The level of Lake Superior rose 3.2 inches in April as winter loosened its grip on snow and river ice, and the big lake began its usual seasonal rise.

The increase for April was average for the month, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control.

The lake now sits 7.9 inches above average for May 1 but is 3.9 inches below May 1, 2020, and 8.7 inches below the record May 1 level set in 1986. Water levels continue a gradual decline from near-record territory in recent years that caused severe shoreline erosion in some areas, especially during storms.

Lake Superior’s water level generally rises from April through September and then drops through the fall and winter.

Meanwhile, lakes Michigan and Huron stayed level in April, a month they usually rise 4.3 inches, good news for waterlogged residents along their shores. The lakes are still 19.3 inches above average for May 1 but are 15.7 inches below the record high May 1 level of 2020.