Great Lakes Water Levels Rising

Lakes Michigan and Huron will likely end their fifteen year stretch of below average water levels this month.

The lakes are projected to be above their long term September average by an inch, which hasn’t happened since the late 1990’s.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are about 20 inches higher than September of last year.

“It’s the most I’ve seen it come up in one year, probably anywhere from 20 inches to about two feet,” said Zach Wallace, dockhand for Frankfort Municipal Marina.

Frankfort Municipal Marina worker Zach Wallace says the increase in the level of Lake Michigan is the highest he’s seen since he’s worked there, especially compared to last year.

“Even last year it was probably two foot under the post and now it’s almost touching all of them so it’s up quite a bit,” said Wallace.

The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay says changes in weather have caused the lake levels to drop and rise.

“It was actually very low last fall because we had a huge increase in evaporation because of the very warm water and we have this cold winter, so now we have cold water and we had a lot of precipitation and the lake is rebounded very very quickly,” said John Nelson, Bay Keeper for The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay.

The Watershed Center says the fluctuation in levels over the years has also brought changes to the environment.

“It basically follows the natural cycles of the lakes, the lake goes up the lake goes down, the shoreline of the lakes are very dynamic,” said Nelson.

They say shoreline levels can vary greatly due to local influences such as recent rainfall, depth of sand bars, flow of rivers and the wind.