May 11-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: May: May 11-07
Low tide?    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
Dry dock    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
No Swimming?    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 06:18 am:

This is the dock at the Lake Linden Campground, which campers have used in the past to tie their small boats up to on Torch Lake. Guess there won't be anyone using it for that purpose this year, unless we happen to get a substantial amount of rain. I sure hope folks read the sign posted at the end of the dock and heed its warning this year, otherwise they're in for a rude awakening if they blindly run off the end of the dock for a plunge in the lake! Although the lake is down this year, rendering this small dock useless, the marina across the way, shouldn't have any major problems, so you'll still be able to put your boats in and enjoy the lake there.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 07:07 am:

Geez Mary, that is unreal!!!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 07:17 am:

Whoa, that is low.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 07:19 am:

You can see why the freighter companies are complaining about low water, The sill plates for the great doors at the Soo Locks were built at a time of higher water and don't adjust for this, so the freighters have to keep their load light enough to clear the plate. Thousands of tons a trip less for the same amount of fuel, wear and tear and wages of the men aboard them. Maybe we could collect their tears and raise the water level that way. Of course then we'd have to deal with salt water!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 08:00 am:

In Wisconsin, consideration is being given to boosting waterfront property tax because of lot size increase. ;-)

By Dorothy Stewart (Bootjackbabe) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 08:07 am:

Oh my gosh----that's really shallow. I heard our place in Bootjack is also low!!!! Good time to clear the beach of the big rocks!!! My canoe will be our only boat for awhile.

By J T (Jtinchicago) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 09:03 am:

Good morning:

Perhaps now is the time to recognize the effects that all jet powered aircraft have on the upper atmosphere, curtail the use of all jet aviation and reverse the growing worldwide drought. Heretofore high altitude jet engine exhaust has never been counted in to any global warming equation. This is the inconvenient truth that is missing from Al Gore's movie.

We all have to stop flying around to save our environment. The use of high altitude jet aircraft is creating a frosted light bulb effect of pollution in the upper atmosphere all around our planet.


By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 09:19 am:

Low water years - good time to go looking for cool stuff that's normally under water. I have this unreasonable, yet still hopeful fantasy that someday I will stumble across a pile of gold bullion in the decaying remains of some small craft wreck that was barely hidden during years of normal water levels. Keep on dreamin', eh?

I study water levels data for the upper Great Lakes quite a bit. The Army Corps of Engineers web site offers a wealth of information about current and projected water levels, precipitation, and historic data that gives you a broader perspective on how the lakes have changed, and are likely to change again.

In 25 of the last 36 months, the Lake Superior basin has experienced below-average precipitation. During this three-year period, the cumulative precipitation deficit is about 13 inches below average.

What the lakes are going through right now looks a lot like what happened in the Dust Bowl years. Do not fret; they'll come back up.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 09:31 am:

Two decades ago, the Great Lakes hit a highwater mark. At the Peterson Builders Shipyard (Sturgeon Bay, WI), portable concrete seawalls had to erected to minimize flooding in the yard from wave action, as the water level was only 3"-4" from the top of the piers. Chinook salmon were making spawning runs out of Lake Michigan into a small creek near our home because of sufficient water depth at its mouth. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there have been other major changes in water depth in the past.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 09:45 am:

That water is low, we will have a lot of beach at my Aunt and uncles cottage on lake Huron this year I am sure.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 09:58 am:

as the sign says - NO DIVING - could result in a serious neck injury.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 10:07 am:

The picture of Lake Superior low water level is sad to look at! Hopefully it is a short term situation!

By Greta Jones (Urbanescapees) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 10:42 am:

As we row around checking out the bottom of the lake, there are alot of huge submerged rocks just beneath the surface now. Boaters best stay well off shore. Yesterday we had the company of an otter swimming around.

By Susan Lahti (Finn_in_texas) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 10:48 am:

We are in the recovering phase of the drought -and - flood cycle here in central Texas. Lake Travis (in Austin) has experienced some near record lows, with scenes similar to this, and islands popping up all over. Lake Travis is finally up to it's average level, for the first time since September, 2005. What it takes is plenty of rain in the right places. The rain in the area in the past week alone helped the lake to rise 2 feet. It must take some time for the level to change for such a large body of water as Lake Superior, huh? I don't remember much variance in the lake level when we had our cottage on Bete Gris in the late 60s, early 70s. Would be interesting to see that lake front property today!

By Bob Williams (Wabbit) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 11:21 am:

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 08:00 am:
In Wisconsin, consideration is being given to boosting waterfront property tax because of lot size increase. ;-)

In Michigan, we should be reducing the waterfront property tax since the supreme court has made a ruling that private property is now public beach. Which in turn reduces the property's desirability.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 11:22 am:

This reminds me of one of my shots that was on this site in 2004. Prickett Lake, near Baraga, is a favorite spot of mine. It would make a great picnic spot. Very scenic. The water was drained there that year.

By chfinn (Chfinn) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 11:48 am:

That's just depressing!! The water has been low, and getting lower, for some years now, though suprisingly, some have denied it 'til recently. Another low water indicator is the Copper Harbor webcam showing the docks in front of the King Copper, where we used to tie up 2 boats! We would sit at the end of those docks as kids and dangle our feet into the water. You'd need a ladder for that now.

Speaking of dry, there is a regular poster/ex-yooper who lives on Catalina Island in California. Does anyone know how they are faring through that fire? We hope they are alright.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 12:20 pm:

...and your legs were a lot shorter back then too!

By kathie Murto (Murtomania) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 01:53 pm:

this would be the perfect time to look over the deck and make any repairs needed.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 02:48 pm:

By (Wabbit):
In Michigan, we should be reducing the waterfront property tax since the supreme court has made a ruling that private property is now public beach. Which in turn reduces the property's desirability.

If the incremental increases in Michigan's sporting licenses is any indication, no
chance that would be considered. :-(

(Oops! Sorry Mary. I exceeded my two comment limit.)

By Nate (Nalwine) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 02:53 pm:

Wow. Come to think of it I cannot think of one substantial rainfall Iron Mountain has had this year, and only one snowfall of any signifcant amount. Things have been so dry, and to top it off I just planted 200 trees. I've been watering them once a week but I hope we get some rain soon. Things are too dry around here.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 05:41 pm:

YAY! BridgeCam is live again. So pretty.

By Michele Maatta (Mrmaatta) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 06:53 pm:

someone ought to fire up that dredge and get it to working

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 07:14 pm:

In the lower peninsula, Lakes Michigan and Huron have varied widely in depth in the 30 years that we have lived here. My husband's uncle used to have a cottage on Grand Traverse Bay (north of Traverse City) until a couple of years ago. I can remember years that we would have to walk maybe 50 yards to reach the water from the waterfront cottage. Those years, the boat hoist for their small fishing boat needed to be way out in the water. On the other hand, I can remember one year that the water nearly reached one of the bedrooms on the cottage. That was the scariest year, when the water level was so high that they were afraid that the cottage might be washed away, especially during storms. We learned to deal with those water level changes over the years.

Most of the docks that I've seen, especially in the inland lakes of the lower peninsula are taken out in the fall & put back in in the spring, allowing for adjustments in the water level, etc. It sounds like that the docks in Lake Superior may have to be moved this year, for the first time?

Water level changes, at least here in the Lower Peninsula, have been a fact of life as long as we have lived here. It sounds like many may have gotten used to the apparently relatively constant levels of Lake Superior, so it comes as a surprise. I have heard stories that Lake Superior's water level changes might actually be related, at least in part, to the Soo Locks & the St Mary's River, & how much water is pumped in & out of Superior with the locks, etc?

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