Welcome to Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association or ESLA as our non-profit is best known. We’re dedicated to preserving and protecting the quality of the precious waters we love. We’re talking about those fishy, deep (Elk), shallow (Skegemog) lakes and connecting waters with their spectacular sunrises and sunsets that brought and keep us here. 

Bluegill protecting spawning bed on the north end of Elk Lake.

We conduct science-supported research; help property owners protect their waters; prevent, control or eradicate invasive species; identify pollution sources; educate with events and communications; advocate water policy; collaborate with other committed organizations. Read more to learn more!

Upcoming Event

Shore Thing with Steve Jessmore July 25 at 5 p.m.

Nationally-recognized photographer Steve Jessmore, winner of top awards for his photography of birds in Michigan, including on our waters, will discuss how he gets his amazing photos and how you can improve on your own.

This event will be held at the Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor Pavilion located next to the boat launch at the Elk Rapids municipal marina on East Bay.

Please help ESLA staff plan for this (July 25) Shore Thing Event at 5 p.m. with your RSVP to elkskegemoglakes@gmail.com. We will also record the event and upload it to our YouTube channel within in a week. 



About 500 individuals, couples, families and businesses supported Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association in 2023. Thank you!

In 2024, we’ll continue, with your help, to protect, preserve, monitor, educate, and advocate for water quality and member enjoyment of their properties. Become a member today.

New Guide: Handbook for Waterfront Owners 

Waterfront owners, especially new ones, should check out the new, digital resource guide brimming with helpful tips aimed at those who own property on our waters. The guide offers guidance in a simple to understand, yet definitive package. Former ESLA President Bob Kingon collaborated with the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay to produce the “Waterfront Resource Guide”. This guide replaces the still useful printed “ESLA Riparian Handbook” published in 2005. Find the revised guide HERE.



Count on ESLA to work hard to protect our waters and explore new ideas and partnerships with upstream lake associations in our watershed, as well as other organizations.

Click Here to view Our Plan



Mark Your Calendar for ESLA’s Shore Things

ESLA’s remaining Shore Thing events will be held at the Pavilion next to the boat launch of the Elk Rapids Marina on East Bay. Doors open for all events at 5 p.m. and speakers will begin between 5:30 and 5:45. Refreshments will be served. If you can’t attend, all the events are posted within about a week on ESLA’s YouTube channel and on this website.

JULY 25: Nationally-recognized photographer Steve Jessmore, winner of top awards for his photography of birds in Michigan, including on our waters, will discuss how he gets his amazing photos and how you can improve on your own.

AUGUST 22: Freshwater biologist Ron Reimink, who has worked with ESLA on several past projects, will present his latest research on the dreaded “swimmer’s itch.” 

SEPT. 26: We’re still working to nail down our final presentation of 2024. We’ll update this website with the information once it’s available. 

LOVE YOUR LAKES: Renew or Support ESLA

LOVE YOUR LAKES: Renew or Support ESLA

ESLA dues, at your discretion, range from $50-$1,000. Not surprisingly, costs for contractors, hosting events, supporting research, ensuring navigational safety with Skegemog-to-Torch River buoys, and other ESLA work have increased. For returning members, please consider — if you can — increasing your support level or even becoming a Champion or Legend. For those of you sharing the waterfront who have not paid ESLA dues, please consider joining at any level. All new and renewing members’ names are listed in our March newsletter! Questions? Contact us HERE or call membership Coordinator Deanna Seifried at 937-602-2295. Contact Us

To pay 2024 dues or other ESLA support with a credit card, click HEREOr write a check to the Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association. Send to P.O. Box 8, Elk Rapids, MI. 49629. Membership is open to all.

*ESLA is a 501(c)(3) IRS-certified not-for-profit organization. Your contribution may be tax deductible.

LOVE YOUR LAKES: Join Our Volunteer Team

LOVE YOUR LAKES: Join Our Volunteer Team

Volunteers for ESLA’S board, committees and specific projects play a critical role for our non-profit. From boat washes to photography to helping at our various events. Whether you’re still working or retired, we can always use more help. Reach out to us HERE or contact a board member.

Is this your year to join ESLA's Champions?

Is this your year to join ESLA's Champions?

ESLA’S launch in 2022 of a Champion program allowing supporters to show a deep commitment to meet known and future water quality challenges continues. Champion dollars go into a Strategic Environmental Fund that must grow to respond to major or unexpected challenges. Champions may make a $5,000 contribution in a single year or commit to reaching $5,000 in support over five years with a minimum $1,000 initial contribution. Questions or interest in becoming a Champion? Contact Dean Ginther at 231-676-2928 or HERE.  Dean can also explain ESLA’s Legends program for planned giving through estates and other vehicles.

Preserving and Protecting Our Precious Resources