Great Lakes Water Levels

Low Water Levels in Great Lakes Threatened Marinas

Low Water Levels in Great Lakes

In 2012, dropping water levels in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan threatened marinas. This video shows the low water level south of Caseville at Beadle Bay Marina. The problem was resolved in 2014 when a frigid winter froze over the Great Lakes and checked evaporation.

More Change in Lake Levels Ahead

Some new research uncovered a 12-year cycle of rising and falling lake levels in the Michigan-Huron lakes and a shorter 8-year cycle. Climate change is also being eyed for its effect. Scientists specializing in hydrology and climate science are beginning to think the rapid transitions between extreme high and low water levels in the Great Lakes represent the “new normal.”

In June of 2019, Lakes Erie and Superior, and Lake St. Clair set a new record. The Army Corps of Engineers recorded a new high monthly mean water levels amid an extended rainy period. All five Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair should continue with record or near-record water level highs for the rest of 2019.

Michigan Marina’s Scramble to Get Boats Out as Water Levels Skirt Historic Lows – The Great Lakes low water levels in 2012 really started to appear in late summer. With a four foot draft, we had already settled in the thick muck in our slip in August. I imagined our Catalina 27 hung fast and listing in the shallows.

Thumb Pic of the Day – Caseville Vintage Camping – Caseville County Park was and is a premier beachfront park in Michigan’s Thumb. The park first opened in 1919 and has been a Caseville campground and beach destination for Southeast Michigan. The park is located on the site of a former sawmill and salt production operation.

Starved Rock State Park – Dark Beauty – Illinois Starved Rock State Park has been voted the #1 natural attraction in Illinois. The 2,600-acre park has eighteen distinct canyons. Each was carved out of the St. Peter Sandstone by glacial melting and the ever-persistent water action of the Illinois River.

Great Lakes Water Levels – In 2020 Lakes Michigan and Huron are still projected to peak above last year’s levels after a marginal seasonal decline this fall and winter. While it is extremely unlikely that water levels on Lake Ontario will approach the record high levels from last year, the other lakes are still projected to peak near last year’s record levels.

Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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