Lake Huron water levels remain high

20 cm above monthly mean measurement

LAKE HURON—While Lake Huron is still posting above average water levels, the Great Lake has begun its seasonal decline.

Derrick Beach, an engineer with the Boundary Waters Issues Unit, Environment Canada, told The Expositor in an interview this week that the fall seasonal decline, which escaped Lake Huron last year due to above-average wet conditions, began in August/September, which is the norm. Lake Huron was 20 centimetres above the September monthly mean and remains so at the beginning of October (176.54 metres is the October monthly mean). As of October 7, the lake-wide mean was 176.61 metres.

The Lake Huron-wide average for September was 176.70 metres while the long-term average (calculated from data between 1918 and 2014) is 176.50 metres. It is projected that Lake Huron will continue with this above-average trend on into December. Last winter prolonged cold temperatures meant that ice cover on the Great Lakes, including Huron, kept evaporation at bay, which also contributed to the higher levels.

On Manitoulin’s inland lakes, the drop has been noticeable. This, explains Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry media spokesperson Jolanta Kowlaski, is due in large part to the dry conditions seen over the summer months and into the fall. “At Kagawong there is a minimum flow requirement to maintain flow in the Kagawong River for spawning salmon,” Ms. Kowalski explained. “The dam at Kagawong is operated according to a Water Management Plan. Lake Manitou is controlled by a MNRF dam and again, operators need to balance water levels in the lake with maintaining flows downstream. MNRF is following the operating plan for this dam.”