While Long Lake anglers reported good open-water fishing for walleye and perch in 2023, the warmest winter in the region’s history drastically reduced available days for ice fishing. Hopefully, this will translate to abundant fishing in the coming months. The state’s Free Fishing Weekend June 8th and 9th offers a great opportunity to get friends and family hooked on the sport. Licensing will be waived for both residents and out-of-state visitors on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. All regulations will still apply. For information on regulations, online licensing, and more visit: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/things-to-do/fishing.

Long Lake’s Walleye Stocking History

Many of us enjoy walleye fishing thanks to the state’s fish planting program. While successful seasons are now commonplace, the state recorded in the Creel Census only one walleye harvested from Long Lake between 1928 and 1948. The DNR’s online database tracks fish stocking going back to 1979. It reports walleye were first stocked in Long Lake in 1986. Between the initial planting of 6,720, and the last planting in 1995, nearly twelve million walleyes have been stocked. According to the DNR database, there have been no plantings of any species since 1995: https://www.dnr.state.mi.us/fishstock. A fish survey conducted by the DNR in the spring of 2017 was published in 2022. Per the survey, Long Lake continues to have high water quality and a solid and vibrant fishery.   DNR has no current plans for additional fish plantings in Long Lake. The full report link can be accessed from the LLA website.

Maintaining the Walleye Population

While stocking is one component to managing a healthy walleye population, it is also important to facilitate spawning. One way is to be aware of and protect spawning areas in the lake. Another is to preserve the female walleye population. You may be excited to catch a twenty-three incher, but most walleye over twenty-two inches are females per studies of northern climate lakes. So, if you want to help Long Lake’s walleye thrive for future fishing, take a picture, and throw it back. Happy fishing!

OUR LOONS | Rick Dahlstrom


The summer of 2023 was productive for the loons of Long Lake. Below is a summary report from Terry Motley in his last filing before retiring from Long Lake Association at the end of last year. Thank you, Terry, for your good work over the years in monitoring the health of our loon and fish population.

9 chicks hatched from the 5 nesting sites in 2023. All hatched between May 26th and May 31st.

Ruth Lake – 2 1 Chick was lost to an eagle

Mickey Lake – 2 Both Survived

Fox Island – 2 Both Survived

Gingerwood – 2 Both Survived

South Cove – 1 Survived

After the adults left, 6 of the 9 juveniles were together east of Fox island on October 16th.


With the early ice off the lake this year, the loons were back with a fair amount of time before their normal nesting period. Even with the colder temperatures since ice off, Long Lake volunteers have managed to get our five loon platforms in the water and ready for this year’s nesting season. Thanks to all who participated in getting this accomplished. You’re greatly appreciated!

A number of loons have been sighted throughout the lake this Spring. As of April 19, no nested pairs had yet moved onto the platforms to lay their eggs. This is not unusual as loons prefer to wait for warmer temperatures. The nests should, hopefully, fill up by the end of April and an update will be provided during our Welcome Back to Paradise meeting in June.

As we move into summer and are, hopefully, rewarded with another strong hatch of loon chicks, please do your part to ensure their safety. If you witness anyone harassing the loons, please ask them to move away to a safe distance, at least 200 feet away. In many cases, people just don’t understand the need for proper spacing for the loons. When educated, they will follow guidelines. If the problem continues, try to get the MC numbers from their boat or PWC and report to the Grand Traverse County Marine Patrol office at 231-922-2112. We cherish the natural beauty that loons bring to our lake. Let’s keep them safe!


Though cute and irresistible, these waterfowl play a key role in the life cycle of any parasite that causes “swimmer’s itch.”

By discouraging unnaturally large waterfowl populations in our lakes, the occurrence of this troublesome skin irritation can be reduced. (See Cercariae Cycle Diagram.)

As inhabitants of our lake community, these waterfowl feed on plants and other aquatic organisms. In turn, they eat the plants and remove a portion of the plants’ nutrients. When excreted, these nutrients support new plant growth. This is a natural cycle. However, when well-intentioned individuals feed waterfowl their numbers increase, and additional nutrients enter our lakes. This process, in turn, increases the swimmer’s itch problem.


The fish survey conducted by the DNR in the spring of 2017 has been published.

The report noted that the Bluegill numbers have “exploded,” showing a 686% increase (98/673) in the number of fish taken compared to the 2007 survey. The Largemouth Bass numbers increased 265% (64/170), and Northern Pike increased 208% (12/25), with a broader range of fish sizes from 11-43 inches. There was a significant increase in the Perch and Rock Bass population. The Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Pumpkinseed numbers were similar in size and numbers taken to the 2007 report. The report noted an abundance of forage species in the lake, with far more Shiner minnows present than in 2007. Growth rates were considered suitable for all species.

The DNR is planning to do a Walleye and Pike survey in the spring or fall of 2022 to understand better and manage their populations and determine if further stocking is needed.

The DNR encouraged landowners to reduce fertilizer and chemical treatments and discontinue the practice of clearing nearshore plant growth as they may be contributing to dissolved oxygen depletion and increased temperatures within the lake.

Long Lake continues to have the highest water quality and a solid and vibrant fishery. The full report link can be accessed from the LLA website, or you can download it at: https://longlakeassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/SFR2018-262_740719_7.pdf


As of late our riparian have been experiencing property damage by muskrats and beavers.  Below we have listed some links explaining damage prevention and control methods.  Please take a minute to read through this information before venturing out on your own to try an control the situation.


Remind Your House Guests / Renters of the Following Lake Rules:

  • If you rent your home/cottage, please remind guests that your neighbors are year-round residents. Please be respectful and keep noise low, especially in the evenings.  Turn off outdoor lights before going to bed as these can shine directly into neighboring houses and even into homes across the lake.
  • To file a complaint about a short-term rental, call the Long Lake Township complaint hotline anytime at (231) 600-7044.  You can also call the office during regular hours – 8:00 am through 5:30 pm (closed at noon), Tuesdays through Fridays – at (231) 946-2249.
  • For those operating a wave runner, the law states that a person shall not operate a PWC on the waters of this state from sunset to 8:00 A.M local time. Contact Marine Patrol at (231) 922-2112 to report violators. For more boater safety information, please go to https://mymlsa.org.
  • Please be mindful and respectful of the many loons and other wildlife when on the lake. Many loons will have young with them, which are hard to see. Loon Watch’s general rule of thumb for good loon etiquette is to keep a distance of two hundred feet from loons and loon chicks. State and federal laws prohibit the disturbance and harassment of the loons and wildlife.  There is a $1,000 fine for harassing a loon in Michigan.  Report complaints to Traverse City DNR at (231) 922-5280 or Marine Patrol at (231) 922-2112.  If this is not successful, contact the DNR at their 24-hour RAP line per the info below:
    • If you witness a natural resource violation (e.g. loon harassment, poaching, etc.), contact the DNR REPORT ALL POACHING (RAP) line at 800-292-7800 (CALL OR TEXT).  The RAP Center is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week. Please take pictures/video, if possible, per the DNR’s request.  Video is highly preferred!  Please provide the MC number of the offending watercraft when reporting incidents.   Otherwise, no action can likely be taken.