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Lake Information for Lake Erie


Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore.

Because it is the shallowest, it is also the warmest of the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie is primarily fed by the Detroit River (from Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair) and drains via the Niagara River and Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario. Navigation downstream is provided by the Welland Canal, part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Other major contributors to Lake Erie include the Grand River, the Huron River, the Maumee River, the Sandusky River and the Cuyahoga River.

The drainage basin covers 30,140 square miles (78,000 sq. km).

Fishing Description: 

In 2007, sport anglers made over one million trips to fish Lake Erie. Private sport fishing effort topped 5.0 million hours. This was an increase of 23% from 2006. Charter boat fishing effort was about 0.4 million hours; a 1% decrease from 2006 levels. Most of the private boat effort (63%) was directed at walleye, followed by yellow perch, 29%; and smallmouth and largemouth bass, 5%. White bass (0.3%) and steelhead (0.8%) were minor components of the open water sport fishery. Private boat anglers seeking anything that bites made up 1.2% of the 2007 estimated angler effort. Charter boat anglers mainly sought walleye (85%), followed by yellow perch (14.7%), then steelhead (0.2%), and smallmouth bass (0.1%). Sport harvest of walleye, steelhead, and channel catfish increased over the previous year, but declined for many other species.

The Ohio commercial fishery had a very good year in 2007, with a total harvest of 4.49 million pounds. The yellow perch total harvest (1.95 million pounds) was the highest on record in the trap net era (since 1984). The total dockside value increased to $5.3 million, mostly attributed to the $4.45 million yellow perch harvest. The harvest of most other commodity species declined; white bass (-30%); white perch (-12%); channel catfish (-11%); and freshwater drum (-22%). Lake whitefish harvest increased to 41,554 lbs, up 39% from 2006.

Largemouth Bass
Rainbow Trout
Smallmouth Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Lake Erie
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    John's Bait & Tackle
  • 33473 Lake Rd - Avon Lake, OH
  • (440) 930-9144
    Lakeside Bait & Tackle
  • 925 Colorado Ave - Lorain, OH
  • (440) 288-2002
    Shine's Bait & Tackle
  • 1287 E 55th St - Cleveland, OH
  • (216) 431-9090

Boat Rental

    Vermilion Power Boats Incorporated
  • 5054 Liberty Ave - Vermilion, OH
  • (440) 967-4100

Vacation Rental

Bar and Restaurant

    Vinea Wine Bar & Restaurant
  • 1220 Huron Rd E - Cleveland, OH
  • (216) 522-1220
    Willie's Bar & Restaurant
  • 1603 E 79th St - Cleveland, OH
  • (216) 231-9470

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