One of the projects the TLA Board agreed to last summer was a National Lake Assessment (NLA) of Torch Lake, performed by Great Lakes Environmental Center (GLEC) in Traverse City, and supported in part by a grant from the Dole Foundation.  We now have the report, its appendices, and a PowerPoint presentation of the results from Dennis McCauley, the responsible GLEC scientist.

What is the NLA?
“The National Lakes Assessment (NLA) is a statistical survey of the condition of our nation’s lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. It is designed to provide information on the extent of lakes that support healthy biological condition and recreation, estimate how widespread major stressors are that impact lake quality, and provide insight into whether lakes nationwide are getting cleaner.” (From the EPA’s NLA website)

A suite of chemical, physical and biological indicators are included to assess biological integrity, trophic state, recreational suitability, and key stressors affecting the biological quality of lakes.  In 2017 the Three Lakes Association, in collaboration with other local environmental groups, contributed to having an NLA performed of Torch Lake by the Great Lakes Environmental Center (GLEC), an organization certified to perform these assessments for the EPA.  Torch Lake is not one of the lakes included in the national database of lakes assessed in the NLA program.  However, the assessment performed in 2017 by GLEC conforms to the protocols of the NLA and thus is suitable for reference and comparison with other similar lakes.

What was the Result?
The result of the survey was that Torch Lake water quality is good (the top available rating) and shoreline is poor (due to extensive development and loss of natural shoreline).

The Report Files
NOTE: These are large files, so the sizes are shown for each.

NLA Presentation (3MB): Torch Lake NLA Presentation
NLA Final Report (8MB): Final Report Torch Lake Assessment
Report Appendices (Zip format, 11MB): NLA Report Appendices