Helping keep Platte Lake Clean for 36 Years

The analysis of sampling programs study we commissioned has been published!

Last year the PLIA commissioned a statistical analysis to determine the minimum number of samples needed to detect changes in the total phosphorus concentration in Platte Lake. Dr. Eric Smith of Virginia Tech and Dr. Ray Canale collaborated on the study, which has now been published in the peer-reviewed journal Lake and Reservoir Management. Here's a link to the article:  An Analysis of sampling programs to evaluate compliance with numerical standards: total phosphorus in Platte Lake, MI

Swimmer's Itch Study

This summer the PLIA is participating in a study being done by Oakland University to better understand swimmer's itch.  Here are some documents related to this study:

Study overview powerpoint

Volunteer Instruction powerpoint

MSU Extension Bulletin on Swimmer's Itch


  • The MDNR successfully completed their five year compliance period demonstration effective December 31, 2015.  The Hatchery was in compliance with all phosphorus, flow, salmon passage  and all other requirements of the March 10, 2000 Consent Judgment with the MDNR.
  • The PLIA is now responsible for 100% of the cost of lake and river sampling.  We purchased a new YSI instrument, a PTFE Kemmerer and related support material.  The Benzie Conservation District has been contracted to perform lake and tributary sample collection.  The PLIA will continue to monitor Platte Lake and the tributaries for phosphorus, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity and ORP at 8 depths in the lake and in the tributaries.
  •  The Platte River Watershed Protection Plan was completed and approved by the MDEQ and the EPA late last year.  The document will be revised and periodically updated. 34 Hard copies will be distributed to Townships, government agencies, lake associations, etc.   The document is presently on the PLIA website: see link below.
  •  The PLIA has engaged Madelyn Messner from Oakland University and will be part of her swimmers itch study that will begin in July 2015.
  •  The PLIA will complete the final phase of the septic system phosphorus reduction with the addition of aluminum sulfate to the tank study this summer .
  •  The zoning overlay district and related phosphate fertilization ban that was approved in 2005 worked as it related to the Deadstream Road resurfacing project.  The Benzie County Road Commission was planning on using 800 lbs of 19/19/19 for lawn remediation on both sides of Deadstream from the bridge to M-22.  Once Lake Township was notified by the PLIA, they contacted the contractor and threatened litigation.  The plans were immediately changed and no chemical nutrients of any kind were utilized on the project….savings of 150 lbs of readily available phosphorus in the immediate drainage basin  of Platte Lake!
  •  PLIA document archiving is almost complete using Adobe Acrobat Eleven and a Canon 25 page per minute scanner capable of double sided scanning.  35+ file boxes to a thumb drive! And all searchable!
  •  Dr. Canale will be presenting his “final report” as Consent Judgment Implementation Coordinator 9:00 AM Monday June 8, 2015 at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery.
  •  The PLIA is working with the MDNR to amend specific areas of the Consent Judgment that require specific actions to be addressed in the absence of a “full time” implementation coordinator and the establishment of a “Operational Procedures Manual” for hatchery monitoring and lake and tributary sampling and related laboratory analysis, etc.

The Platte River Watershed Management Plan is now approved!

Click here for the plan (note: it is a large file).

Highlights of what we did in 2014:

  • Intensively monitored the lake and upstream watershed working with the MDNR and Dr. Canale, the Court-appointed Implementation Coordinator.
  • Partnered with Platte River Hatchery personnel in monitoring hatchery phosphorus discharges.
  • Completed and submitted a Platte River Watershed Management Plan which has been reviewed and approved by the MDEQ and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Continued testing the effectiveness of alum to precipitate phosphorus in homeowner septic systems.
  • Secured approval for Greywater demonstration systems to give homeowners a potentially cost-effective alternative to a holding-tank only system from the Benzie/Leelaneau Board of Health.
  • Continued efforts to educate homeowners on how they can help the lake.
  • Worked with the MDNR to negotiate the renewal of the hatchery’s NPDES permit.

Address:PO Box 272, Honor, MI 49640-0272


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