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Lake Superior water level remains below normal

As annual spring increase approaches, Lake Superior expected to stay below long-term average level.

People watching Coast Guard tugboat travel through ice
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Neah Bay travels through a little ice on Lake Superior toward the Aerial Lift Bridge on March 23. The level of Lake Superior dropped by its usual amount in March and the big lake is expected to stay slightly below normal water levels this summer.
Dan Williamson / 2022 file / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The level of Lake Superior dropped as it usually does in March, and has reached its likely low point for the year, but it will start its seasonal increase in April as rivers lose their ice, snow melts and spring rains arrive.

That’s the report from the International Lake Superior Board of Control which notes the big lake’s water level dropped about a half-inch in March.

As of April 1, the level of Lake Superior was 3.5 inches below the long-term average and is 11.4 inches below the level of April 1, 2021.

Lake Superior usually rises from April through September and then drops in fall and winter. The lake could increase as much as 6 inches in April as more water flows in, the board noted in its monthly report.

While it can vary greatly depending on rainfall, Lake Superior’s water level is expected to remain slightly below normal through August, hydrologists note. That’s good news for waterfront property owners as it should lessen wind and wave damage compared to high-water years.

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Lakes Huron and Michigan rose nearly 2 inches in March, slightly more than average, and now sit 9.4 inches above average for April 1 but are 14 inches below this time last year and 28 inches below the record level for this time set in 2020.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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As reported by Douglas County Circuit Court.