Ludington State Park Begins Raising Hamlin Lake Water Level - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Ludington State Park Begins Raising Hamlin Lake Water Level

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Spring has sprung in Northern Michigan and the national parks are ready for their busiest season of the year.

As temperatures rise, Ludington State Park officials are beginning to raise water levels as well.

Two weeks ago the Ludington State Park staff started the process of raising Hamlin Lake.

Its yearly process that without, homeowners could see major property problems

“This is the time that we start raising the lake back up to its summer levels,” says Ludington State Park manager, Jim Gallie. “We're supposed to lower it in the winter months about two feet from the summer levels and so just recently we started raising it back up.”

This all started in 1935 when locals discovered the left over effects of winter freeze on homes.

“Hamlin Lake’s a pretty big lake and there's ice that forms on it and when that starts breaking up in the spring, that ice gets pushed around by the wind and it can cause damage it can destroy docks,” says Gallie.

Each spring, the process begins by an anticipated call to the Lake Association.

“We work with the Lake Association. We got a number of ice spotters around the lake they're able to monitor the lake ice for us in the spring and as soon as that starts breaking up they start sending us reports on how much ice is left,” Gallie explains.

As soon as the ice is completely gone, State Park Manager, Jim Gallie comes down to the dam to raise the gates.

He does this periodically for what could be weeks, raising that water bit by bit until it's two feet higher.

Gallie continues, “It does sometimes take a little while for this to happen, it can take from two to six weeks and all of that depends on how much rain fall we get and how much snow melt that we get during that process of raising and lowering the lake.

The slow process is one of only slight controversy.

Gallie says at the end of the day it's all in the best interest of Northern Michigan lakes and families.

“We get anglers that like to get out on the water a little earlier in the season and in the fall when we lower it we get duck hunters that are interested in getting out on the water and that can affect them, so it's a bit of a balancing act trying to balance the needs of the land owners and the people who wanna recreate on the lake.

April 22 is Earth Day!

Ludington State Park will be offering fishing programs for kids and more to celebrate.

Fishing Out the River’s Invasive Species

10:00 A.M. to Noon at the Park’s Hamlin Dam

(Adults will need a fishing license but free for all young ones.)

Come to Hamlin Dam and see if you can catch the most invasive fish species out of the Park’s river and win a prize!  The park supplies all the equipment and bait.  

A Potpourri of Fun Activities on the State Park’s Natural Resources

1:00 P.M. to 4 P.M. at the Park’s Hamlin Day Use Area (Dam & Shelter)

Exhibits and activities will be set up throughout this area of the Park for a “hands-on” adventure for all ages.

All events and programs are based on good weather conditions.

To check on weather conditions and scheduled activities, you can call the State Park at (231) 843-2423.

For more details, click here