The Village of Paw Paw maintains the lake levels. They keep the level within 2-3 inches of the standard level of 136.6 inches as measured inside the dam. The level is checked routinely but a rainfall can influence the water level as much as 2 days later from water coming in from upstream. If the level is ever more than 3 inches higher than usual or it seems to have been on the high (or low) side for several days, please give DPS a call at (269) 657-3169.
There are numerous ways individuals can help protect and improve Maple Lake. We are looking for volunteers to operate the weed cutting boat several hours each week or as you are able to help curb the impact of unwanted aquatic weeds. Planting vegetative buffers between your lawn area and your seawall or the water’s edge helps to reduce the negative effects of storm water runoff and deters geese. For information about types of plants to use in buffer strips, you may wish to contact the Van Buren Conservation District. Natural shorelines are an alternative to seawalls that are less expensive to install, better for the environment, and highly effective for preventing erosion. Village staff can help with the permitting process if you choose this option. Do not feed water fowl and report the location of mute swan nests to the lake association or the Village. Finally, talk to your neighbors and share ideas about what you have learned about preserving our lakes and what we can do together to make improvements.
The most recent sediment testing was done in 2017 in the south basin of Maple Lake. Ten samples were evaluated and the average level of arsenic in the samples was 22.01 parts per million (ppm), which is low enough to not require special disposal procedures should dredging occur. The MDEQ conducted a dissolved arsenic test in October 2017 which shows how much arsenic is in the water. They evaluated four samples, the average of which was 2.23 ppm, which is very low. Arsenic is both naturally occurring and the result of non-point source pollution from farmland upstream.
A treatment area map can be found on the website. Signs are also placed on the properties near the treatment areas. The signs include information about the chemicals used in the treatment and any special instuctions regarding swimming and watering safety. Typically, it is suggested that contact with the water be avoided for seven days within the treatment area. Maple Lake members will also be notified via email of pending treatment dates.
Avoiding the treatment area, the weed boat can operate the same day. After seven days, it can resume its normal collection areas.
Fishing on Maple Lake is very enjoyable and yes, the fish are very safe to eat ... and they are very delicious!
The cost to dredge the lake would be approximately $3,000,000 dollars and dredging the mill pond would be about the same. The Village has tried to find grants and contributions to carry this large expense. The MLA is also searching for the necessary money to fund this project.
Yes, the drawdown is a valuable tool in Maple Lake's weed control arsenal. Summer of 2018 is a good example of weed growth when a drawdown did not happen during the winter of 2018/2019 due to the dam breaking.
Weed boat operators must be trained and certified by the Village of Paw Paw. Once certified, you can set your own schedule to use the boat. To become an operator, please contact Roman Plaszcak at 269-657-7298.