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Lake Rules

Independence Township Ordinances
For Permits, Boating, Swimming & Fishing on Deer Lake

Information copied directly from independence township website 07/2011


Division 2
Deer Lake

Sec. 34-93

Sec. 34-94

Sec. 34-95

Sec. 34-96
Possession; custody on the beach

Sec. 34-97
Swimming regulations

Sec. 34-98
Boating and fishing regulations

Sec. 34-99.

Secs. 34-100—34-126

Sec. 34-93 – Definitions

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Beach means and includes a public area on Deer Lake leased by the township, and used for swimming, fishing and boating.

Deer Lake means the body of water situated in Sections 19 and 30, Town 4 North, Range 9 East, Township of Independence, County of Oakland, State of Michigan.

(Code 1982, § 15-56; Ord. No. 79, §§ 2.1, 2.2, 7-16-1974)

Sec. 34-94 – Hours

Beach facilities are open every day from 10:00 a.m. to sunset, May 24 through September 1.

(Code 1982, § 15-57)

Sec. 34-95 – Permits

(a) Permits can be purchased at the township offices Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., beginning May 1st. A person must have proof of residency.

(b) A fee will be required if the key or membership card is lost.

(Code 1982, § 15-58)

Sec. 34-96 – Possession; custody on the beach

(a) On a beach no person shall be in possession or custody of any one of the following:

(1) A container or reservoir of any kind or size made in whole, or in part, of glass; or

(2) A pet.

(b) On a beach no person shall in any manner use or consume an alcoholic liquor.

(c) On a beach, no person shall ignite, tend, or in any manner maintain a fire or barbeque device, nor shall a person in any manner cook food or do any picnicking.

(d) In a parking lot or parking facility used with, for, or incidental to a beach, no person shall park an automobile or other motor-driven vehicle in an area which has not been designated for such purpose. If an ambiguity as to whether an area is designated for parking purposes, an instruction, warning or order given by a law enforcement officer or beach employee to the effect that a particular area is not designated for such purpose shall constitute due and proper notice to any person that an area has not been designated for parking purposes.

(e) No person shall be on a beach at any time while the gates provided for ingress and egress to the beach are locked, or, in any event, no person shall be on a beach prior to sunrise or subsequent to sunset.

(Code 1982, § 15-59; Ord. No. 79, §§ 4.1—4.5, 7-16-1974)

Sec. 34-97 – Swimming regulations

(a) The following swimming regulations shall be obeyed at Deer Lake:

(1) No swimming outside the markers;

(2) No more than ten persons on the diving raft;

(3) No playing or wading allowed in the stream channel;

(4) No climbing or playing allowed on the walking bridge;

(5) No dunking or general horseplay in the water;

(6) No children under ten years of age are allowed to use the facility without adult accompaniment (ten-year-olds, however, may not bring in younger brothers/sisters);

(7) No swimming around the diving raft with lifejackets, inner tubes or similar devices;

(8) No swimming or playing around the swim markers; and

(9) Under no circumstances are non-swimmers allowed on the raft.

(b) Lifeguards have the authority to clear the water at any time.

(Code 1982, § 15-60)

Sec. 34-98 – Boating and fishing regulations

(a) All boats using Deer Lake must display the appropriate township boat sticker on the starboard side.

(b) There is a guest fee for boaters from outside the township. The one-day permit can be picked up at the Deer Lake Beach station. Guest boaters must be off the lake when the beach closes because the boat gate is locked.

(c) Boaters and skiers are to stay 100 feet from swim markers or swimmers.

(d) No swimming shall be done outside the swim area. Diving from rafts, canoes, sailboats, pontoons or similar craft is prohibited.

(e) Bank fishing is not permitted between May 24 and September 1, during normal beach hours.

(f) On the waters of Deer Lake, between the hours of 7:30 p.m. each day and 11:00 a.m. of the following day, the following activities shall be prohibited:

(1) Operation of a vessel at high speed; and

(2) Towing or otherwise assisting in the propulsion of a person on water skis, water sled, kite, surfboard or other similar contrivance.

(g) On the waters of Deer Lake no person shall tow, or otherwise assist in the propulsion of, more than two persons at one time on water skis, water sled, kite, surfboard or other similar contrivances.

(h) On the waters of Deer Lake, north of the south line of the northwest one-quarter of the southeast one-quarter of Section 19, no person shall operate a vessel at a speed exceeding a slow no wake speed.

(i) All persons must lock the boat gate each time they use the boat launch.

(j) Boats are not to be docked overnight at Deer Lake.

(Code 1982, § 15-61; Ord. No. 79, § 3.3, 7-16-1974)

Sec. 34-99 – Violations

(a) The failure to comply with any restriction set forth in this division shall constitute a violation of this division.

(b) If a person shall violate more than one restriction of this division, each restriction violated shall constitute a separate offense.

(c) If a person shall be given a violation notice with respect to a restriction in this division, a subsequent violation of the same restriction by the same person shall constitute a separate offense.

(d) Regulations under this division shall be strictly enforced. Violations or misuse of the privileges or property may result in the loss of privileges.

(Code 1982, § 15-62; Ord. No. 79, §§ 5.1—5.3, 7-16-19)

General Rules Summarized by the Deer Lake Property Owners Association

All rules below are in compliance with Independence Township Ordinances

  1. Rules and regulations are established by Township Ordinance and will be enforced. Violations or misuse of the rules or property may result in loss of privileges.
  2. Season passes and keys can be purchased at Independence Township Hall, Parks and Recreation Department, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  3. There is no parking outside the designated boat trailer parking area. Trailers parked within the beach patron parking area, along White Lake Road or in Depot Park will be ticketed and towed.

Fishing Rules

  1. No fishing will be permitted inside or within 100 feet of the swimming areas. Bank fishing in the boat launch area is not allowed during normal beach hours. See Beach Hours.
  2. There is an under-water shelf (shaded area) that projects out into the lake from the beach area (east end of the lake). It can be extremely hazardous if someone should step off the shelf. Water depth can change from 3 feet to 30 feet with one step. See map for below for contours and depths.

Boating Rules

  1. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on any watercraft.
  2. When the parking lot for boat trailers is full, no more watercrafts will be allowed to launch until another watercraft exits. Due to limited space, vehicles hauling boat trailers will not be allowed to wait in the parking lot for another trailer to leave. Violators of this rule will be issued a parking ticket and may lose Deer Lake launching privileges.
  3. Violation of any rule or any of the State of Michigan safety regulations could result in a possible penalty and/or loss of Deer Lake launching privileges.
  4. All watercraft using Deer Lake display the appropriate Township watercraft sticker on the starboard side.
  5. No high speed boating or pulling of water skiers prior to 11:00 a.m. or after 7:30 p.m. High speed boating means a speed at, or above, which a motorboat reaches a planning condition. No more than two persons at one time on water skis behind the same watercraft. Watercraft pulling skiers must have an observer, other than the driver, watching skiers.
  6. The north end of the take has a SLOW NO WAKE speed zone. SLOW NO WAKE means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wakes created by the vessel is minimal.
  7. There are limited one-day permits for watercraft being launched or used by a Non-Resident of Independence Township. The one-day permit must be purchased at Deer Lake Beach from staff on duty. Guest boaters must be off the lake when the beach closes because the boat gate is locked.
  8. All watercraft and skiers MUST stay 100 feet from the swimming area, dock, raft, a buoyed divers flag, or a vessel moored or at anchor.
  9. All persons operating vessels on the lake shall operate in a counter clockwise fashion, in so far as it is reasonably possible.
  10. No swimming outside the swimming area. Diving from canoes, pontoons, sailboats or similar craft is prohibited.
  11. You MUST LOCK the boat launch gate each time you use the boat launch.
  12. Watercrafts are not to be docked over night at Deer Lake.
  13. Persons born after December 31,1978 must show a certificate of completion for the operation of a personal watercraft. No one under the age of 16 may operate a personal watercraft without direct adult supervision.
  14. All marine rules will be enforced.