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Description and History
Governmental Lake Board

Lake Level

The Austin Lake dam is set at 855.64 feet above sea level.  The lake level is monitored by United States Geological Survey and can be viewed at their web site: Austin Lake USGS.  Note that when viewing the lake level information, the Datum of the gage (which is the zero of the gage) is set to 850.15 feet above sea level.  Thus, a reading of 6 on the gage is 856.15 (6 + 850.15) feet above sea level.  Click for more information.

Lakeside Construction

Guide to Residential Lakefront Construction

How to make an existing seawall lake friendly

Lake property owner Miko Dargitz did a little research on how to make an existing seawall more lake friendly.
   Click to see Softening Hard Seawalls
   Click to see Natural Shoreline Partnership article (see bottom of article)

Purple Loosestrife

In 2001, the City of Portage Environmental Advisory Board initiated a Purple Loosestrife Management Program to control the spread of this invasive non-native plant species.

The Environmental Advisory Board, in conjunction with MSU Extension Service, introduced a natural biological control into areas already infected with Purple Loosestrife -- a specific beetle species that feeds only on Purple Loosestrife plants.

In 2001 and 2002, beetles were released on the fringes of Mandigo Marsh and the shore of Lakeview Park. In 2003, the Environmental Advisory Board met with lake association representatives in a cooperative program to initiate purple loosestrife control in heavily infested areas of West, Gourdneck, Long and Austin Lake as well as Sugarloaf Drain.

Since 2001, with the exception of 2009, these beetles have been released in areas of Austin Lake (with two releases during 2016).

The Austin Lake representatives would like to hear from those lake residents with infestations of loosestrife plants who would permit an implanting of leaf-eating beetle plants. If you can help, please contact:
                                Tim Winslow TimWinslow77@gmail.com

Lakeside Lawn Fertilizer should be phosphorus free!

There are three major nutrients in a fertilizer:
• nitrogen, which makes grass plants grow and become greener
• phosphorus, which stimulates root and seedling development
• potassium, which promotes disease and drought resistance

The analysis of the contents of a bag of fertilizer is printed on the front of every bag, and shown as:

    29                  3                  15

The analysis of fertilizer doesn’t tell a user anything how it willperform. Two fertilizers with the same analysis can producedramatically different results – depending upon numerous factors, suchas application rate, amount of watering, fertilizer coating, etc.

A fertilizer for LAKESIDE LAWNS will have NO phosphorous in it, and the analysis will look like this:

     30                 0                  15

Where to obtain lakeside fertilizer:

Romence Garden
30-0-15 50# bag covers 10,000 sq. ft.

Wedels Garden Center
28-0-12 fertilizer 20# bag covers 5,000 sq. ft.

Farm N Garden
30-0-15 fertilizer 50# bag covers 15,000 sq. ft.
15-0-15 fertilizer 50# bag w/crabgrass preventer covers 10,000 sq. ft.

Protecting the Lakeside Environment

Avoid applying pesticides and herbicides at lakeside

Use phosphorous-tree fertilizer on lake or streamside lawns

Avoid weed and feed killers

Don't blow or rake leaves into a lake or stream. This adds unneeded nutrients to the water.

Pick up shoreline litter

Fuel watercraft engines carefully, avoiding spills

Do not drain pools or spas into streams or lakes

Direct drain pipes and rainwater runoff away from the lake

Plant steep banks with natural vegetation; terrace banks to prevent erosion and trapwater

Prevent runoff into streams or lakes with natural landscape plantings in a buffer area or greenbelt

Austin Lake Fish Stocking Database