Lake Stats





Guardian Logo

Become a Glen Lake/ Crystal River Watershed Guardian!

Learn best lake management tips, protect the water — seen and unseen — add value to your property!

Take the Pledge to Protect here.

Hot Topics

GLA’s Annual Meeting is Thursday, August 6

Education, News August 3, 2020 No Response

The Glen Lake Association Annual Meeting will be held on
Thursday, August 6, from 4 pm to 5:15 pm 

Please join us online!

Registration is required to attend the Zoom webinar which will feature:

  • A new 75th GLA video
  • Special recognitions
  • State of the Watershed address with watershed biologist, Rob Karner.

Register here.

Road End Permitted Uses

Education, News July 20, 2020 No Response

The Glen Lake Association (GLA) has been dedicated to protecting, preserving and caring for the Glen Lake/Crystal River Watershed for over 75 years. Through scientific research, invasive species control and education the GLA strives to protect the environment and quality of life for all users of our waters.

In an effort to limit invasive species from entering our waters, the GLA monitors the 17 road ends that exit on both the Glen Lakes. While the GLA does not have the ability to legally enforce actions at the road ends, we do acknowledge the importance of adhering to Michigan Inland Lakes law for the protection of our lakes.

Below we have identified key resources for road end information and rules. You may also
contact the GLA office at or call (231)334-7645 with further

Public Act 56 of 2012 makes it a misdemeanor to use public road-ends for placing boat hoists or
boat anchorage systems, mooring or docking boats between midnight and sunrise as well as installing a dock or wharf. The penalty is a $500 fine, with each 24-hour period constituting a
separate and new violation, thus allowing for subsequent and repeated citations. The Road-
Ends Law also creates an implied cause of action in the civil courts as well.

Permissible activities are limited to accessing the surface of the water and the installation of a
public dock to assist in providing access to the water. Other recreational activities, such as
those normally conducted at public parks like games and sunbathing, are prohibited, including
the anchoring of boats and other watercraft on a non-temporary basis.

Empire Township:
Select Ordinances-Road End Ordinance

Glen Arbor Township:
Select #1-2008 Public Road Endings 11.18.08

Empire and Glen Arbor Townships: Zoning Administrator Tim Cypher 231-360-2557.

Michigan Lakes & Streams (search Road-Ends)

New Discoveries in Swimmer’s Itch

Education, News June 22, 2020 No Response

Prevention is the Key

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” so the saying goes.  This certainly rings true for Swimmer’s Itch. Prevention is the key to itch free enjoyment of our waters.

Listed below are suggested preventative strategies based on GLA Swimmer’s Itch research on the behavior and life cycle of Swimmer’s Itch. If carefully employed, these methods will work to greatly reduce the total number of or even eliminate itch cases for an entire swim season. Please note that these strategies should be used together to be most effective at preventing Swimmer’s Itch.

  • Cover your skin with swimwear that covers the area you want to be itch free (SI rarely affects a person’s hands, feet, and face)
  • Towel off vigorously after swimming
  • Swim in the afternoon or early evening vs. morning
  • Do not swim when the wind is blowing onshore.
  • Do not swim/wade in shallow water without using prevention measures
  • Install a swim baffle in your swim area (two years of research indicates this works!)
  • Use a parasite skimmer (watch the video link below for more info)
  • Use a kid friendly wading or “kiddy pool” vs. using shoreline lake water for small kids to swim more safely and itch free.

Be aware that there is never a case, even using all these tactics, that Swimmer’s Itch risk can be reduced to zero. But there is so much we can do to have our best chance at preventing the itch. Check out this informative Swimmer’s Itch Prevention Video on what we learned from our 2017-2019 research and for more details about what you can do! And if you do experience Swimmer’s Itch, please click here to report a caseWith your help, we can monitor and track cases of Swimmer’s Itch —and progress in managing it.

Brief tutorial and history of Swimmer’s Itch

Cercarial larva is the parasite that causes Swimmer’s Itch on Glen Lake. (NOTE: there are multiple species of parasites that cause Swimmer’s Itch in Michigan.) Cercariae are shed by multiple snail species that are infected by parasites transmitted by avian hosts —such as the Common Merganser, Canada Geese and Mallard ducks.

Historically we tried to break the lifecycle of the parasite in one of the two hosts. We tried to kill the snails by copper sulfate treatment, but that was ineffective (snails repopulated after expiration of the two hours of chemical potency). However, this was the only treatment for more than 30 years, from the 1950s to the 1980s. We tried to remove and harass the resident mergansers which at the time were thought to be the exclusive avian hosts on our lake from the 1980’s-2019. Despite these efforts, numbers of mergansers and cases of swimmer’s itch increased, and we discovered through DNA testing that mergansers were not the exclusive SI hosts we had once thought them to be.

Where are we now?

The Glen Lake Association has a 30-plus year effort in the research and management of Swimmer’s Itch. Our research in the mid-’80s helped define the life-cycle of Swimmer’s Itch on Glen Lake, i.e., one snail species and one bird species. Research from 2017-2019 again revolutionized the scientific understanding of Swimmer’s Itch. Through use of DNA testing, multiple species of itch were identified (including a never before discovered species) cycling through multiple bird hosts in addition to the Common Merganser, all contributing to Swimmer’s Itch on Glen Lake. Given what we now know, it is clear that attempts to control Swimmer’s Itch by interrupting this complex life cycle are ineffective.

Given the newly understood, increasingly complex nature of Swimmer’s Itch and clear and overwhelming evidence that copper sulfate application and Merganser harassment, trapping and relocation are ineffective and even harmful, what is there left to do? The Glen Lake Association has learned and continues to make new discoveries that lead us to new approaches for combatting Swimmer’s Itch. The key to future success in our treatment of Swimmer’s Itch is to prevent humans from coming into contact with the Cercarial larva. Using what we have learned about the behavior of Swimmer’s Itch, we can arm our ourselves against exposure to the Itch.


Prevention is the key! Research has demonstrated that there are methods and technologies available to effectively control individual swimmer exposure to Swimmer’s Itch. But we need your help! Ongoing research including the use of data from Swimmer’s Itch case reporting will be keys to furthering our ability to protect against and prevent Swimmer’s Itch.

Watch an informative video about SI here.