13 Facts About Lake Michigan


The word "Lake Michigan" is believed to come from the Ojibwe word meaning "great water".

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Lake Michigan is joined via the narrow, open-water Straits of Mackinac with Lake Huron, and the combined body of water is sometimes called Michigan–Huron.

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The warming of Lake Michigan was the subject of a 2018 report by Purdue University.

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Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is wholly within the borders of the United States; the others are shared with Canada.

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Lake Michigan freighters are used on the lakes that are too large to pass the locks and enter the ocean.

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Lake Michigan is connected by the Illinois Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico via the Illinois River and the Mississippi River.

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In January 2013, Lake Michigan's monthly mean water levels dipped to an all-time low of 576.

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Sand dunes located on the east shore of Lake Michigan are the largest freshwater dune system in the world.

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Lake Michigan is home to a small variety of fish species and other organisms.

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Lake Michigan is stocked annually with steelhead, brown trout, and coho and chinook salmon, which have begun natural reproduction in some Lake Michigan tributaries.

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However, several introduced invasive species, such as lampreys, round goby, zebra mussels and quagga mussels, continue to cause major changes in water clarity and fertility, resulting in knock-on changes to Lake Michigan's ecosystem, threatening the vitality of native fish populations.

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Two passenger and vehicle ferries operate ferry services across Lake Michigan, both connecting Wisconsin on the western shore with Michigan on the east.

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The Lake Express, established in 2004, carries passengers and vehicles across the lake between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Muskegon, Michigan.

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