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A Second Fisheries Survey of Hamlin Lake, Mason County

  Institute For Fisheries Research, University Museums
  University of Michigan
Date: November 23, 1942
  Report Number 160a
Title: A Second Fisheries Survey of Hamlin Lake, Mason County
Authors: C. J. D. Brown and Hugo Kilpela
Location and Drainage HamHn Lake is located in the extreme west central part of Mason County, within a mile or two of Lake Michigan. I ts more specific location is as follows: T. 19 N., R. 17 W., Secs. 5, 6, 7; T. 19 N.,
R. 18 W., Secs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17., 20, 21., 22, 27, 28, 33; T. 20 N., R. 17 W., Sec. 32.  The lake is about 5 miles north of Ludington and may be reached by several excellent roads including the new state highway M. 116.
  Hamlin Lake is within the Sable River drainage and receives all tributaries to that stream. The main Sable River enters the lake at the tip of the easternmost arm and leaves from the southwest to travel less than 2 miles where it enters Lake Michigan.
Acknowledgements The map used in the present survey was made by the original survey party led by R. W. Eschmeyer in 1932 and although this map is inaccurate with respect to contours and bottom types, it has been possible to use it until a more accurate map can be prepared. Data taken on fish collections (Institute Report 160) made by the original survey party are also to be used in this report for comparison purposes. The recent survey*was carried out between June 26 and July 14., 1942. The personnel of the survey party included: Hugo Kilpela. leader; R. D.
Van Deusen, Pat Galvin and Stanley Lievense. assistants.
  Mr. Gwinn., superintendent of the Ludington State Park., supplied tba survey party with information on operation of the dam at the outlet and Mr. J. Barnhart allowed the party camping privileges and furnished some equipment while the party was working the eastern portion of the lake.C.C...
  Creel census data on this lake were taken by the C.C.C. and Institute report No. 661 prepared by O. H. Clark includes the Hamlin Lake Summaries.
Past and Present Use Hamlin Lake and the Sable River were used extensively in lumbering operations.  It was during this prriod that the original dam was built and the size of the lake increased.  A considerable portion of the lake east of the narrows and most of the Bayous were formed at this time.
  The lake has maintained a good fishing reputation even from early times.  Today there is mixed opinion on the subject.  Several "old timers" have given the usual "isn't what it used to be" statememt of present fishing conditions. T he fact remains however that the lake is still one of the most productive bodies of' water in the state.  Fishing operations by the survey party showed large numbers of legal fish of many species.  Any decline noted by fishermen could easily be explained on the basis of changing fishing pressure which has increased severel hundred percent in the past 20 years.
  There is extensive resort and cottage development on practically all parts of the shore where conditions are at all suitable. There were at least 300 cottages, 5 hotels, 15 resorts and 13 boat liveries at the time of the survey (July 14, 1942).  Further development is limited due to the marshy, stumpy ground or inaccessibility of the shore.  Practically the entire lake east of Barnhart's to the inlet of Sable River is completely weed choked and inaccessible by boat except a narrow channel.  It has been necessary to keep boat paths open by regular cutting operations with an underwater mowing machine.  This weed choked condition also occurs in some of the bayous of the main lake to the south.
  The public has access at two points on the upper lake. One is a U. S. Forest Service Camp site located near the inlet of the Sable River (T 20 N., R. 17 w., Sec. 32).  This is at the terminus of a road which crosses the Sable River near its mouth.  The other is Victory Park (T. 19 N., R. 17 W., Sec. 6) located on the south shore of the east arm.
  The large state park (Ludington State Park) situated on the northwest side of the main lake offers the best of camping facilities, picnic areas, etc., typical of the state park system.
Physical Characteristics
Geological Origins Very little information is available on the geological origin and history of Hamlin Lake. It has been completely ignored in past geological works on Michigan lakes. There is little doubt that the lake's original basin was formed by glacial action and that subsequent changes have altered greatly the original conditions. The location of the lake in almost pure sandy lake deposits makes its shore line on the west constantly subject to change because of the encroachment of wind blown sand.
Shape of the Basin and Extent of Drainage The basin ot Hamlin Lake is very irregular in outline.  The lake proper is composed of two main parts; a south arm whose long axis extends in a north-south direction and an east arm with its long axis in an east-west direction.  These two arms form a right angle the apex of which, known locally as the Narrows, points to the northwest.  Many bayous and bays, some of considerable size, are scattered around the lake margin.
  The drainage of the Sable River and Hamlin Lake includes approximately 275 square miles in the coastal region of eastern Lake Michigan.  The major water supply of the lake comes from Sable River but numerous small inlets drain the adjacent countryside and enter the lake through the bayous.
  The drainage of the Sable River and Hamlin Lake includes approximately 275 square miles in the coastal region of eastern Lake :Michigan. The major water supply of the lake comes from Sable River but numerous small inlets drain the adjacent countryside and enter the lake through the bayous.
Water Fluctuation The most controversial matter concerning Hamlin Lake has been the establishment of a satisfactory water level.  This of course has arisen because of the dam at the outlet.  Natural water fluctuation would not be great but due to manipulation of the dam an annual fluctuation of 3-4 feet is the usual thing.  At present the dam is operated by Mr. Gwinn,
superintendent of Ludington State Park, in accordance with agreements set forth in the will deeding the said dam to the state.  Each fall. beginning in early October, the water level is allowed to drop slowly until a point 3 feet below the summer level is reached.  This decrease is ordinarily spread over two months time so that the lake does not reach its lowest level until about mid December.
  In the spring after the ice is gone the lake is slowly raised to a prescribed level.  The high level is usually reached by June l.  The management of the dam during 1941-42 as reported by Mr. Gwinn is as follows:
I. 1941   Boards taken from the dam in the fall
October 14, 1941 One board all the way across 6"
October 24, 1941 One board all the way across 6"
November 10, 1941 Two boards all the way across 12"
December 10, 1941 Two boards all the way across 12"
    Total 36"
II. Spring 1942
March 24, 1942 Three boards installed all the way across when the ice went out. A raise of 18"
May 1, 1942 One board all the way across 6"
May 13, 1942 Two boards all the way across 12"
July 3, 1942 Took out four center boards on one row to drop
water and replaced same 4 on July 11, 1942
  The purpose of regulating the water level in Hamlin Lake is entirely to protect lake properties against ice damage and takes no cognizance of biological interests.
  The dam located in the Sable River about ¼ mile down stream from the outlet of Hamlin Lake, is about 14 ft. in height, constructed of concrete and has removable boards for regulating the water level. There is no fishway.  Certain conservation-minded citizens have taken the responsibility of seining fish below the dam each spring and removing them to the lake above.  This procedure has been in practice for a dozen or more years.  A summary of these "rescue" operations during the past 6 years (1937-1942 incl.) is given below:
Species 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942
Rainbow Trout 49 51 80 51 47 36
Brook Trout 1          
Brown Trout 1          
Walleye 281 307 301 302 381 282
Northern Pike 30 26 48 48 40 12
Perch 231 112 196 65    
Black bass 30 19 54 23 15 2
Rock Bass       5    
Speckled bass 312 22        
Bluegills 2 2 38      
Totals 937 539 717 494 483 332
The small number of fish added to Hamlin Lake by these operations certainly does not justify the effort involved.
Other Physical Characteristics The area of Hamlin Lake is 5,070 acres according to the best maps now available.  We believe this map is fairly accurate as far as the shore line is concerned.  A new map will probably be prepared sometime within the next few years.  A maximum depth of 86 feet was recorded by the recent survey party but this was only a chance sounding.  Careful, systematic sounding will be necessary before accurate depth contours can be drawn.  This point of greatest depth is near the center of the south portion of the lake.  The lake has a shore line development of 3.5.  This means that the shore line is 3.5 times longer than it would be if the lake were of the same size and perfectly round.  This long shore line is indicative of high fish yield since it is caused by many productive bays and bayous.
  The lake bottom of the shoal areas is composed almost wholly of sand and sand may be found at depths as great as 40 feet. Beyond the 15 ft. contour however., the predominant bottom type is pulpy peat. There is evidence of much movement of sand on the bottom of the main or lower lake.
  The water of Hamlin Lake is light brown in color and of about average transparency.  A secchi disc was visible from 9 to 13 feet.
Wave and Ice Action There can be little doubt but that very considerable wave and ice action are the usual thing at Hamlin Lake.  Aside from reports there is evidence of ice action along the shores especially in lower Hamlin and considerable portions of the sand bottom on the shoals are almost constantly on the move. This condition. however, is not unique to Hamlin.  As a matter of fact these molar agents are much more severe on Crystal Lake in Benzie County and Higgins Lake in Roscommon County.  These two lakes just mentioned have even more real estate development than Hamlin and yet there is not the controversy concerning water level and ice damage.  The answer is simple.  Arrangements have been made whereby ice damage is slight. Boat houses are not built over the water and docks are removed at the end of each season.
Discussion of Physical Factors Physical conditions are for the mos part favorable to high productivity in Hamlin Lake.  The manly embayments, moderately clear water and suitable bottom give ample opportunity for plant growth and the production of fish.  The wave and ice action are somewhat unfavorable but do not reduce plant areas as much as is common in many other large lakes in Michigan. As a matter of fact there is surprisingly little damage done to the biological constituents.  The large, fairly rich drainage insures proper fertilization of the water and this is reflected in the extensive vegetation beds in the upper lake and bayous.
Temperature and Chemical Characteristics There is probably never any significant thermal stratification in Hamlin Lake.  At the time of the survey the temperature was almost uniform from the surface (72° F.) down to a depth of 86 feet (69° F.) at the bottom.  This temperature condition precludes any possibility of' the lake being suitable to cold water fish such as trout.  On the other hand it insures the suitability of the entire lake for warm water species such as bass.
  The surface water had 7.3 ppm. and the bottom. (86 ft.) 6.8 ppm of oxygen.  This is adequate for all fish life from top to bottom.  Gill net operations in 50-70 :rt. of water by the survey produced numerous game fish.
  Hamlin Lake is moderately hard (Methyl orange alkalinity 108-128) and quite alkaline (pH 7.6-7.7).  These conditions are extremely favorable to plants, fish-food and consequently gallle fish.  Moderately hard, alkaline lakes are known to be more productive than soft, acid lakes.
Pollution No pollution of any kind was observed on Hamlin Lake.
Biological Characteristics
  Hamlin Lake has an abundance of plants.  A total of 28 species was collected by the survey party.  A summary of the species and their relative abundance is given in the following table.
Common name Scientific name Abundanee
Water weed Anacharis canadensis Common
Water shield Brasenia Sehreberi Sparse
Coontail Ceratophyllum demersum Common 
Water star grass Heteranthera dubia Comnon
Duckweed Lemna trisulca Sparse
Water milfoil Myriophyllum exalbeseens Common
Water milfoil Myriophyllum sp.? Common
Bushy pondweed Najas flexilis Common
White water lily Nymphaea odorata Common
Yellow water lily Nuphar variegatum Common
Large-leaf pondweed Potamogeton amplifolius Common
Variable pondweed Potamogeton angustifolius Common
Leafy pondweed Potamogeton epihydrus Common
Pondweed Potamogeton Frieaii Common 
Floating-leaf pondweed Potamogeton natane Abundant
Sago pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus Common
Clasping-leaf pondweed Potamogeton Richardaoini Abundant
White-stem pondweed Potamogeton praelongus Common
Flat-stem pondweed Potamogeton zosteriformis Abundant
Water marigold Ranuneulus longirostris Abundant
Bullrush Scirpus aoutua Common
Bur  reed Sparganium eurycarpum Common
Bur reed Sparganium sp.? Common
Duck weed Spirodela polyrhiza Common
Cattail Typha latifolia Abundant
Bladderwort Utricularia vulgaris Cammon
Wild celery Vallisneria spiralis Common
Musk grass Chara sp.? Common
Upper Hamlin Lake has the greatest abundance of vegetation.  The bayous of Lower Hamlin are likewise completely filled with a dense growth of submerged plants.  There ate extensive cattail mats in upper Hamlin which are bordered on the lakeward side by such submerged species as Bladderwort, Myriophyllum, wild celery as well as the several species of pondweeds.  Almost the entire bottom of upper Hamlin down to 15 feet is covered with a dense growth of vegetation.
  In the lower lake, the plant beds are less extensive being confined to the shallow areas near shore and the bays and bayous.
  Plant (weed) control has been in practice in the upper lake where strips have been cut to allow the passage of boats.  Only a few channels can be kept open because of laok of' equipment and time.  In this part of the lake there is little chance that too many plants will be destroyed.  On the wholo the vegetation conditions in Hamlin Lake are very favorable to a high fish production.
Fish Foods There is no doubt that Hamlin I.Ake produces a great abundance of fish-food organisms. Plankton (microscopic free-floating organisms) was abundant at the time of the survey and most surely is common to abundant throughout the year due to the high nutrient content of the water.
  The larger food-organisms such as aquatic insects, snails, scuds, etc., are common to very numerous.  Scuds and snails were abundant in the weed beds and midge larvae, mayfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, and caddis larvae were the most numerous of the aquatic insects. Forage fishes were fairly abundant in both the upper and lower lake.  All in all, Hamlin lake may be considered as unusually rich in essential fish foods.
Fish Hamlin has a rich fish population.  There were 37 different species oi f'ish actually collected by the survey party. Ten of these were game species, 17 forage species, 8 coarse species and 2 obnoxious species.  A summary of the kinds of fish collected or reported is given in the following table.  Stocking records are also included in this table.  The fish in each category such as game, forage, etc., are arranged in the order of abundance.  The first listed is the most abundant, etc.
Species of Fish
Stocking Records
Game Species 1937-1941 inclusive
1 Yelow perch 604 adults ·  9.000 fingerling
2 Bluegills 40 adults 84,000 fingerling
3 Large Mouth bass   11,500 fingerling
4 Rock bass 5 adults  
5 Pumpkinseed    
6 Black crappie 334 adults  
7 Northern  pike 192 adults  
8 Walleye 1,191 adults  715,000 fry
9 Small Mouth bass 127 adulta 2,000 fingerling
10 Muskellunge    
11 Rainbow Trout Reported 231 adults
12 White Bass Reported  
Forage Species
1 Mimic shiner    
2 Bluntnose minnow    
3 Sand shiner    
4 Scaly Johnny darter    
5 Log perch    
6 Iowa darter    
7 Golden shiner    
8 Black-chin shiner    
9 Spot-tail shiner    
10 Manona killifish    
11 Brook stickleback    
12 Silverside minnow    
13 Black-nose shiner    
14 Mud minnow    
15 Great Lakes muddler    
16 Tadpole cat (madtom)    
17 Least darter    
Coarse Species
1 Common sucker    
2 Brown bullhead    
3 Northern redhorse sucker    
4 Sheepshead    
5 Black bullhead    
6 Golden redhorse sucker    
7 Yellow bullhead    
8 Long-eared sunfish    
Obnoxious Species
1 Long-nosed gar    
2 Dogfish    
3 Carp Reported  
Creel Census Aside from the general creel census data accumulated on Hamlin Lake in the past 12 years, there was an intensive census on this lake during the summer fishing season of 1939 and the winter season following (1939- 1940). The intensive census is of recent enough date to give a fairly accurate picture of present fishing conditions.  A summary of the results of the intensive census of 1939-40 follows:
Summer Winter
Catch per hour 0.97 0.80
Catch per fisherman 3.50 3.60
Fishermen per day per acre 3.30 0.27
Average number of fish caught per acre 11.62 0.97
Species composition of catch Percent Average size, inches Perceant Average size, inches
Largemouth bass 3.64 14.4 trace 13.3
Smallmouth bass 3.04 13.3 trace 18.2
Bluegill 45.86 8.1 79.61 8.1
Sunfish 6.19 7.4 1.07 6.8
Yellow perch 10.05 7.9 5.66 8.2
Black Crappie 5.27 9.9 0.14 12.2
Rock Bass 19.43 8.2 trace 10.2
Walleye 2.64 16.5 0.89 19.8
Northern Pike 0.44 21.9 5.98 24.6
Bullhead 2.78 12.5 trace 12.8
Cogfish 0.14 20.4 2.27 20.5
Gar trace 28.7 trace 21.8
White Bass trace 13.0    
Red Horse trace 14.2    
Sucker trace 15.1 3.12 19.3
Sheepshead 0.29 20.1 trace 27.5
Muskellunge trace 33.2 0.23 37.4
Rainbow Trout trace 16.7    
  Creel census data show the bluegill to be by far the most important constituent of the catch in both sunmer and winter .  Rock bass is next common in the summer catches while northern pike are next in line for winter fishing.  Summer catches of northern pike are very small.  Perch which was first in abundance as judged from survey collections was third in abundance in the creel census for both winter and summer fishing.  By and large, the abundance figures of collections agree fairly well with creel census figures.  Complete agreement is not expected because it does not always follow that the most abundant fish is the most often taken by fishermen.
Growth Rate of Game Species A study has been made on the growth rate of game species collected by the survey parties. A comparison will be made between the recent survey collections and those made 10 years previously.  Both of these will also be compared to the tentative state averages prepared by W. C. Beckman (Institute Report No. 741).
Yellow Perch
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       2 2.8 0.1 4.7
II 4 4.3   7 4.2 1.0 6.2
III 22 5.1   11 5.4 1.1 7.1
IV 15 7.4   9 6.0 1.6 7.8
V 15 8.3   14 7.3 2.9 9.4
VI 22 9.9   12 8.3 4.4 10.2
VII 1 9.8   14 8.8 5.3 10.4
VIII 2 10.5   2 10.4 8.8 11.4
IX 1 10.3         11.8
Largemouth Bass
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       1 5.0 1.0 5.5
II       7 7.7 4.4 8.4
III 1 10.8   1 11.5 13.3 10.8
IV       2 13.7 23.0 12.1
V       7 15.0 30.0 13.3
VI       2 15.6 32.5 14.4
Smalmouth Bass
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
III       3 12.2 15.0 10.7
IV       5 11.8 15.5 13.3
V       2 13.9 25.5 13.8
VI       2 15.5 34.5 15.0
VII       2 17.6 37.0  
Age 1940 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
II       2 4.1 0.7 4.3
III       9 5.9 2.4 5.6
IV       1 6.5 3.7 6.7
V       7 7.4 4.8 7.4
VI       10 8.0 6.9 7.8
VII 13 8.2   38 8.3 7.5 7.9
VIII 59 8.4   30 8.5 8.3 8.3
IX 25 8.5   6 8.8 8.3 8.5
X 2 8.8   1 8.9 9.5  
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       1 2.1 2.0 2.7
III       19 5.2 1.9 5.8
IV       20 5.9 3.0 6.4
V       15 6.6 4.2 6.8
VI       2 6.7 6.1 7.1
VII       2 7.3 4.9 7.8
VIII       1 8.9 1o.4  
Rock Bass
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       1 3.7 0.5 3.2
II       2 4.0 0.8 4.3
III       23 5.4 2.1 4.9
IV 1 6.7   27 6.6 3.9 5.6
V       18 7.6 4.4 6.6
VI 1 9.4   10 7.8 5.8 8.3
VII 1 8.8   3 8.4 6.8 8.7
VIII       1 8.6 7.7 9.6
IX       2 8.9 8.6 10.3
X       1 9.0 9.4 10.8
Black Crappie
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       5 4.2   5.3
II       22 8.7 1.8 5.9
III       12 7.6 3.9 8.7
IV       9 9.9 8.9 9.2
V       6 11.0 11.0 9.7
VI       5 13.4 13.4 10.1
VII       2 16.0 16.0 10.7
Norther Pike
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       5 14.4 15.1  
II       17 20.9 39.0  
III       10 24.6 56.3  
IV       2 28.5 73.0  
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
ii       1 23.3 78.0  
Age 1932 1942 State average total length, inches
Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces Number of specimens Average total lingth, inches Average weight, ounces
I       2 9.0 3.4  
IV       1 18.3 31.0  
V       2 17.6 26.0  
VI       6 18.1 30.5  
VII       13 18.7 33.7  
VIII       4 19.0 34.5  
X       1 22.8 54.0  
  With the exception of yellow perch and pumpkinseeds the game fish in Hamlin Lake seem to equal or even slightly exceed the state average. The perch and sunfish are not enough below the state average to cause concern. We believe that in general the growth rate is remarkably good £or an assemblage of species such as are found in this lake.
Natural Propagation The abundance of young game fish is usually clear evidence of natural propagation.  Large numbers of fry of largemouth bass, perch. bluegills, and sunfish were ta.ken in the survey netting operations.  A few northern pike and smallmouth bass were also taken.  There was a complete absence of small walleye in collections.
  It is believed natural propagation facilities are adequate for all species with the possible exception of smallmouth bass and walleye pike.  The lake has only very limited gravel and rubble beds which may account for the lack of natural propagation by these species.
Management Proposals
Designation of Lake Hamlin Lake is at present in the Pike Lake category. The findings of the survey indicate that bass and bluegills are by far the most important fishery in the lake.  In accordance with the law defining pike lakes Hamlin Lake should therefore be changed to the "all other lakes" class.  We do not believ however, that the present classification and the resulting regulations have any very harmful effects if any on the bass and bluegill populations.
Stocking It is felt that all stocking operations in this lake are unjustified.  There is certainly adequate spawning facilities for largemouth bass and all the pan fishes.  The areas suitable for smallmouth bass are somewhat limited but no more so than the area of the lake favoring the growth and well being of this species.  According to our present knowledge of walleye pike spawning, there is practically no place for this species to spawn. our fish collection data bear out this fact in that no "young of the year" walleyes were taken in any of the fishing operations. In view of the excellent bass and bluegill fishing which is now enjoyed on Hamlin Lake, we are extremely doubtful about the advisability of encouraging walleye.
Past experienoe has shown that in the majority of cases walleye and bass do not thrive together.  Where walleye become established and reproduce the bass fishery deteriorates and may practically disappear.  Northern pike must find considerable suitable spawning ground in the upper weedy part of this lake.  There can be little doubt, however, that this is seriously interfered with by the fluctuation of the lake level.
Parasites and Predators There is no serious incidence of either parasites or predators.  Many of the fish have the "black spot" parasite but this does no harm to the fish and cannot infect man.  No control is :i;r acticable.
  The gar pike and dog fish are the only predators which are of consequence and we believe that these predaceous fish may have an important role in fish economy.  Under ordinary circumstances evidence places them on the beneficial side of the ledger in that they remove the sick or diseased fish and help to keep populations of pan fish in check.  No control is recommended.
Shelter Hamlin Lake is# for the most part well supplied with shelter for fish.  The upper lake with lush growth of vegetation and submerged logs and brush could not be improved.  This same applies to the bayous and bay of the lower lake.  Any improvement would have to be confined to a few shelters along the wind-swept shoal in water 10-20 feet in depth and we do not believe this is essential.
Regulation of Water Level The present practice in regulating the water level of Hamlin Lake has already been described in a previous section of this report.  The question now arises as to the best practice from the point of view of i'isheries management.  We are willing to concede that other interests such as the protection of property should receive consideration in the establishment of lake levels but are not in a position to balance this against the biological interests.  In other words# we are only going to consider biological interests in making recommendations.
There is no doubt that a stable water level is more conducive to biological productivity than one which is allowed to fluctuate. Hamllin Lake would be better off from the fisheries point of view if a reasonably high level were maintained throughout ·the year.
  This would improve the feeding and breeding grounds of most fish. The northern pike fishery would almost surely improve if the shallow grassy shores of the lake were covered with water in early spring - a condition which does not exist under present management. More extensive and desirable plant beds could become established in the lower lake if the shoal areas were not left high and dry each winter.
  There would not be the danger of isolation and destruction of the fish in the bayous as exists under present practices.
  As a matter of fact0 not a single biological benefit can be cited as a result of water fluctuation.  From the fisheries point of view a high stable water level would be decidedly beneficial.
Improvement of Spawning Facilities As already pointed out the spawning facilities are already good for most species present in the lake. Pike spawning grounds could be created by the maintenance of a high stable water level.
By C. J. D. Brown and Hugo Kilpela
Report approved by: A. S. Hazzard
Report typed by: G. Wood Hamlin Lake Preservation Society PO Box 178, Ludington, MI 49431