Lake Levels 

Established Lake Levels 

Washtenaw County is involved with several lake level projects. 

  • Four Mile Lake 
  • Hiland Chain of Lakes 
  • Horseshoe Lake 
  • Iron Lake
  • Portage-Baseline Lakes   
  • Whitmore Lake  

The lake levels are controlled with control structures such as a dam or weir.  A controlled lake level allows for greater aesthetic and recreational value. The cost of maintenance and operation of the lake level and the control structure is shared among properties within the Lake Level District. 

Control Structure 
 Additional Information
Four Mile Lake

Large circular metal pump house set into the ground surrounded by grass.
  • Location: Dexter and Lima Townships
  • Lake Size: 
  • Legally Established Level: 887.00
  • Date Established: January 30, 1984

Hiland Chain of Lakes (Intercounty Lake)

Hiland Lake Dam
Image courtesy of Livingston Co. Drain Commission 
  • Location: Dexter and Putnam Townships
  • Lake Size: 119.07 acres
  • Legally Established Level: 
  • Date Established: September 16, 1981

Horseshoe LakeImage of small dam like structure in place at edge of lake. Small slow river drains out of the lake.
  • Location: Northfield Township
  • Lake Size: 88.66 acres
  • Legally Established Level: 897.23
  • Date Established: June 6, 1956

Iron LakeLarge circular grate is in a lake
  • Location: Manchester Township
  • Lake Size:
  • Legally Established Level: 915.80
  • Date Established: November 23, 1966

Portage/Base LineLarge dam with water flowing out of it.
  • Location: Dexter and Webster Townships
  • Lake Size: 
    • Portage- 664 acres
    • Base Line - 254 acres
  • Legally Established Level:
    • Summer 851.54, 
    • Winter range 850.04 - 850.29
  • Date Established: February 7, 1949
Whitmore Lake
(Intercounty Lake)

Free standing elevated pump in drain
  • Location: Northfield and Hamburg Townships
  • Lake Size: 
  • Legally Established Level: 895.00-895.60 
  • Date Established: June 17, 1969

How To Establish A Lake Level

Under the Inland Lake Level Act (Part 307 of P.A. 59 of 1995), a board of commissioners may file a petition in circuit court to establish a special assessment district to pay the costs of establishing and maintaining a lake level. The board of commissioners must file such petition if requested in writing by two-thirds of the freeholders owning lands abutting the lake. 

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners delegates administrative duties to the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner to oversee lake level projects. The Water Resources Commissioner must determine the apportionment of costs incurred and assess for maintenance of the lake level.