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Torch Lake Turn Out During Fourth Of July Holiday

Promo Image: Torch Lake Turn Out During Fourth Of July Holiday

Boaters are spending the holiday on the crystal clear waters of Torch Lake.

Getting the 4th off to an early start.

Thousands of people are expected to head out to the sand bar.

That has law enforcement stepping up their patrols for the second year in a row.

This year there will be more than 50 officers from several agencies.

A promoted 4th of July party two years ago resulted in a lawsuit, damaged property and trash filling the water.

It prompted the stepped up patrols.

9&10’s Whitney Amann has more details on this year’s Torch Lake turn out.

“As far as what we’ve seen two years ago, nothing like what we saw two years ago,” said Sheriff Patrick Whiteford for Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department.

Cars lining the streets, hundreds of boats on the water, and law enforcement on the lookout.

“We don’t want to ruin anybody’s fun so to speak but we have to make sure that they respect the environment, respect the property around the lake and respect the lake itself,” said Sheriff Whiteford.

The Kalkaska and Antrim County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police and their aviation team, Michigan DNR and others took to the streets, water and sky to keep everyone safe and protect the water.

Locals can tell the difference.

“It wasn’t really just two years ago that it happened it was probably about a three or four year process, each year got progressively worse and we had a lot of personal property that people were violating and damage and just it wasn’t good,” said Robin Fortino, who lives near Torch Lake. “It was already better last year and then this year the presence out here has just been amazing.”

Even those from out of town are helping to keep the lake clean.

“A lot of times in the morning we’ll get up, especially the boats that stay out there overnight, we get up and try to clean up the best that we can and make sure that people are in order and we’ll surely alert the police, the law enforcement, if we see problems out there on the lake,” said Jeremy Tuggle, who lives out of town.

“Even as numbers pick up, we’re seeing families out with their kids enjoying the water, we’re seeing people of all ages being respectful and enjoying the beautiful resource that Torch Lake is,” said Lieutenant Josh Lator, from Michigan State Police Houghton Lake Post.