Lake Superior water level holds steady in August

The threat of shoreline damage will continue for several more months.
People swim in Lake Superior at Wisconsin Point on Aug. 6. The level of the big lake held steady in August, which is normal, and is expected to decline over fall and winter. (File / Superior Telegram)

The level of Lake Superior remained stable during August, which is normal for the month, as the big lake nears its usual seasonal drop into fall and winter.

As of Sept. 1, Lake Superior was 10.2 inches above normal, but 2.4 inches below the record level for the date set in 1950, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control. The lake should begin its usual slow descent until April, at which point it normally heads back up.

It appears the lake will continue to inch away from record territory in coming months, in part due to drier-than-normal conditions across much of its watershed in recent months. That’s good news for lakeshore property owners continuing to deal with erosion from high water.

The board noted, however, that the threat of shoreline damage will continue for several more months, especially during periods of high wind and waves.

Lakes Michigan and Huron declined 1.6 inches over August, about normal for the month, but remain at record levels — 2.4 inches above the previous Sept. 1 record set in 1986. The lakes are currently 33.9 inches above normal.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at
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