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Lake Information for Lake Michigan


Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is bounded, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The word "Michigan" was originally used to refer to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning "great water." The lake is slightly larger than the country of Croatia.

Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes wholly within the borders of the United States; the others are shared with Canada. It has a surface area of 22,400 square miles (58,016 km²), making it the largest lake entirely within one country by surface area (Lake Baikal, in Russia, is larger by water volume), and the fifth largest lake in the world. It is 307 miles (494 km) long by 118 miles (190 km) wide with a shoreline 1,640 miles (2,633 km) long. The lake's average depth is 279 feet (85 m), while its greatest depth is 923 feet (281 m). It contains a volume of 1,180 cubic miles (4,918 km³) of water. Its surface averages 577 feet (176 m) above sea level, the same as Lake Huron, to which it is connected through the Straits of Mackinac.

Facilities and Parks: 

The State of Illinois lists the following marinas:
* North Point Marina
* The Port of Waukegan (Waukegan Harbor)
* Park Avenue Launch Ramp
* Lloyd Park in Winnetka
* Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park
* Burnham Harbor in Burnham Park
* Jackson Harbor in Jackson Park
* Calumet Park

It also lists the following harbors that are available for fishing:
* Montrose
* Belmont
* Diversey
* Monroe
* DuSable
* Burnham
* 59th Street
* Jackson
* Calumet

Click here for the Illinois DNR's links for these marinas and harbors.

Fishing Description: 

Lake Michigan is home to a variety of species of fish and other organisms. It was originally home to lake trout, yellow perch, panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, carp, bowfin, as well as some species of catfish. In recent years overfishing has caused a decline in lake trout which ultimately caused an increase in the alewife population. As a result, coho and chinook salmon were introduced as a predator of alewives to decrease the alewife population. This program was so successful that the salmon population exploded and the states surrounding Lake Michigan promoted Salmon Snagging. This practice has since been made illegal in all of the great lakes states with the exception of a limited season in Illinois. Lake Michigan is now being stocked with several species of fish. However, several invader species introduced, such as lampreys, threaten the vitality of fish populations.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

The State of Illinois DNR lists the best fishing prospects by month:
January's best prospects are Yellow Perch, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout.
February's best prospect is Yellow Perch.
March's best prospects are Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, and Yellow Perch.
April's best prospect is Coho Salmon.
May's best prospects are Coho salmon, Smallmouth bass, and Yellow perch.
June's best prospects are Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Smallmouth bass, and Yellow perch.
July's best prospects are Chinook salmon, Rock bass, and Smallmouth bass.
August's best prospects are Chinook salmon, Lake trout, Coho salmon, Brown trout, Smallmouth bass, and Yellow perch.
September's best prospects are Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Brown trout, Lake trout, and Yellow perch.
October's best prospects are Brown trout, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Rainbow trout, and Yellow perch.
November and December's best prospect is Yellow perch.

Brown Trout
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Rainbow Trout
Smallmouth Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Lake Michigan
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    R & B Bait & Tackle Shop
  • 5558 W Harrison St - Chicago, IL
  • (773) 287-2319
    Wacker Bait & Tackle LLC
  • 1422 W Roosevelt Rd - Broadview, IL
  • (708) 450-0305

Boat Rental

    Marina Bay Boat Rentals Incorporated
  • 300 Wrigley Dr - Lake Geneva, WI
  • (262) 248-4477
    West Marine
  • 229 Skokie Valley Rd - Highland Park, IL
  • (847) 831-0100

Vacation Rental

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