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Find Great Lakes Temperature Information with CoastWatch

Great Lakes graphic

Great Lakes surface water temperature information is just a few clicks of a mouse away. It’s at the Sea Grant CoastWatch site on the World Wide Web — www.coastwatch.msu.edu.

The CoastWatch site shows temperatures in easy-to-understand graphic images of all the Great Lakes--Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. It captures daily National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite transmissions and presents the most current information in the form of contour lines (called isotherms) on five lakewide, 16 regional, and 42 port maps.

This information is important to anglers and commercial fishing operations for predicting where fish are likely to congregate, and to educators and students for limnology and map studies.

“Minnesota Sea Grant contributed to this regional project because of the importance of surface water temperatures to finding fish on Lake Superior,” said Jeff Gunderson, Associate Director for Minnesota Sea Grant. “It can also be used as a real-time teaching tool for science classes.”

Surface temperatures change quickly with changing weather and winds, so CoastWatch will save time and fuel for anglers searching for temperature breaks. The Minnesota shoreline is divided into three sections, or port maps, that provide enough detail for anglers to locate important temperature breaks.

“We’d like to hear what you think of CoastWatch,” Gunderson said. “So if you use the information, give us a call or send an e-mail message. Please bear in mind, however, that we can’t keep the clouds away that block satellite data collection.”

For more information, contact Gunderson at 218.726.8715 or jgunder1@d.umn.edu.


Views by Lake, Region, and Port

Lake Superior

Western: Duluth, MN; Beaver Bay, MN; Grand Marais, MN; Ontonagon, MI

Central: Isle Royale, MI; Keweenaw Peninsula, MI; Keweenaw Bay, MI; Marquette, MI

Eastern: Grand Marais, MI; Whitefish Bay, MI

Lake Michigan

Northern: Beaver Island, MI; Escanaba, MI

North Central: Leland, MI; Frankfort, MI

Central: Manistee, MI; Ludington, MI; Pentwater, MI

South Central: Muskegon/Grand Haven, MI; Holland and Saugatuck, MI

Southern: South Haven, MI; St. Joseph, MI; Michigan City, IN; Chicago, IL; Waukegan, IL

Lake Huron

Northern: Rogers City, MI; Alpena, MI

Central: Oscoda, MI

Southern: Saginaw Bay, MI; Harbor Beach, MI; Port Huron, MI

Lake Erie

Western: Monroe, MI/Toledo, OH; Sandusky, OH; Black River, OH

Central: Cleveland East, OH; Ashtabula, OH

Eastern: Erie, PA; Evangola, NY

lake Ontario

Western: Niagara River to Olcott, NY; Oak Orchard to Point Breeze, NY

Eastern: Braddock Bay to Pultneyville, NY; Sodus Bay to Mexico Bay, NY; Henderson Harbor to Cape Vincent, NY

By Sea Grant Staff
June 1998

Return to June 1998 Seiche

This page last modified on March 01, 2018     © 1996 – 2019 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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