Lakes of many shapes and sizes, with various types of water and species, can be found all over the world. Lakes have existed for millions of years and have played an important part in shaping the planet. There are several lakes around, some shallow and some deep. Exploring what makes a lake distinctive can be fascinating, and pondering the depths of some lakes can be mind-boggling. However, unlike the sea or ocean, lakes are safer places to swim because the waves are not as strong.
If you enjoy swimming or diving, there are numerous deep lakes in the United States to visit. Despite being mostly landlocked, Ohio boasts an astounding number of lakes. But which one is the deepest? This article uncovers the deepest lake in Ohio and other interesting facts.
What Is the Deepest Lake in Ohio?
Although it is the shallowest among the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is the deepest lake you can find in Ohio. It is one of the deepest among all US lakes, boasting a maximum depth of 210 feet (64 meters) and a freshwater capacity of 116 cubic miles (480 cubic kilometers).
Lake Erie is not just a body of water in Ohio; it is the fourth largest of North America’s five Great Lakes. It marks the northern border between Canada (Ontario) and the United States, touching the states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. It is also among the largest freshwater lakes in the world, providing drinking water to millions of people. Visitors can also enjoy the several beaches that border Lake Erie’s shoreline.
What Is at the Bottom of Lake Erie?
The Lake Serpent, an eight-year-old 47-foot schooner, set sail from Cleveland in September 1829 for the 55-mile journey to the Lake Erie Islands. When the ship arrived at the limestone-rich shore, the sailors loaded up on stone to return to Cleveland. Unfortunately, the ship never returned, one of many that perished on the Great Lakes. Captain Ezera Wright and his brother Robert’s remains washed up in Lorain County, just west of Cleveland, and the Lake Serpent was lost forever at the lake’s bottom.
However, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, based in neighboring Toledo, announced the alleged discovery of the Serpent, and it is thought to be Lake Erie’s oldest-known shipwreck.
Furthermore, Lake Erie has approximately 2,000 shipwrecks, making it one of the world’s biggest concentrations of shipwrecks. Only roughly 400 wrecks in Lake Erie have ever been recovered. Among them are schooners, freighters, steamships, tugs, and fishing boats.
Fishing at Lake Erie
Thanks to its reputation as one of the top freshwater fishing spots in the country, Lake Erie attracts visitors from all over the country. You’ve certainly heard the phrase “The Walleye Capital of the World” thrown around when discussing Lake Erie, and for a good reason. There isn’t a finer place in the United States to catch the biggest walleye of your life. But wait, there’s more! The lake is divided into three basins: the Central, Eastern, and Western, each of which is more bountiful than the last. Yellow perch, trout, bass, and even salmon flourish in this environment, and the list continues.
Many people come to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake, but many more come to boat and fish.
Things to Do at Lake Erie
Lake Erie gives it all, whether you want a beach vacation or an adrenaline rush! It is an excellent lake for swimming and water sports—paddle from Port Clinton or near the Marblehead Lighthouse for some spectacular views along Lake Erie’s beaches. The Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, offers thrills with 18 roller coasters. Those looking for a slower pace may prefer heading out to Put-in-Bay for a kayak and walking tour of adjacent Gibraltar Island.
Summer is the best time to visit Lake Erie and spend time on the sandy beaches, and it is also a time to enjoy the breathtaking landscape, boating, and fishing.
Has Lake Erie Recovered From Pollution?
The answer is uncertain. In the past, a massive effort was made to restore Lake Erie’s health. The United States and Canada agreed to set phosphorus limits for Lake Erie at 0.1 mg/liter and mercury restrictions at 0.01 mg/liter in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. At the time, all nutrient sources (particularly phosphorus) were targeted for reduction.
Between the 1970s and the 1980s, the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie was cut in half. The lake became significantly clearer and cleaner due to the phosphorus reductions. Fish prospered, and Lake Erie became known as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” attracting tourists once more. Surprisingly, Lake Erie achieved the world’s greatest ecosystem recovery.
Then, the lake had noticeable algal blooms again in 2003. Each year, toxic algal blooms plague the lake, owing mostly to nutrient runoff from farms and cities.
What is the Biggest Lake in Ohio?
Although it is too big to be confined within the borders of Ohio, the answer is, once again, Lake Erie. It is also the world’s eleventh largest lake.
Lake Erie has an area of 6.3615 million acres and is a notable geographical feature in North America because it borders Canada and the United States. These countries use water boundaries to divide the lake’s surface area. Cleveland is the largest city on the Great Lakes and the third-largest US metro area in the Great Lakes region, after Greater Chicago and Metro Detroit. The lake was named after the Erie (“People of the Panther”) tribe of American Indians who originally lived on its southern borders.
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- Lake Erie Foundation (1970) https://lakeeriefoundation.org/issues/lake-erie-water-quality/#:~:text=Lake Erie became the greatest,was steadily increasing since 1995
- Smithsonian (1970) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/underwater-archaeologists-may-have-discovered-oldest-shipwreck-lake-erie-180970503/#:~:text=The Lake Serpent was lost,known shipwreck in Lake Erie