Boating is fun for everyone when you treat Torch Lake like a treasure.
Did You Know?
- Local businesses rent watercraft.
- Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation!
- Always wear a life jacket or have them easily accessible on board!
Rental Company’s Responsibilities
It’s simple…to provide you with a safe craft to enjoy on the lake.
This is simple too… when you rent, you are responsible for your own actions and safety, as well as the safety of others.
Know the Lake.
- Buy a navigational chart or a map of the Elk River Chain of Lakes from the marina.
- Become familiar with the water depths in the lake.
- There are shallow areas near the many points where you can run aground or damage your propeller or the boat.
- Locate the safe harbors, boat launches, marinas and public access sites before venturing out on the water.
Know the Law.
BEFORE you rent a boat, take a Michigan Boater Safety class from your local Sheriff’s Office or online and earn your Boater Safety card. You must carry it with you when you are driving a boat of personal watercraft.
- If you’re younger than 12, you may not operate a motor boat with a motor larger than 35hp.
- If you were born on or after July 1, 1996, you must have and carry a Boater Safety Card.
- If you were born before July 1, 1996, you may operate a boat legally without restrictions.
Operating a jet-ski or personal watercraft (PWC):
- If you’re younger than 14, you may not legally operate a PWC.
- A 14 or 15 year old may operate a PWC only with a Boater Safety Card AND if accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old.
- A 16 year old (born after December 31, 1978) may operate a PWC only with a Boater Safety Card.
- If you’re born on or before December 31, 1978, you may operate a PWC legally without any restrictions.
Look Out for Loons.
Common loons are threatened in Michigan and protected by state and federal laws. We are lucky to share Torch Lake with them. It is not unusual to find loons anywhere out on Torch Lake – swimming, diving and feeding.
Slow down when you see them and take a few minutes to enjoy watching these beautiful birds. Please keep your distance.
Prevent problems before they happen
Please don’t “Do it.” in the lake. Boat launches provide port-a-potties but NO TRASH DISPOSAL. Please take trash home. DeWitt’s Marine on Clam Lake and Torch River Marine on Torch River offer pump-out facilities, so please don’t dump in the lake!
Tuck in loose papers, wrappers and bags. Hold on to your hats and towels. Or things will go flying out of the boat as it picks up speed. Return bottles and cans for cash at local grocery stores.
Respect strong river currents. Don’t make "U" turns in our narrow rivers. Clam River flows west into Torch Lake. Torch River flows south out of Torch Lake. Remember, boats do not have brakes.
Stay 100 feet away from any person in the water, buoys, other boats, rafts and docks.
Be careful boating around the 10 points of land jutting into Torch Lake. Large boulders underwater and very shallow areas can damage your propellor or boat.
Stay 100 feet from shore when traveling above a "No Wake" speed. Going slow near shore prevents large wakes from washing soil into the lake.
Respect private property
Beach your boat or go ashore only at designated public access sites and boat launches.