From what I know, and learned from a previous, similar thread, the main factor is what happens up in the Superior basin. I'm hearing that they are only slightly below average for this time of year and are getting new snow (7" about 4 days ago) One good snow dump up there and a wet spring and I believe we will be all right.
As for the 'Moot, I got grounded in their last summer with my 19 ' SeaRay and am trying to figure out how to get in there (or how/where everyone else does) this year with our 28'. She draws about a foot more.
I have heard that same story about the Superior snow cap. And for one, I beleive that theory too. The U.P. snow was really good last winter, and we had decent lake levels last year. All I say is,"winter isn't over yet".
I'm keeping a positive view on it.
Like someone said in another post. They always come out with these stories right before the boat show. That really helps with local boat sales, doesn't it?!
Goes to show how lake levels effect our local buisness's.
The ice on the lake will help limit the amount of evaporation, which is a good thing.
As I understand it, the snowfall in northern Michigan has a large effect on the level of St. Clair although any precipitation we get won't hurt, either.
I drive Lakeshore thru Grosse Pointe every week day and my scientific gauge is a piece of broken cement on the shore near seven mile. It is incredible how much the water has dropped. In June, the cement was practically covered. Currently there is about three feet of bottom exposed in front of the cement.
Look here - Lake St. Clair levels - and you can see that we are just a little below the mean average for this time of year (about a half of foot). It is also true that we are heavly influenced by the Superior Basin. Another good thing is the ice. It is the best way of holding in the water as the air is dryer during the winter months.
My prediction - I think the 'moot is going to ROCK this year!!
PyrateJim - What I have had success doing to get to back there is come into the area by the South Channel Lights and use them as a Range as you go in. I have a 34' SeaRay which draws about 30". Best thing to do is have up-to-date charts, and follow someone bigger than you in the first time. Hope this helps!
I get this in my Michigan Tech Alumni E-mail every few weeks:
SNOW WATCH '02-'03
As of January 27, 2003
This week Last week Last year
Snowfall to date (this week): 137"
Snowfall to date (last week): 107.5"
Snowfall to date (last year): 122.5"
Snowfall on Ground (this week): 24"
Snowfall on Ground (last week): 16"
Snowfall on Ground (last year): 13"
So, everything looks good on the Michigan side of the Superior Basin. However, Michigan is a very small portion of the Superior Basin. I Was just in Northern Minnesota this weekend and they have almost Z-E-R-O snow on the ground. I would imagine Canada isn't much better.
It's hard to tell what the levels will do. Only time will tell for sure.
If they are predicting 6” lower than last year, that would put us at summer of 2001 levels. Looking back, we put on around 95 hours that summer, so I don’t see it affecting us too much. I think the bigger boats will be affected and people on canals who might not be able to float their boats. One good thing is that Sand Is. might be exposed again which would make it more obvious to people who don’t know about it, rather than being a few inches under water. Big Muscamoot will still have enough water to party in and this cold snap has got to help some...
Sand Island was to me the best place to go when the water was down. For the people who keep running aground...all I have to say is "get a chart" and study it. There's plenty of water out there, just be aware of where you are.
I just returned from a week in the west end of the Upper Pennisula. There was little to no snow all along US-2 driving across. The lake we were on in Iron Mountain had open water and the community cancelled the annual ice fishing derby. There seems to be adequate snow in the Superior watershed but overall it appears levels will be lower this summer.
Thanks for the update Interceptor & Bayley. I know everyone around here is keeping a close eye on the water levels. Like Bill272 said in his post no matter if the levels are, up or down. Were still going to have a great season on the lake.
Sand Island... Last year, at two different times, we helped two boats get unstuck.
The first boat was going about 30 mph, and we were side by side. Our boat hit a small part of the Island, just enough to throw me forward and lose a drink. The other boat hit it just right, and came to a complete stop. No one was hurt, thank goodness. With a lot of effort, we finally were able to get the boat free.
A couple of weeks later, we saw a huge sail boat stuck. It probably had 20 or so people on it. The Island finally released the sail boat after several motor boats continued to go around and around in a circle to create waves to rock the sail boat while another boat towed it.