TRUE BLUE boating
Tube behind your boat
Rent a pontoon…
Launch a jet ski…
Enjoy the blue waters of Torch Lake!
Torch Lake is huge!
Look at a map & plan your route.
Out on the water is 15 °F colder than being on shore.
Prevent having an unhappy, cold crew:
- Bring jackets, towels and blankets.
There are many boats with inexperienced captains.
Prevent boat accidents:
- Watch out for other boats and watercraft.
- Stay far away from skiers and tubers.
Watch the Sky
Storms move in quickly on Torch Lake.
- When you see dark clouds or lightning, go to a safe harbor:
SOUTH: Torch River, Alden Harbor or Clam River
NORTH: Torch Lake Village
Follow the Law
Torch Lake is patrolled by Antrim and Kalkaska County marine officers.
Carry boat registration and boating certificates.
Prevent getting a ticket:
- Registration- Must display current sticker on boat.
- Boater Safety Card- Born after July 1, 1996.
Must carry a card.
- Boater Safety Card- Ages 14-15.
Must carry a card AND be with an adult.
Click here for the online boating safety course for certification: www.boat-ed.com
Buckle Up…in a Life Jacket
A life jacket can save your life!.
- Children Under 6- Must wear life jacket when boat is moving.
Arm bands/puffy arms are not safe or legal life jackets.
- Each passenger must have a life jacket
Rules on the Water
Prevent boating accidents:
- Don’t sit or stand on the bow unless it is designed with seats.
- Drink responsibly. Stay below the blood alcohol limit .08.
If ticketed with a DUI, it will go on your driving record.
- Go slow in NO WAKE ZONES.
In rivers, marinas and within 100 ft of shore.
- Sailboats and non-motorized vessels have the right-of-way.
Boats & Personal Water Craft (PWC) must stay 100 ft frompersons in the waterother boatsdocks andraftsunless going slow no-wake speed.
- NO U turns in Clam & Torch Rivers.
Go down the river until it widens, then turn around.
Clam River flows INTO Torch Lake.
Torch River flows OUT OF Torch Lake.
For Skiing, Wake Boarding & Tubing-
- Every person being towed must wear a life jacket.
- Boats towing a person must have a designated observer in addition to the driver
- When towing, stay 100 ft from shore, anchored vessels, docks, rafts and swimmers.
- Do not tow before sunrise or after sunset.
Need to operate:
- Boater Safety Card if born after December 31, 1978.
- Must be at least 14 years old with Boating Safety Card and if younger than 16 years must also be in the presence of a parent or guardian.
- Every person riding a PWC must wear life jacket.
When on the water:
- Stay 100 ft from dock, raft, swimmers and shore unless going slow no wake speed.
- Do not cross within 150 feet behind another boat moving faster than no wake speed.
- Do not operate PWC before 8 AM or after sunset.
In case of an accident:
For Antrim or Kalkaska Sheriff Marine Patrol, Fire or Ambulance
Protect Torch Lake
Non-native species can damage Torch Lake.
Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species:
Click on Invasive Species for more info.
- BEFORE launching, Clean, Drain & Dry your boat and trailer.
- Place unused bait in the trash, NOT the lake.
- Remove mud, plants & water that may harbor invasive species
Protect our Loons
Loons are threatened species and protected in Michigan.
Prevent loon deaths:
- Slow down and keep a distance of 50-100 feet
- If you hear them call, you are too close. Back away.
Best Boat Launches on Torch Lake
Public boat launches are maintained by local townships and the Department of Natural Resources.
- Fees may apply.
- Be courteous and patient.
- Respect adjacent private property.
North of Clam River
- MDNR Boat Launch- Eastport
- William Good Day Park- Torch Lake Township Park
South of Clam River
- MDNR Boat Launch- Torch River
- Alden Harbor
Where to Go
Swimming from Your Boat
- Anchor at public access sites.
Look for orange signs on the shore.
- Anchor 100 ft from private docks & rafts.
- Anchor in deeper water away from obstacles to protect your propellor.
- Drift in deep water to avoid swimmer’s itch.
- No mooring overnight.
Take the Torch Lake Boating Trail
- Cruise the lake.
- Enjoy landscape.
- Check out the cottages.
- A self-guided 45 mile trip around Torch Lake
- Short videos describe sights along the way
- Click here for map and video links
Care for the Lake You Love
- Take your trash home with you, including pet waste.
- Use public restrooms.
Torch Lake is not a toilet.
- Use marina pump- out facilities for toilet waste.
- Clean your boat while in trailer, not in the lake.
Use phosphate-free, biodegradable cleaning products.
- Sound travels farther over water- turn down volume.
- Raft boats further offshore.
- Natural shoreline is private property. Don’t trespass.
Don't just wish that Torch Lake will stay blue.
Choose a water-friendly lifestyle - make a difference!
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