A Complete Guide To (Almost) All Your Questions About Lake Erie

In this article, we will explore some of the questions that people ask about Lake Erie. People usually ask these questions because they either want to go there or they are simply curious about this great lake, which has some interesting history behind it. These people should get the right information to not mislead them. The online news they get could give them the wrong directions. It’s important that they get the facts. It’s important to always filter the effects from the noise.

How Deep Is Lake Erie?

In the deepest area of Lake Erie, the depth could go as deep as 210 feet or 64 meters deep. That’s a lot of depth. This makes Lake Eerie an exciting area to explore various water species. That extent means there’s so much to still discover in the lake.

Here’s some scuba diving showing what it looks like when you reach the bottom:

How Much Water Is In Lake Erie?

The answer to that is 480 km³. That’s a lot of water for an area that is not so expansive. This makes the place an ideal for boating, exploration and deep-lake fishing. There’s also a lot of fish to catch in the lake because of such big amount of water. People would enjoy the lake for various activities. It’s fun to explore this lake because of such water volume.

Where Is Lake Erie Located?

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake among the Great Lakes found in North America. Regarding surface area, this lake is the eleventh-largest in the whole world. To be exact, the area is situated near the International Boundary between the United States and Canada.  

It’s also useful for you to know that the northern shore of Lake Erie has a boundary at the Canadian province of Ontario. At the west part of the region are the U.S. States of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Knowing this could come in handy later when you’re trying to explore the lands of the various states in the U.S.

Situated on the International Boundary between Canada and the United States, Lake Erie’s northern shore is filled with greenery and animal species, with the U.S. states of Michigan Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York on its western, southern and eastern shores fully bathed in flora. These jurisdictions divide the surface area of the lake with water boundaries.

How Big Is Lake Erie?

The answer to this question requires a little bit of research. But, reliable authorities say that it’s around 25,744 km², and it has a length of 388 km.

What Is The Temperature Of Lake Erie?

There’s a lot of variety in the temperature of Lake Erie, but 4 degrees Celsius is a safe average estimate of the temperature of Lake Erie. The fact that Lake Erie is in the southernmost position gives it a warm weather. In fact, the Lake could reach about  85 F (29 C), while the water temperatures could go around 70s F in the summer months. This type of weather makes the lake an ideal recreational area for families.

More Important Information About Lake Erie

There’s still a lot of information out there that may interest you about Lake Erie. Some of these facts could help you in your research. If you’re in high school, this information could assist you in your school essays. Here are some of the facts that you may still don’t know about Lake Erie.

Did you know that Lake Erie has a tail-like shape in its geography? The name of the lake is derived from erielhonan, which is the Iroquoian word for “long tail”. It could also help you to know that the lake is 241 miles and is 57 miles long. It also boasts around 871 miles of shoreline, which could increase its size. This report is according to Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

It’s also helpful for you to know that Lake Erie originated as a moving glacier. It’s also a relatively young lake. Its formation also started from a divot from that glacier. Right now it is estimated that the Lake is only less than 4,000 years old, basing on its current configuration.

Another good trivia you could learn about Lake Erie is that many native peoples’ reside near the lake. The Erie tribe is one example. It’s also for your information to know that Lake Erie was the last Great Lake explored by Europeans.

Several native peoples lived on lake’s shores, including the Erie tribe and the Iroquois. Lake Erie was the last of the Great Lakes to be explored by Europeans. It was even confirmed that it was French Explorer Louis Joliet who “discovered” the lake in the year 1669.

War of 1812

It could also be helpful for you to know that Lake Erie played an instrumental role in the War of 1812. The Battle of Lake Erie happened near the lake on Sept 10, 1812. During the war, U.S. Navy ships defeated the army of British empire. The U.S. gained control of the lake and then held Detroit back to its command. This is a piece of history that people don’t usually learn now, but now you know. The lake is rich in history, and you should appreciate that.

It could also do you good to know that the Erie Canal is one of the gateways today to the West. This canal was completed last 1825, and it connects Lake Erie to the Hudson River in the east. The opening led to various trades and opportunities. It also opened an affordable way for traders to transport cargo. In the mid-1800s and 1903, the canal was expanded to cater to the growing trader’s demands. Right now, the area where the canal is located is just used for recreation.

Another relevant information you should know about Lake Erie is the topic of pollution. In the 1960s, Lake Erie faced a lot of controversies. Most of the controversy had something to do with how much pollutants the lake has.  All of this is no longer a divisive problem when the Clean Air Act of 1972 was passed. Now, Lake Erie continues to be a place of fun and recreation.

If you’re planning on making a trip to the Great Lakes and need something warm to wear, check out our fun collection of Michigan (and Great Lakes) Gear.

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Let’s Talk About Animals in Lake Michigan

In this article, we will explore some of the answers to most of your questions about the animal situation in Michigan. The information you find online may not be complete. They could be misleading. They could even be maddeningly confusing. Why trust any information about whatever you find online when everything you see on the web is biased? Everything online is prone to lies. Everything you read could be something that tries to upsell you. People have products to sell, and online is the best marketplace. This is not what we are going to do in this article. We will answer your questions because it matters to us. Snakes are dangerous, and you have to avoid them. If you’re in Michigan and you really want to avoid snakes, this article should help.

Are There Snakes In Lake Michigan?

This is an essential question for those who are afraid of snakes, and the complete simple answer is: yes. There are snakes in lakes of Michigan. In fact, this article can be dissolved into one summary, and that is to say that Michigan is full of snakes! The exclamation mark is needed. You should not believe articles that will tell you that there are no snakes in Michigan. Reliable sources show that there are. This is the reason you should be careful, try to avoid snakes and don’t go alone in uncharted lakes. Lakes in Michigan will be filled with snakes. You should better be safe than sorry.

One of the snakes you can see in Michigan is the Black Rat Snake. This snake belongs to the species Elaphe obsoleta obsolete. You can most likely find this snake in the Southern Lower Peninsula. This snake is also found near woodlands. These snakes are also protected by state law because they are rare. The Michigan DNR took care of these snakes and categorized them as special concern. It’s also reassuring to know that these snakes won’t harm you. They’re non-venomous. They’re harmless to humans, and these might be the biggest snake you can find in any Michigan lake.

Another snake that you can find in Michigan is the Blue Racer. This fish is under the Coluber constrictor fox species. It is 4 to 6 feet in its entire length, and you can see them all throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. You can also find this snake in Upper Peninsula, and it also inhabits in variety of areas in the woods. This snake can also be found in marshes and meadows. Right now the number of Blue Racers is decreasing, even if they’re not harmful. They might bite you, but they’re not venomous. They just attack when they feel threatened.

What Is The Largest Fish In Lake Michigan?

This is a hard question to answer because Michigan fishers like to boast. They will always brag about the fish they caught. They will brag that what they have is the biggest one out there. That’s understandable. In the official records, though, the most significant fish caught in Michigan is still the Lake Sturgeon, which is around 193 pounds. That’s too big for one family to eat. It’s something you can brag about to your friends over beer. It could even be called a monster. You probably won’t be able to get this fish by yourself. People say that fish could be sent from God to remind us who’s the boss. In Michigan, people could even say that the fish is there to scare the people around. Whatever you believe, this fish is the largest to be caught, and the challenge is still up for others to beat.

There are other significant fish that have been caught. Some of them include the 58-pound Great Lakes Muskellunge and 49.75-pound Northern Muskellunge. There was also a record of a 6.51.19-pound Tiger Musky caught in Michigan. How’s that for fishing in Michigan lakes?

What Kind of Animals Live In Michigan?

Boy, is this a big question. There’s a lot of answers to this. Where do we even start? Well, we could start by listing here the Pacific Salmon species that people use as trophy fish. There’s also a lot of Cochon salmon in Michigan. This is a Pacific species that was imported and stocked in Michigan way back in 1966. There’s also a lot of rainbow trout, small-mouth bass, brown trout and walleye in Michigan Lakes.

A rainbow trout is also called a steelhead. It’s a lake-strain fish, which is a non-native trout. A small-mouth bass is native species in the cool water, and it’s intolerant of pollution. This means that if a lake has small-mouth bass, then it’s a clean lake. A brown trout is just a European species of fish that got introduced in the late 1880s. Stocking and lamprey control are the factors that brought these fish into a resurgence.

A walleye is also another good fish that you can find in a Michigan lake. These fish are carnivorous feeders who prey at night, and they eat fish, such as yellow perch and insects, snails, crayfish, and mudpuppies. You can also find a few burbot in a Michigan lake. Deepwater sculpin, slimy sculpin, rainbow smelt, bloater and Alewife are also the other fish that you can find while exploring any lake in the area.

There are also a lot of amphipods, larval insects, worms, native raptorial water fleas, calanoid copepods, zooplankton, mollusks, and quagga mussels on the lakes of Michigan. It’s rich diversity in the lakes of Michigan. There are lots of animals to explore. Those who want to study the rich biodiversity in the world could start in Michigan.

Are There Catfish In Lake Michigan?

There are some sites about Michigan that indicate the existence of Catfish in Lake Michigan. There was, in fact, one guy who was reported to have pulled out an 8lb 5oz Channel Catfish straight from the Montrose lake. There is also a report indicating that people have seen a strongly forked tail in Michigan lakes. Channel Catfish is one common type of fish found in the area, including the lakes inland and medium rivers. There are even stories of flat heads in Michigan. However, there’s government regulation that people are not allowed to catch catfish, though. This is enough reason for people to avoid catching the fish without permission from authorities.

Are There Otters In Lake Michigan?

There are online reports saying that there have been sightings of Otters in Lake Michigan. However, it’s not an animal commonly seen in Michigan lakes.

Are There Turtles In Lake Michigan?

There are known turtles living in Lake Michigan. Some of the turtles include Blanding’s turtle, Common Musk turtle, and Snapping Turtle. A Blanding turtle is a species that receive special consideration in Michigan. There are also red-eared sliders, spiny soft-shell turtles, and eastern box turtles in Michigan.  Wood turtles can also be found.

What Fish Can You Catch In Lake Michigan?

There is a lot of fish varieties you can catch in Lake Michigan. Some of them include Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon and Lake Trout. You can also find Crappies and Bullheads in most Michigan lakes. These fish are lovely to catch, but you should always be careful. The authorities charge penalties for catching fish that are not allowed. You should still support the local authorities. They do their best to help save the environment. Their policies are there for people to stop abusing the lakes.

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Did You See Us Mentioned on Fox 2?

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How Many Gallons in Lake Michigan and Other Facts

The Great Lakes are called so with good reason. Lake Superior, Michigan, Erie, Ontario, and Erie make up the largest body of freshwater in the world. It’s one thing to say that it’s the largest, but it’s another to state the numbers. Here are the measurements of this titanic, majestic, and especially attractive lake.

How Many Gallons of Water are there in Lake Michigan

Before we give you an answer, let’s put things into perspective. A gallon is around 16 glasses of water, twice the recommended amount you should drink in a day. A pool normally has around 3,000 to 10,000 gallons of water. That’s a whole lot of water to play and swim with. Olympic sized swimming pools have 660,430 gallons of water in them, enough to fill a, well, Olympic sized swimming pool. That amount is already bigger than usual fishing ponds. Some lakes have millions of gallons of water in them, but what about the Great Lakes?

Hundred million is not enough to measure it. Five billion gallons of water is still not enough. Is it starting to sound ridiculous? How about One trillion? One hundred trillion? Nope.

Lake Michigan, according to satellite measurements and formulas, holds One Quadrillion gallons of water. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of life-giving, weather altering, fish-loving water. It’s so vast that in order to raise the lake’s water level just by one inch, it would take around 400 Billion gallons of water. It really puts storms into perspective when a hurricane can raise the water level by a feet or two. Makes you realize how much rain these storms pour.

On the opposite side, Lake Michigan somehow mysteriously shrunk. The water levels dropped more than two feet. That’s half a trillion gallons of water vanishing in a short span of time. Some blamed the sun shining too much, others blamed the rains for not pouring enough. Geologists put themselves together and theorized that small underwater channels deep in the lake bottom opened, draining a huge amount of water.

Here’s a fun fact: For every inch the lake loses, all cargo ships must lighten their load by 100 tons, otherwise they would touch the lake ground. Think how much they needed to lose when it dropped 2 feet.

Is Lake Michigan Frozen?

Frozen lakes are asking for people to go on ice-skating, ice fishing, ice camping, and pretty much any other usual recreation done on land, except this time on ice. Some lakes have icy surfaces up to a foot deep, making it near impossible to collapse under the weight of ice-loving recreationists.

In the case of Lake Michigan, people ask if the lake freezes during winter time. The lake has such a large span and depth, not to mention, amount of water that it may not be enough for ice to take over.

Thankfully, Lake Michigan freezes. Not completely though, but enough to freeze the shores around it, where it counts. On average, 50% of the lake freezes during the coldest parts of winter, and in the 1900s, factors aligned just right that nearly 95% of the lake was frozen over.

Even though it’s not frozen, the unfrozen waters around Lake Michigan are a bitter 5-10 degrees Celsius or 25-40 degrees Fahrenheit. These means without immediate help, hypothermia can set in a matter of seconds.

Is Lake Michigan Saltwater?

Though people may quickly answer that calling it a lake, automatically makes it freshwater. There are some exceptions though, as the Great Salt Lake is among these land-locked saltwater bodies of water.

Others may argue that since the great lakes connect to rivers that spill into the sea, it could be said that some of the seas go into the lake, turning it salty, or at least semi-salty. There are parts around the rivers surrounding the great lakes and estuaries, where fresh and saltwater mix.

Lake Michigan is not saltwater. Though the salt levels are a tad bit higher than other lakes, it’s not enough to be classified as saltwater. You can taste the water and it may taste a bit salty, but that could be unique to the area, as some parts of the lake have rock salt around them.

This very fact makes it near impossible for saltwater denizens like sharks and whales to inhabit Lake Michigan. There is still a possibility, but if ever a whale gets lost in this lake, the poor creature wouldn’t last very long. For sharks, there are rumors that Bull Sharks can survive and inhabit freshwater, but so far, there has been zero shark sightings and attacks, and even if you’re a bull shark or a small, young whale who happened to find a river that connects to one of the great lakes, it would be very difficult for you to find your way to lake Michigan.

How Deep is the Deepest Part of Lake Michigan?

If not for the land surrounding the lake, it’s sheer size and amount of water can already be considered a freshwater see. Lake Michigan is so close to downtown Chicago that it becomes a popular diving spot. With that said, how deep is Lake Michigan?

The deepest part of Lake Michigan is 922 feet deep, or 153 fathoms. If you can’t put that into perspective, there are several, large container ships that have sunk in the lake. This deepest point is around the center of the lake.

In comparison, the average depth of Lake Michigan is around 279 feet deep, or 46 fathoms. Thankfully though, the depth of the lake is rather gradual. You’ll find yourself walking a good few meters out from the shore before it’s more than 10 feet deep.

Around the center of Michigan is the spot where people go freshwater diving. The calm and relatively cool waters are perfect for beginner deep-sea divers and those who want to hone their hobbies.

Anglers also challenge themselves by going deep cold water fishing in these parts. There are a few fish that mainly inhabit the deeper parts such as the deepwater sculpin, but it’s also home to many common fish such as the King or Chinook Salmon, the Coho Salmon, the occasional Atlantic Salmon, and the elusive Cisco species.

Unlike the ocean, where deep-sea animals take on fascinating, colorful and scary shape, the bottom of the lake is mostly flat bedrock with all manner of brown moss and all the wastes of living things from up above. The only thing scary in this lake is that the pressure at the bottom is 3.7 Megapascals. That’s equal to 536 pounds per square inch. So at any moment, you’re being crushed with about the weight of a large gorilla, or a piano.

What is the Size of Lake Michigan, Why isn’t it Called a Sea?

If it was saltwater, it could be called the sea. Yet, it’s called a lake, a great lake. The lake’s salinity is slightly higher than typical lakes, but not enough to be called a sea. The water is classified as “brackish”. One exception is the Caspian Sea. Like the sea, it’s vast, but the salinity of the water is half that of the ocean. The Caspian sea is also the largest lake in the whole world, but the argument is still up whether it should be called a lake or a sea.

How does Lake Michigan stand up to the largest lake/sea in the world? The Caspian sea has the surface area of 371,000 square kilometers. That’s 1030 kilometers long and 435 kilometers wide. It also has the depth of 3360 ft.

Lake Michigan is rather small by comparison, only having a 58,030 square kilometer area. That’s 494 kilometers long and 190 kilometers wide, with its deepest at 922 feet. Yet, in perspective, it’s enough to have more than 300 boats on it without anyone complaining about space, and have a vast population of fish, enough to keep the hundreds of anglers happy every week, and still have enough to breed for the next generation.

That’s some of the measurements and numbers of this majestic lake. There are more numbers to be considered if you ask how much fishes are there at any given time, how much money the surrounding cities make with their business, you can even ask how many people have mysteriously vanished around the lake. One thing remains the same. Lake Michigan and the four other great lakes have given life and livelihood to everyone around it. We need to do our part to make sure the lakes are healthy, and of course, enjoy ourselves in the process. It’s one of mother nature’s gifts and we should care for it for centuries to come.

For more Michigan fun, check out of Michigan Hang Loose collection.

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Fauna of Lake Michigan FAQ

Lake Michigan is as mysterious as it is majestic. Its influence over the lands around it are so significant that every ebb and flow of this titanic lake affects them in so many ways, including the weather. A hot day that would otherwise toast the denizens near the lake can turn into a cloudy, drizzly, and more importantly, cool afternoon.

The lake provides hundreds of recreational venues, both for open water fishing and swimming, so a lot of people wonder how safe the waters are, and how safe the fish are, both for eating and swimming with.

Are there Sharks in Lake Michigan?

There are two stories as to why this is always asked. Before that, let’s confirm some facts.

  • Sharks can only be found in salt water

This means the ocean and everywhere else that has large bodies of saltwater, short of the dead sea. Even if someone is cruel enough to put a live, healthy shark in the lake, the poor thing would not survive for more than a day. There is an exception, however.

  • Their survival has something to do with “Osmoregulation”

Sharks drink through the skin of their cells. They have mechanisms in their body that ensures only water passes and the salt is kept somewhere else to be dumped off. A bit of salt is kept to ensure that they keep the water in their bodies. The balance of water inside them and the salt outside them is called Osmoregulation. If a shark is placed in freshwater, their bodies will take in too much water and not enough salt, overhydration occurs and kills them.

  • The exception are Bull Sharks.

Bull sharks can rapidly adapt to a freshwater environment. Their kidneys can adjust to the salinity of the water, or lack thereof. Some bull sharks can be found thriving in estuaries, where salt and freshwater mix. It’s somewhat possible for a bull shark to swim through the St. Lawrence river and make its way to Lake Michigan. The chances of it, however is so low.

The two stories, (among a few others) behind it was the one where a young gentleman, George Lawson was attacked by a shark while swimming in the lake back in 1955. The bite was definitely ugly but it was non-fatal, and it’s still unconfirmed if it’s indeed a bull shark.

The other is about someone who caught a 3,000 pound shark in Lake Michigan. Supposedly a 3K pound Great White Shark. The shark was apparently responsible for hundreds of people who disappeared in the lake. First of all, 3000 is thrice the normal weight of a Great White, and unlike bull sharks, they can’t survive in the fresh waters. Great Whites hunt by rapidly swimming upward, directly below the prey. So if it does exist, people would definitely not miss a titanic great white shark bursting up the water along with it’s unfortunate, and horribly surprised prey.

The story was axed from the website where it was originally posted, but the cool and scary myth lives on. So, are there bull sharks in Lake Michigan? No, and if there was ever one, it wouldn’t be in fighting form, let alone hunting. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’d be impossible to encounter dangerous sea life in Lake Michigan. Either way, don’t fall for tricky video edits that show (or talk about) dangerous sharks in Lake Michigan – it’s just sensational fear mongering:

Are there Whales in Lake Michigan?

There’s a chance that you’ve seen tourist websites about whale-watching in Lake Michigan. The majestic and awe-inducing experience of seeing these leviathans swim and breach the lake surface, creating a splash unrivaled by any human cannonball diver.

For one, there were whales in the Lake, except, they are below the sediments, below the ground and exists as petrified bones. There was evidence that during ancient times, the entirety of Chicago was still under the ocean and whales happily called it their home.

Presently, there are no whales in Lake Michigan and if you did see a website, it’s a delightfully well-made fabrication, as confessed by their still-giggling creators. Whales can only be seen in the ocean and the only exception is the freshwater dolphins, which is a bit of a genetic drift away from whales. So you’re not going to spot a whale in Lake Michigan, just like the girls in the following video discovered:

If you, too, are a “lake girl”, click here check out our awesome collection of clothes and accessories.

The reason why whales cannot live in freshwater for long is the same way sharks can’t, due to the way their bodies are adapted to the saltwater. Furthermore, a great majority of their diet, like krill and plankton, are only found in huge bodies of saltwater.

What Fish is in Lake Michigan?

There are hundreds of species of fish in this huge, magnificent lake, but we can tell you the popular ones, ones that you’d like to see, catch, and perhaps, eat.

Are there Salmon in Lake Michigan?

Yes. These delicious fish, prized by both bear and men swim abundantly in these lakes. They come in several species, some of them were introduced into the lake artificially but soon made themselves right at home. In general, salmons are tastier if caught in saltwater. They go through a transformation when they reach freshwater rivers and often lose their unique flavor.

  • Coho Salmon

Mostly found near the Platte River, but can be caught everywhere else in the entire lake. These were one of the species that was artificially introduced during the 1800s. The attempts failed several times, but eventually, they came to inhabit the lake.

  • Pink Salmon

Perhaps the tastiest of all the Salmon. Their fatty pink meat is fragrant and with proper preparation, can be eaten raw sashimi style. They are mostly seen near the rivers surrounding the lake but can be caught in the open waters. Like all salmons, they go through a rapid transformation just before their mating, but male pink salmons tend to have a humped back and hooked jaw.

  • Atlantic Salmon

These fish are fighters. They will jump, they will resist, they will pull, and they can hit you in the face. Not something a novice angler should tackle, but it could be a rich learning experience. It’s argued that the best place to catch them are near the tributaries, where they begin to gather and prepare for mating. They may be tough, but there’s something tougher.

  • Chinook Salmon

They are often called King Salmon and for good reason. They are the largest species of Salmon in the lake. Their weight and energy has caused many bitter angler tears to drop but provides great sport for those with the energy and patience to reel them in. They are rather photosensitive so only expect them in shallow water if the conditions are cloudy.

Are there Trout in Lake Michigan?

There are several species of trout in the great lake. Most trouts like cool, moving water and are often very particular about the water quality. They are finicky predators, but in general, respond well to artificial bait.

  • Brook Trout

Brook trouts are sensitive to water quality, so you’ll find them clustered in specific areas. You’ll usually find them on the rivers, sometimes close to the mouths that enter the lake. They aren’t hard to catch and respond to a great variety of bait. It’s worth noting that the areas where they are found have strict regulations, so look them up.

  • Brown Trout

One of the more prized trouts, this spotty brown fish swims more along the deeper rivers around the great lakes. They are photosensitive, which means they often hide when the sun is up. They are most cooperative under low-light conditions, or at night, especially during insect mating and hatching seasons such as that of the mayfly. They respond well to any bait that makes a troubled splash.

  • Lake Trout

The dethroned kings of the great lakes. Lake trout were once the alpha predators of the lakes until their salmon competition arrived. Like King Salmon, Lake trout are perhaps the largest among the trout denizens of the lake and can put up a fight. They usually dwell in deeper waters, but on places with clearer, cleaner water, they tend to swim in shallower depths.

  • Rainbow Trout

The prized lake fish of Michigan. Known for the iridescent, oily sheen on its scales. There are two “types” of these fish. One is the actual rainbow trout that makes it’s home and breeding grounds in fresh water. The other is called a steelhead, which migrates to the ocean to mature, then come back to fresh waters to mate and reproduce. They are essentially the same, they just have different lifestyles.

Other Noteworthy Fish

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

If there was a fish that was so well appreciated for the sport it provides, it’s the Bass. Part of the sunfish family, (no, not the gigantic ocean ones) These fish are known for being attracted to a majority of artificial lures and the fight they give when being reeled in.

One of their cousins, the common sunfish, is one of the easiest fishes to catch. Often it’s the first fish any beginner anglers catch.

  • The Lake Sturgeon

What is the largest fish in Lake Michigan? That’s the Lake Sturgeon. This ancient fish grow at 8 feet long on average and weigh a whopping 200 pounds. Instead of scales, they have a tough carapace, almost like armor. Despite their size and intimidating looks, they don’t have teeth and are happy to suck up food from the gravels and stones.

Is it Safe to Eat Fish From Lake Michigan?

You either fish for sport, or for food. All of the fish mentioned here are edible, provided you prepare them well, and you’re not allergic to them. It’s worth mentioning though that at some time a decade ago, fish were contaminated with chemicals such as pesticides, which reside in their fat. It’s much, much less of a risk now, but for safe measure, many people cut the skin and fat.

But in general, yes, Michigan Lake Sport Fish are safe to eat.

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The Wonderful Lakes of Michigan

With 11,000 lakes and 64,980 inland lakes and ponds, the state of Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. In every part of the state, there is a natural body of water not far from it. Big or small, deep or shallow, if you’re in the mood for some freshwater adventure, Michigan has it in spades.

All their lakes and other bodies of water are unique in their own way. Some are larger, some have a more active ecosystem, and some are perfect for hanging out in the sun. Let’s look at some of the great and wonderful lakes of Michigan.

What is the Largest Inland Lake in Michigan?

Measuring 7.5 square miles, the Houghton Lake is the largest inland lake in Michigan. It’s found in Roscommon County, Michigan. It measures 7 and a half miles from north to south and 4 and a half miles across its widest point. To give a better idea, Houghton Lake is as large as 241 Olympic swimming pools combined.

Houghton Lake was named after the state’s first geologist, Douglass Houghton. The lake gets its waters from Cut River that connects it to Higgins Lake. Houghton Lake’s waters flow to Muskegon River in return. The lake is rich with underwater life, offering nearly every specie of game that can be found in Michigan. Fishing enthusiasts will have fun catching yellow perch, largemouth bass, northern pike, and many other fish in the lake.

Locals and tourists enjoy their time on the Houghton Lake by fishing, kayaking, jet skiing and much more recreational water activity. Annual events in Michigan are held along the lake’s shores, including the Tip-Up-Town USA, a large winter sports festival. Tip-Up-Town is held for two weekends during January. Weddings and other private events are also held along the beautiful shorelines of Houghton Lake.

With its beauty, innumerable underwater life, and countless activities to be enjoyed on its shores and in the water, Houghton Lake is a wonderful place to spend with family and friends!

What is the Deepest Lake in Michigan?

The deepest part of a swimming pool is, more often than not, 7 feet. That’s deep enough to make some of us paddle desperately to keep our heads up in the water. Now, imagine a lake that’s nearly 200 times deeper than a regular swimming pool and you’ll get Lake Superior.

At its deepest point, Lake Superior is 1,332 feet deep. Due to its depth, it’s rare for the lake to completely be frozen. It’s located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is shared by Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian province of Ontario. Not only is it the deepest lake in Michigan, it is also considered as the largest freshwater lake in the world when it comes to the surface area. It stretches up to 31,700 square miles and has a water volume of 2,900 cubic miles. This makes it the third largest freshwater lake by volume in the world. It certainly deserves its name.

During the Colonial period, Lake Superior was a major route for many trading activities. Even today, it’s still the main shipping hub. Its ecosystem consists of roughly 80 species of fish including trout and salmon. Even aquatic plants are flourishing within and along its shoreline.

The lakes picturesque shoreline makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals. Vacationers can enjoy the day in the sun in the lake’s ocean-like beaches. With its pristine waters, Lake Superior is truly a sight of wonder.

Where is Bear Lake Michigan?

Located in Manistee County, Bear Lake is only 24 feet deep and 2.75 square miles. Bear Lake is also the name of the village located in the southern area of the lake.

Numerous species of fish can be found in the depths of this lake. Anglers will have a good time catching yellow perch, largemouth bass, northern pike, and others. Locals and tourists can enjoy golfing, bike rides, and numerous shops on the shores of the lake.

While Bear Lake is small compared to other popular lakes in Michigan, the natural life and activities along its water and shores make it a must-see.

Where is Crystal Lake in Michigan?

Crystal Lake is located in Benzie County, Michigan. It’s around 40 square kilometers and it’s 165 feet deep at its deepest point.

Crystal Lake is located near Lake Michigan. In 1873, a channel was opened to connect Crystal Lake with Lake Michigan. At the time, Crystal Lake was higher than Lake Michigan. When the channel opened, Crystal Lake’s level dropped for roughly 20 feet. This drop gave way for sandy beaches along its shores.

Resorts and beaches along Crystal Lakes make it a popular destination. Not to mention its pristine clear waters set it apart from many others. Sailing and fishing is also a popular activity over its waters. In fact, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources claims that Crystal Lake offers the best fishing experiences for anglers in the state.

Where is Lake Orion Michigan?

Lake Orion is found in the Orion Township in Oakland County, Michigan. It’s 506 acres in surface area and 80 feet deep at its deepest point. Its area was formed by smaller lakes combined over time.

Several islands can be found in Lake Orion. These islands are for popular waterfront residences. Anglers can enjoy fishing largemouth bass, crappie, northern pike, rainbow trout, and other fish. Along with its shore, beaches and recreational areas are enjoyed by both locals and tourists.

Where is Fife Lake Michigan?

With two islands inside the lake, Fife Lake spans 617 acres. It’s located in Grand Traverse County in Michigan. At its deepest point, it’s around 55 feet deep.

It boasts many fish species for anglers, such as northern pike, rock bass, walleye, yellow perch, and more. Vacationers will also love swimming in its beaches and boating. The lake’s shores are also popular for picnics and camping.

And if you’re planning to go on the water during the colder season, make sure to bring along a warm sweatshirt that also shows off your love of Michigan.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/lakes-in-michigan-and-water-recreation/

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Fantastic Fishes in Lake Michigan and How to Catch Them

With the name derived from the Ojibwe word that means “great water”, Lake Michigan lives up to that moniker. It’s one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one of them that is entirely within the United States. Lake Michigan is bordered by Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

Lake Michigan has a water volume of 1,180 cubic miles and surface area of 22,404 square miles. It also has an impressive depth and a seafloor worth exploring.  With this much water, the aquatic life in Lake Michigan is flourishing. Countless of species of fish thrive in Lake Michigan, some of them being rare finds. This makes Lake Michigan an exciting destination for anglers. This is especially true considering just how many species call Lake Michigan home.

What Kind of Fish can you Catch in Lake Michigan?

Fishing is a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Many enjoy catching game with their friends and families. It’s a great way to bond with the open waters and the people you love.

So, what species of fish are in Lake Michigan? Here are some of the popular aquatic life that you can catch.

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon are known for their leaping and fighting ability. This makes them an exciting fish to catch. The Atlantic salmon were named from their home range in the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

They are among the largest salmon species in the world. At the adult age, Atlantic salmon average at 71 to 76 centimeters in length and 3.6 to 5.4 kilogram in weight. The heaviest Atlantic salmon recorded was netted in 1960 in Scotland. It weighed 49.44 kilograms. The longest fish that was caught was in 1925 in Norway, measuring at 160.65 centimeters in length.

Atlantic salmon provide a challenge to fishermen. They are known to jump, make a fast escape when hooked, and even walk on the surface of water by its tail. To catch them, bait, hoochies and coyote spoons that are three to four inches in size are popular choices. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Atlantic salmon stay close to the shore. Therefore, fishing in the shallow waters along the shoreline may be ideal. You may also see them jumping or finning on the surface of the water.


Lake Michigan thrives with both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Bass can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. The largemouth bass flourishes more on shallow bodies of water while smallmouth bass prefers rivers and rocky habitats. Both can still be found in the lake.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are popular game fish among angler. The largemouth bass is the largest species of black bass. The largest recorded largemouth bass reached the length of 75 centimeters and an estimated weight of 11.4 kilograms. For smallmouth bass, the largest recorded is approximately 27 inches and 12 pounds heavy.

The largemouth bass is known to put up a fight when hooked. This fish may jump in their effort for freedom. However, it’s believed that the smallmouth bass can beat them. Many anglers catch largemouth bass with lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jigs. When it’s cloudy with little to no sun, bass comes out of their shelters. This would make the best time to fish for them. When it’s sunny, they’re likely to hide in their shelter. In spring, when the water temperature is between 55 to 65 degrees, it’s the time for pre-spawn. Largemouth bass can get close to the shore at around this time, making it easier to catch them.

For smallmouth bass, spinnerbaits and buzz baits are a popular choice for anglers. Big smallmouth bass will position themselves in areas where they can easily find food. They may stay where the current will push their food. Bigger lures can also catch bigger smallmouth bass.

Brook Trout

The brook trout is Michigan’s state fish. Legislators chose the trout as the state’s fish in 1965, but this was only specified as the brook trout in 1988. Fly fishermen call the brook trout as the gentlemen trout for being more active during the day. At average, the brook trout can grow between 25 to 65 centimeters and 0.3 to 3 kilograms. The largest brook trout recorded is 86 centimeters and 6.6 kilograms.

The brook trout was popular to anglers during the colonial times. Their population decreased in the 19th century around the urban areas. Today, anglers release brook trout after catching to preserve its population.

Brook trout are known biters. This means they are easily caught by live bait like worms and bugs. Small spinners are also good choices to catch brook trouts. Brook trouts feed most during the early mornings or dusk, making these times the best time to fish for them.

Brown Trout

The brown trout is native in Europe and Asia. Their species was first imported to Michigan in 1883. The brown trout grow up to 20 kilograms and 100 centimeters at average. In 2013, the largest brown trout was caught. It weighed 42 pounds and 1 ounce.

The brown trout is a popular game for anglers in Michigan. Brown trouts also have good eyesight, therefore the lightest line is advisable. They are known to put more of a fight during sunny weather. So if it’s a challenge that you’re looking for, it’s best to fish for them when the sun is up.

Spinners and spoons are popular baits for brown trout. Using bait with similar colors as the brown trout will also work, given that bigger trouts eat the small ones. Often, brown trouts will eat any kind of live bait as well. The colors orange and yellow make for the best bait as well.

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon are known as kings for being strong and difficult to catch. They were introduced into the Michigan waters in the 1870s. Since then, they dominated over the salmon species within the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan.

Chinooks are often caught in deeper water. The adult chinook salmon can grow between 24 to 36 inches and 4.5 to 22.7 kilograms. The largest chinook salmon that was recorded weighed 57 kilograms.

Most anglers catch chinook salmons not for their size, but for their meat. When finishing in Lake Michigan, it’s best to fish for them in late summer or early fall. Chinook salmon are predators, so they will attack the lure. With these type of salmon, it’s important to put the lure low enough for them to spot.

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon are also known as the silver salmon. They were first introduced in Michigan in the 1960s. They flourish in Lake Michigan all year, but the best time to catch them on the east side of the lake during early spring, late summer, and early fall.

Mature coho salmon can grow up to 28 inches and 3.2 to 5 kilograms at average. The largest coho salmon that was caught measured 42.75 inches and weighed 15.4 kilograms.

Most lures are likely to work on coho salmons. For better chances, the color orange is advisable. Minnow baits work as well. The best times to fish for coho salmon are early mornings and late afternoons.


Sunfish are found nearly in every body of water in Michigan. With the lakes rich in sunfish, they’re often the first fish that anglers would catch. Bluegills are the type of sunfish that is more abundant and most often targeted by anglers.

There are plenty of types of sunfish. Most grow up to 7.9 to 11.8 inches in length. The largest sunfish recorded to be caught was in 2014. The fish weighed 5 pounds and 12.8 ounces, measuring at 17 inches long.

For most days, sunfish prefer to be in shallow parts of the water. This is most likely the case during spring and summer. During colder seasons, they may reach into deeper waters. When catching sunfish, the most effective way is by using a bait and a rig. Live baits such as worms and small leeches are good choices. Leeches may be a good idea if you’re aiming for larger sunfishes.

Pink Salmon

This species of salmon was accidentally introduced in Lake Superior and spread throughout the other Great Lakes. This includes Lake Michigan. At average, they weigh 2.2 kilograms. The largest pink salmon that was recorded weighed 6.8 kilogram and 30 inches.

Pink salmon are grown in fish farms for their meat. Spin fishing is one of the most effective ways to catch pink salmon. Pink salmon usually gather in a moderately slow or still water. Using bright pink lures can also increase the chances of catching pink salmon. Their jaws can develop thickly, so keeping the hooks sharp is ideal.


Whitefish are farmed and caught for their meat. Lately, however, they have become popular targets for recreational fishing within the Great Lakes. Whitefish that flourish within freshwater lakes are often called as humpback fish. This is coined because of the fish’s small head in comparison to their long bodies.

On average, they can grow up to 31 inches and weigh only 4 pounds. The largest one that was caught was 15 pounds and 6 ounces.

A hook and worm combination is one of the most popular ways to catch whitefish. With their small heads and small mouths, small baits are ideal for catching whitefish. Whitefish love cold temperatures. In early summer, they can be found in shallow areas. When the temperature rises, they move deeper.

White Bass

The white bass love to roam. This makes them difficult to spot in open waters. But once spotted, they become easy fishes to catch due to their tendency to group together. White bass is known to be biters as well, making them it easy to catch them with baits. However, they can be easily frightened. In such case, white bass may be reluctant to bite.

A mature white bass can grow up to 10 to 12 inches, but they can grow up to 17 inches. The largest white bass was caught in 1989 and in 2010, both weighing at 3.1 kilograms.

One of the best times to fish for white bass is during early mornings or late evenings. At these times, white bass would feed in groups near shallow waters. While they’re feeding, it’s easy to lure them using live bait or tail spinner. But as mentioned, white bass are easily scared. When a school of white bass is spotted, it’s best to toss the line beyond where the fishes are. Then, slowly reel in to enter where the school is.

Yellow Perch

The yellow perch is one of the most frequently caught fishes in Michigan. They’re native to North American freshwaters and are often caught for their meat. The name perch is from early Greek language that means “becoming gold”.

At their adult stages, yellow perch can grow between 3.9 to 11.4 inches. The largest yellow perch recorded was caught in 1865. It was 18 inches large and 4 pounds and 3 ounces heavy.

To catch a yellow perch, live bait is often the most effective way. Yellow perch are active biters, so live baits and even artificial lures can do the trick. But yellow perch are known to steal baits from the hook. It’s best to keep the bait on the tip of the hook to get better chances of catching them.

These are only some of the specie that you’ll find in Lake Michigan. With its abundance of aquatic life, fishing is truly a great activity in Lake Michigan. Along its 1,660 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of great fishing spots in all states that the lake reaches. But before you hit the waters, make sure to check with your state’s fishing regulation to avoid any potential problems.

Whether you’re looking to catch some prize, something to put on the table, or catch for sport and return the fishes back to the water, the Great Lake promises variety and excitement. If you’re heading out, make sure to bring along one of our Michigan Fishing Boat t-shirts to show everyone you mean business.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/types-of-fish-and-how-to-catch-them-lake-michigan/

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