The first of two public hearings regarding the Special Assessment district took place September 12th. In addition to members of the DLA Board, five other residents attended the meeting. Our lake manager, Dr. Jennifer J. Jones used most of the allotted time to share information about Duck Lake and other lakes in Michigan. Jennifer specifically spoke about invasive species, the importance of lake surveys, and chemicals used to specifically treat invasive plants. There was plenty of time for the questions that the Clarence Township Board members and members of the audience asked.

Bottom line: Her report to the Clarence Township Board, DLA Board members, and riparians was excellent. very impressive!

  • Jennifer is a "relaxed" speaker; easy to listen to and understand what she is explaining.
  • She talked about Duck Lake being one of the healthiest lakes of its size in the State of Michigan.
  • Jennifer went on to say our lake is a lake to be proud of for its pristine, clean, fresh, and pure conditions.
  • She discussed the surveys of our lake over the past 7 summers and the importance of the precise treatments, and only targeting the invasive plants that were discovered during the surveys.
  • Jennifer did note that the $55.00 annual fee for the proposed 2022 Duck Lake Special Assessment District is one of the lowest in the State. Some lakes she supervises have an annual assessed fee in excess of several hundreds of dollars.

Submitted by Sarah Cool


The second and final Public Hearing for the 2022 Special Assessment District to fund the control of invasive species in Duck Lake took place Monday October 10 in the Clarence Township Hall. This hearing gave any Duck Lake riparian, an opportunity to voice his/her support, opposition, or concerns of establishing another Special Assessment District.

After everyone had a chance to share their thoughts and feelings, Linda Kubiak, Township Supervisor asked for a motion to close the Hearing. Trustee Ben Dancer moved that the hearing be closed. Sue Ott seconded. The motion carried, 4 yes, 0 no.

During the monthly meeting Supervisor Kubiak asked for any questions/comments from the Board regarding the Public Hearing that had just taken place. After a brief discussion, Kubiak asked for a motion to address the status of the Special Assessment District. Ben Dancer moved that the 2022 Special Assessment District be approved, and Sue Ott seconded. The motion was approved. As a result of the vote, lakefront property owners will receive a special tax assessment of $55.00 per parcel on their winter tax bill. The Duck Lake Association Board extends thanks to the more than seventy five percent of lake reparians who supported the 2022 Duck Lake Special Assessment District.

Mike Snyder, Special Assessment District Chairperson

Restorative Lake Sciences, Results of the Fall Survey

Duck Lake, Calhoun County



SECCHI: 7. 1"

Duck Lake Contacts: Mike Snyder, Sarah Cool

A full lake survey was conducted on 8-22-22 by RLS. Noted was a slight greenish tint to the water, clarity good to 7. I " Zebra Mussels were present, large floating snails throughout the lake basin. RLS mapped I .47 acres of "A" level EWM*(Eurasian Water Milfoil weed) in the lake basin (deepest part of the lake). It is showing a good reaction to the chemicals used to treat it this spring. The treatment was very successful.

There was a slight foaming on the lake as the winds were 6-10 mph SSW. This year, overall, the channel looked good. In the previous years there had been significant algae in the channel. Duckweed in channel was a "B" level. No treatment in channel needed at this time. However, Purple Loosestrife is present in the channel and considered an invasive plant. For more information go to

Wild Celery (Vallisneria) is topped out throughout the lake and the biomass of this plant requires removal from props in some areas. This plant is very beneficial to the lake and the fishery. The best practice for control is to rake this plant out of the beach areas where it is dense. The plant roots are very tender, and it is easy to remove with a rake and dispose of this plant in the trash or place under flowers/bushes for excellent nutrients and compost. More information can be found at:

Noted throughout lake basin is Large Leaf Pondweed, Illinois Pondweed, Wild Celery, Sego Pondweed, Chara, Thin Leaf Pondweed, and Coontail in large patches. These are excellent habitat for fish. A very healthy fishery was observed. Also, there was minimal algae in lake basin.

Overall, the lake looked very good. After consulting with Dr. Jennifer Jones, it was determined that NO additional treatment was recommended for 2022.

Veronica Towne, RLS Lake Specialist - August 22, 2022, survey report of Duck Lake

Shrink Wrap Recycling 2023

The DLA is participating on a trial basis in a statewide shrink wrap recycling program called "Recycle Run". This will be free to Duck Lake residents. Very simply, if your watercraft shrink wrap is done by Mike's Mobile Wrap, you will receive a recycle bag with instructions on how to recycle the wrap in the spring. If someone else does your shrink wrap, you can contact Tom Neidlinger (517.857.4729) or Wayne Gay (517.857.3620) and a bag will be delivered to you for recycling your shrink wrap in the spring.

Volunteers will pick up your boat shrink wrap recycle bag in the spring by June 30, 2023. For more information about this recycling program, Go to:

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