Are you planning a lake getaway vacation for this summer?  Time at any lake is a kid-friendly vacation and lets the family enjoy being outdoors and away from the daily grind. Whether you’re swimming, boating, fishing or chilling our eco-friendly tips will allow your family to relax and unwind knowing they’re being kind to the lake you’re visiting! While lake vacations are perfect for relaxing and feeling carefree, visitors should remember that our lakes and waterways are susceptible to stressors from inept behaviors. Lake House Livin’s simple eco-friendly tips and neighborly reminders should be taken to heart during your visit! Everyone and everything will be happier!!!  See our eleven tips below:

Show the lake some love

1. Don’t throw stuff in the lake!  Remember that a lake’s an ecosystem. Consequently, it’s easy to inadvertently harm the fish, birds, water quality and more.  Therefore, don’t throw soda cans, plastic water bottles, fishing line, paper and trash in the water.

2. Avoid pulling plants out of the shoreline. If you’re thinking that shoreline plants are just weeds, please think again!  Actually, those plants are an important part of the lake’s ecosystem. Not only do they secure the soil along the shore they also provide food and shelter for the fish, frogs, snakes and more. It’s best not to disturb the shoreline plant life.

3. Dispose of your fish bait responsibly and not in the lake! You’re probably thinking it’s fine to dump your bait into the lake because it’s food for the fish.  As a matter of fact, fish bait can be tainted with aquatic invasive species (AIS) that aren’t natural to the lake. When AIS is released and grows in the lake waters, it negatively changes the lake’s ecology in just a few years. So, when you done with your bait, either bury it or throw it in the garbage.

4. Be aware of the sensitive lake cabin plumbing! A typical lake cabin has a septic system. Don’t throw anything down the toilet except toilet paper as a stressed septic system will pollute the lake water.

Be considerate of the lake’s wildlife

5. Make sure you comply with fishing regulations. In most public lakes you need a fishing license. Also, check local regulations regarding bag limits (how many and what size fish are legal to keep), legal hours to fish and more. Keep in mind that local DNR agents can be on a lake and may ask to see your fishing license.  Fishing without a license is a Class A Misdemeanor with sizable fines that will spoil your vacation!

6. Don’t throw cigarette butts or cigar stubs into the lake water. While it might seem trivial, cigarette and cigar remnants in the water are harmful to the fish and birds. Surprisingly, these items don’t dissolve but remain intact and toxic. Cigarette filters are cellulose and absorb tar which poisons small water crustaceans. Cigar butts have lots of toxic tobacco. Its best to throw butts and stubs in the garbage.

7. Respect the waterfowl and wildlife around the lake. Be aware that harassing birds such as loons and ducks is illegal in most states. Migratory waterfowl are protected by state and federal laws. Don’t harm the frogs, snakes or other critters in and around the water’s edge. Its their home first.  Also, if you want to feed ducks around the lake don’t give them bread! Thawed frozen peas, cracked corn or oats are better for them and for the lake.

Be safe on the water

8. Be sure you review boating regulations on the lakes you plan to cruise. Most states have boating regulations that define no wake zones, navigation speeds based on the distance from shore, top speeds of operation, boating hours and more. These rules keep everyone safe.

9. Check the location of any navigation hazards in any of the lake waters you plan to visit. Hitting a hazard like a boulder or sand bar can spoil a fun day on the water. Hopefully the hazards are marked but don’t assume that’s the case.

Be respectful of the full-time residents

10. Be good neighbors when you visit the lake. Noise and light pollution are real issues everywhere. Part of escaping to the lake is the magic of the remote getaway. Remember that bright lights and loud music anytime aren’t pleasant for the local lake residents or the wildlife.

11. Respect the lake’s evening curfews and early morning hours. If you want to party late in the evening, move your party indoors for the sake of the wildlife and the neighbors.

Generally, most lakes in the United States are owned by the individual states for the enjoyment and use of the public!  It’s up to all of us to help take care of the lakes as our collective natural resource. We know these eco-friendly tips protect the lakes. We hope sharing the tips with you will enhance your lake vacation experience.

A special note for Short Term Rental Property owners or Lake house owners: Please find Lake House Livin’s cute printable graphic with our eco-friendly tips and neighborly advice summarized. It’s suitable for putting on the fridge or hanging on the wall!

Free Printable Reminder for your guests: