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Author Topic:   Lake Michigan News
jimh posted 06-28-2015 01:34 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Lake Michigan water level is now quite nicely above chart datum by almost 2-1/2-feet.


Chart datum = 577.5-feet
Present level = 579.9-feet

This is an increase of 13-inches from a year ago. The Lake is still about 2-feet below the all-time high water level of 1986, which was about 581.8-feet.

As a direct consequence, the Leland Harbor of Refuge entrance channel has not required any dredging to maintain. Until 2015, dredging had been more or less an annual task to maintain the harbor entrance. Dredging at Leland has been discussed previously in

The Marsten Dame marina at Northport now has plenty of water after dredging this winter. This year's high water levels have provided about 13-foot depth at the entrance channel.

The effect of two very cold winters during which ice covered most of Lake Michigan has produced the coldest water temperatures since 1996. The long-term average water temperature for June is 57.4-degrees-F. This June the lake surface temperature is 52.4-degrees-F.

The presence of all that cold lake water has been holding down air temperatures on the Leelanau Peninsula. Recent forecast indicated air temperature on land would barely reach a high of 70-degrees through the last of June and into early July.

We did get out for a short boat ride last week. It was a beautiful sunny day, but we had a Northwest wind of about 15-MPH. The water temperature on my depth sounder was below 50-degrees. Moving the boat along even at 6-MPH gave us over a 20-MPH wind on the nose, and blowing across that 47-degree water it was a chilly ride.

The marina at Suttons Bay implemented a new policy for use of their boat ramp. The ramp is now available only to users who have a slip (either permanent or transient) in the marina. In other words, you cannot just launch there without taking a transient slip. There is an alternative public boat ramp available just a few blocks north. The change is being made in an attempt to cut down congestion in the parking lot, which has limited space.

EJO posted 07-06-2015 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
My lake water temperature gauge last Saturday slightly northwest of the South Haven pier in Lake Michigan read 64.4-deg-F in 65-feet-deep water. That's still too cold for me to jump in and take a swim, but it is getting warmer, especially after the three warm days we had for this long weekend. Three days of good weather on a weekend in Michigan is unheard of. It was a great boating weekend.
jimh posted 07-06-2015 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I agree on the water temperature minimum for a swim. I like to see the water at least at 70-degree-F on the surface before I jump in. I know it is going to be colder when you get down a few feet.
moabelite posted 07-06-2015 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for moabelite  Send Email to moabelite     
On a Father's Day weekend run from Muskegon to Duck Lake with the Montauk 170 we encountered surface water temps into the low 60's. On July 3 we ran south out of Holland down to Saugatuck Dunes State Park and the surface water temps were only in the low 50's. I anchored knee deep from shore and it was still a cold walk! U hope we'll get some warm water temps eventually. Last year the best swimming we experienced on Lake Michigan was in September.
PeteB88 posted 07-07-2015 12:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Lake Michigan off Muskegon Friday was 53-degrees-F per Raymarine combo offshore, high 50's at one beach. Water temp in Muskegon Lake at State Park beach was 72-degrees-F and same at MKG Yacht Club. Steelhead are being caught off the pier heads at Grand Haven. East wind constant until today. Storms just came through within the last 30 minutes. Beaches, due to higher water levels, are getting pretty skinny in many spots.
ConB posted 07-07-2015 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
Look west of Leland. There is some really cold water out there.


EJO posted 07-07-2015 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
Welcome to Michigan. At least our boats flow on top of this stuff and it isn't hard like it was for a long time this winter. South Haven Beach--number one beach in the midwest--is still wide enough, but, with another foot or so of rising water level, I imagine many strips of sand real estate getting smaller. And then to think I sold my big sailboat because I kept running aground, now I could slip her anywhere. We'll swim in September.

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