Lake Huron is the 2nd largest of the Great Lakes and the 5th largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Huron has a surface area of 23,010 square miles and an average depth of 195 feet, with a maximum depth of 750 feet. Lake Huron has the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, counting the shoreline of its 30,000 plus islands. Lake Huron provides world-class freshwater fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Lake Trout and Walleye.
Lake Huron is connected to Lake Michigan via the Straits of Mackinac, technically making these two lakes as one. It’s located between the eastern shore of Michigan and southern shore of Ontario. Through St. Mary’s river, the water from Lake Superior also flows into Lake Huron.
Among the lake’s massive number of 30,000 islands, one of them is home to at least 12,000 residents, making it a notable island. That island is Manitoulin Island, located in Georgian Bay. It’s the largest freshwater island and is Canada’s 31st largest island. This island has even its own freshwater lakes, numbering over a hundred.
Like all of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron is a popular recreational spot, especially during summer when the surface water temperature can reach 23°C. Unlike the other lakes, especially Lake Erie, Lake Huron doesn’t freeze over frequently. The last freezing occurred over a decade ago in 2003. Temperatures in Lake Huron can be as low as 1°C during winter.
Water flows quickly in Lake Huron compared to other Great Lakes because the water from both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan flows through it. In addition to that, it has a large drainage area covering parts of Michigan and Ontario.
History and Formation
Like the other Great Lakes, it was formed by melting ice as the continental glaciers retreated during the end of the last ice age.
The name Huron came from the Wyandot Indians, or Hurons, who lived in the area. However, the French explorers who found the Great Lakes discovered Lake Huron first and named it La Mer Douce which means fresh-water sea.
The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse located at Port Huron was the first lighthouse in Michigan. It was built in 1829.
The lake is known for its storms and dangerous sailing conditions. In 1913, it was hit by the worst storm which produced ocean-like waves towering over 35 feet high, thanks to its strong wind gusts reaching up to 145 kph. The storm lasted around sixteen hours and it sank ten ships killing 235 seamen, which makes it the deadliest storm to hit the Great Lakes to date.
There are over a thousand shipwrecks on the lake and many of them still lie at the bottom and some of them were preserved as an artifact.
More About Lake Huron
The most common fish in the lake are round whitefish, ruffle, sea lamprey, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass and more.
Aside from its water wonders, Lake Huron is home to some heavily forested areas. One of such is the Huron-Manistee National forests containing 10,000 acres of pine, aspen and hardwood forest. It is also believed to be the home of 7000-year-old petrified trees buried underwater.
Lake Huron Public Boat Ramps
- Port Austin State Dock – Located in Port Austin Township
- Lexington Harbor
- Port Sanilac – Located off S. Lakeshore Rd. in Sanilac Township
- Hammond Bay State Harbor – Located between Cheboygan & Rogers City
- Harrisville – Near docks at Harrisville Harbor
- East Tawas State Dock
- Caseville Marina
- Grindstone City Harbor – Located about 5 miles east of Port Austin
- St. Ignace City Park