Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council

Working toward the preservation of an ecologically sound Lake Maxinkuckee and its surrounding watershed.

USGS Study Final Report can be found under Project History below.

Dear Friends of Lake Maxinkuckee, The LMEF and LMEC are very pleased to present our completed sediment study of Lake Maxinkuckee, conducted in 2013 and 2014. This comprehensive study was done in partnership with The Marshall county Soil and Water Conservation District and the U.S. Geological Survey. The findings are very interesting and provide insight into the changes in our lake principally from 1860 to the present. Not only can we see the past in chemical, mineral and nutrient deposits, but also how microscopic life fors have reacted to these changes. Lake Maxinkuckee's history began over 15,000 years before present, with only the last 150 years being the focus of our study. With pressure from homes, business activity and agriculture the lake slowly changed. These changes were noted as nutrient levels rose and algae began to impact water clarity in the mid 1970's. Studies from our group found that phosphorus (perhaps the most reactive nutrient in our water column) was causing resident algae to rapidly grow in numbers, indicating a decline in water quality. Efforts began to control the phosphorus entering the lake from our watershed and riparian properties. This effort has made all of the difference as our lake has moved from mesotrophic to oligotrophic these last 40 years. Though phosphorus still enters the lake from natural sources such as the atmosphere and soils in our watershed, much of this nutrient is controlled through our constructed wetlands and conservation efforts with land owners. The study documents levels of nutrients and how diatoms and cyanobacteria have responded in the past to various conditions. The history of these micro-organisms reveals that Lake Maxinkuckee had historically low nutrient levels and may not have been materially different than the levels we are seeing today. We know that elevated nutrient levels existed in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but this study reveals that a process in the lakebed sediment known as postdepositional upward diffusion is moving the phosphorus deposits up towards the water column and into solution. Our lake has so far diluted this nutrient source with surface and subsurface inflows of water. It is understood that almost 15% of Lake Maxinkuckee is replaced with fresh water each year. Our work will continue to monitor these sources to ensure that these sources are low in nutrients. The diffusion of phosphorus that was deposited earlier is now better understood by our group, and we will consider this in our measurements of phosphorus in the water column. In summary, we are very pleased with the outstanding work from the USGS. Understanding our past will help us better deal with changes that will certainly arrive in the future. It is only with the efforts of those in our watershed, that our group has been able to make progress. This study supports the great work we have already seen and provides a platform for us as we plan our watershed management up-dates this year. Again, my deepest thanks to all of you that support us and our beloved Lake Maxinkuckee. Allan Chesser, Chairman Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council To view the full report, click on the USGS pontoon boat below.


LMEC leaders will be conducting tours of the three wetlands they helped build. Tours are schedule for May 9th and June 6th with rain dates available. Join us and if you are one of the first fifty to sign up you can get a I SURVIVED THE LMEC WETLANDS TOUR t-shirt! Email or call now at 574-842-3686! ............................................................................................................ DON'T FORGET THE 2015 POKER RUN! Bring your kayak, canoe or SUP and join us on July 17th at 6 next to the lighthouse for another year of lake competition. This year the big winner will receive a surprise gift certificate from a local restaurant! .............................................................................................................. CHECK OUT THIS NEW WILDLIFE REPORT FROM IDNR, FIND IT UNDER THE Environmental Research BUTTON BELOW!


The LMEC has been working on updating the Lake Maxinkuckee watershed management plan since completing all of the goals possible, in late 2011. It is our intent to incorporate into the 2015 update, all the water quality data, avian research material, and invasive species information collected by LMEC since January 2005 as well as the new research data that will be supplied by the United States Geological Survey in March of 2015. We will be ready to involve the citizens of Culver and the surrounding community to collect any new goals that they may view as vital in protecting the lake and its watershed on Friday, June 26th, 2015 at the Depot beginning at 5:30 p.m. We ask everyone to join us there. LMEC will provide a general overview of the past ten years, addressing both the successes and the failures in regards to the 2005 WMP goals; then open the floor to everyone so that we may collect new information for going forward another ten years. LMEC will have a facilitator on hand to lead the meeting and ensure a smooth flow of information gathering. These goals and objectives, along with an action plan, will then be shared for final comments and published in October of 2015. Copies of the updated WMP will be disseminated to the Town of Culver, the Culver Academies’ Huffington Library, the Culver/Union Township Public Library, IDEM, and IDNR. The new WMP will function as the current WMP did, as the LMEC's working document. It will provide us with our goals and objectives going forward, thereby allowing us to continue with our work to protect this great natural resource we have in our midst, Lake Maxinkuckee.

From The Blog


The LMEC has contracted with the United States Geological Survey to pull core samples from five different sites across the Lake Maxinkuckee lakebed.  This information will be used to analyse 200 to 300 years of data collected from the sediment.  It should allow LMEC to track their progress in managing phosphorus flow into the lake [...]

Understanding the Lake Level

You will find when you click on the link below, a brief explanation from one of the members of the United States Geographical Survey team in Indianapolis on how to interpret the various numbers used to record the legal level of lakes, specifically our lake.  It is great information and includes a second page with [...]


Click “View” below for Utube video.  


DO NOT position your downspouts so that they run directly to the lake or directly onto the roads or sidewalks.  All water that falls on impervious surfaces should be first allowed to percolate through the ground before entering the groundwater or the lake to remove nutrients and sediment. Yes, your roof and driveway get dirty. [...]

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Maxinkuckee is an Indian word which has been loosely translated to “diamond lake,”, “clear water,” or “gravelly bottom.” An exact translation is not known. Lake Maxinkuckee is a 1,864 acre kettle lake located in the southwest corner of Marshall County in Union Township and was formed approximately 15,000 years ago by the receding glaciers. Kettle [...]

Lake Max Land Trust now a reality!

News was received on December 5, 2012 that a land trust the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund has been working on for a little more than a year has been accepted by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity.    This is wonderful news for Lake Maxinkuckee.  A new non-profit partnership has been formed [...]