Lakes & Dams
Aerial Photos of Lakes
Browse our collection of aerial photos for lakefront and lake access home owners.
Lake Improvement Projects
Part 309 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA,) Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended, provides a legal mechanism for implementing improvements to inland lakes by establishing a Lake Improvement Board. The Lake Improvement Board is comprised of a member of the board of County Commissioners, a member of the local unit of government (city/village/township), a lakefront resident, and the County Drain Commissioner.
Dam Maintenance & Lake Levels
The Livingston County Drain Commissioner inspects, operates, and maintains 9 dams in Livingston County. Approximately 1/3 of 1 staff person’s time, averaged over the course of a year, is spent on monitoring and operating our lake level structures. Although the lake levels are Court ordered, and inspected regularly, official lake levels can fluctuate due to excessive precipitation or lack of rain and snow.
LAKE LEVEL CHANGE NOTIFICATIONS 2023 – All LAKE LEVEL CHANGES ARE TENTATIVE AND HIGHLY DEPENDENT BY WEATHER
Hiland Lake – Proposed start of drawdown to winter lake level is October 20, 2023. The court order stipulates a winter lake level of 882.2′ + or -.02′.
Thompson Lake – No proposed drawdown for 2023. The next drawdown will occur in the fall of 2024 due to the court order which stipulates a winter lake level of 901.5′ every other fall (even years).
West Crooked Lake – Proposed start of drawdown to winter level is October 18, 2023. The court order stipulates a winter lake level of 939.75′.
|Dam Location (Photo)||City of Howell|
8/26/1989 (Order Modified)
11/8/1999 (Order Modified)
|Legal Level (Summer)||904.5|
|Legal Level (Even Years – Winter)||901.5|
|Legal Level (Odd Years – Winter)||904.5|
|Lake Size||268.06 Acres|
|Tributary Area||7,808 Acres|
|Aerial Photo||View Aerial Photo
Contact the GIS Department for larger or more recent views.
West Crooked Lake
The West Crooked Lake level was established under Part 307 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), also known as Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended. The summer and winter lake levels are mandated by a 1990 Court Order, which came about by petition from the residents owning land surrounding the lake. The Livingston County Drain Commissioner (LCDC) is responsible for maintaining the levels through operation of the dam. LCDC is also responsible for inspecting and maintaining the dam.
The lake level is monitored by LCDC staff regularly, and more frequently during spring and fall rain events. The control structure consists of wooden boards (or slats) that can be added and removed to affect flow leaving the lake. There is not a perfect seal between each board, which means a trickle of water may still flow between the boards when boards are added.
The court order requires the lake to be lowered between November 1st – November 15th each year to obtain the winter level (939.75 feet). The order also stipulates that the change from winter level to summer level (940.66 feet) will occur at “ice out” each spring, which is defined as the breakup of ice from the shoreline. Based on requests by the Michigan DNR at the time of the court proceedings, the lake levels set by the court are intended to maintain a continuous flow of at least 2.5 cubic feet per second downstream of the dam, to the extent possible.
LCDC is obligated to adhere to the lake levels stipulated by the court order to the best of our ability. Fluctuations in lake level may occur due to excessive precipitation or lack of rain. The operation of the control structure during rain events takes into consideration the amount of rainfall, the lake level at the time of the rain event, and the impacts to landowners both upstream and downstream of the dam.
|Dam Location (Photo)||Genoa Township|
|Damn Location Map||PDF Map|
|Legal Level (Summer)||940.66 feet|
|Legal Level (Winter)||939.75 feet|
|Lake Size||188 acres|
|Tributary Area*||3,200 acres|
|Aerial Photos||Contact the GIS Department.|
Tributary area is the approximate acreage of all the land area that drains to the dam structure.