Safety Rules

Summer Safety Rules:

Motorized boats travel only in a counterclockwise direction and all Michigan boating and fishing regulations apply. 

  1. All watercraft operators must observe the boating laws of the State of Michigan.  For more information, contact the Enforcement Officer, a Board Member and visit this website
  2. All watercraft must display a RED Lake Manitou sticker on the right-hand side of the watercraft or they will not be allowed to operate on Lake Manitou.  Only Watercraft registered to a Lake Manitou resident are allowed on the lake.  To obtain a RED Lake Manitou sticker, contact the Enforcement Officer or a Board Member.
  3. All watercraft pulling skiers must have an observer/spotter plus driver and clear all swimmers by 100 feet.  All skiers must wear life jackets.
  4. All skiing must be done on the large side of the lake and in a counter-clockwise pattern.  No skiing on the small (west) side of the lake.  Only residents with property on the small side can use it to take-off and return.
  5. Do not drop a ski in the boat traffic pattern.
  6. Lake Manitou residents are responsible for educating their guests on the Lake Manitou Safety Rules prior to a guest operating the resident’s watercraft in Lake Manitou.
  7. A maximum of three (3) watercraft pulling skiers, tubers, or other like devices are allowed out on the lake at any given time.  The number of other non-skiing watercraft allowed to simultaneously operate on the lake is unlimited.  The only limit is for the number of watercraft simultaneously pulling skiers, tubers, or other like devices.
  8. No boating above idle until 10:00 a.m., and after 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Legal Holidays.
  9. No boating above idle until 10:00 a.m., and after Sunset on Weekdays.
  10. State of Michigan law says a person shall not operate a personal watercraft during the period that begins 1 hour before Sunset and ends at 8:00 am, each personal watercraft must be equipped with one B1 type fire extinguisher.

     “Those less than 14 years of age many not legally operate a PWC.  Those 14 and 15 years of age may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate and …”

          • “He or she is accompanied on board by his or her parent or legal guardian or by a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or the legal guardian or …”
          • “He or she is operating or riding the PWC at a distance of not more than 100 feet from his or her parent or legal guardian or from a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian.”
  11. A person operating a personal watercraft shall not cross within 150 feet behind another vessel, other than another personal watercraft, unless the personal watercraft is operating at a slow-no wake speed.
  12. A person who operates a personal watercraft or a person that is being towed by a personal watercraft shall not operate within 100 feet of: a dock, a raft, a buoyed or occupied bathing or swimming area, a person in the water or on the water in a personal flotation device, an anchored or moored vessel, or a vessel that is drifting or sitting dead in the water.
  13. A person may not operate a watercraft at a speed above slow no-wake speed within 100 feet of a shoreline.
  14. Wake Board Boats are prohibited from use on Lake Manitou waters. A Wake Board Boat (Wave Boat, Bladder Boat) is defined as a boat engineered or equipped to increase the boats weight and mass or to raise or lower the boat in the water for the intended purpose of creating additional wave height, frequency or energy. This can be done by adding/subtracting ballast water, hull designed wake plate or hull designed hydrogate. The intent is not to eliminate “wake” on Lake Manitou. The purpose is to protect shorelines.

No Wake Time

Winter Safety Rules:

  1. Arm bands must be worn around the outside of the coat/jacket sleeve at all times while ice fishing and all ice fishing parties must display at least one at all times.
  2. Arm bands are issued to Association members and are available from the Association President.
  3. Lake Manitou Association members are allowed to have permanent or portable ice shanties on the lake.  Shanties must have the owner’s name, address and phone number on all four sides in letters 2-3” tall.  Portable shanties are permissible for resident’s guests for single day use only.
  4. Guests must park on the resident’s property, not on the street.

Fishing and Hunting Rules:

  1. State of Michigan fishing regulations apply on Lake Manitou.  See the State of Michigan Fishing Guide.  Visit this website and search on “Fishing Guide.”
  2. Hunting of ducks, geese and wild animals is prohibited on or around Lake Manitou by use of firearms, archery or crossbow.  All State hunting regulations apply.

Hunting Restriction Information:

      • Lake Manitou is a 73 acre lake surrounded by residential homes. There is no area on or around the lake where a hunter can safely utilize firearms, archery or crossbow for the hunting of wild animals, ducks or geese and not be in violation of the State hunter safety zone requirement.
      • In December 2013 the Board agreed to prohibit all hunting of wild animals, ducks or geese, expanding the previous rule that prohibited hunting of ducks or geese from the island.
      • Hunting from the island was prohibited due to errant gun shots causing property damage and the potential for personal injury.
      • Please contact a Board member if you have any questions or concerns on this issue.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Hunting Guide

“Safety zones are all areas within 150 yards (450 feet) of an occupied building,  house, cabin, or any barn or other building used in a farm operation. No person,  including archery and crossbow hunters, may hunt or discharge a firearm,  crossbow or bow in a safety zone, or shoot at any wild animal or wild bird  within a safety zone, without the written permission of the owner or occupant of  such safety zone. The safety zone applies to hunting only. It does not apply to  indoor or outdoor shooting ranges, target shooting, law enforcement activities or the discharge of firearms, crossbows or bows for any non-hunting purpose.”