Lake Saint Clair (North America)

Lake Saint Clair (North America)

lake_name = Lake St. Clair
image_lake = Lake st clair landsat.jpeg
caption_lake = Landsat satellite photo, showing Lake Saint Clair (center), as well as St. Clair River connecting it to Lake Huron (to the North) and Detroit River connecting it to Lake Erie (to the South)
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = (Great Lakes)
coords = coord|42|28|N|82|40|W|type:waterbody_region:US/CA|display=inline,title
type = Freshwater Lake
inflow = St. Clair River, Thames River, Sydenham River, Clinton River
outflow = Detroit River
catchment =
basin_countries = Canada, United States
residence_time= 7 days (2-30 days)
length = convert|26|mi|km|abbr=on
width = convert|24|mi|km|abbr=on
area = convert|430|sqmi|km2|0|abbr=on
depth = convert|11|ft|m|abbr=on
max-depth = convert|27|ft|m|abbr=on
volume = convert|0.82|cumi|km3|1|abbr=on
shore = convert|169|mi|km|abbr=on
elevation = convert|574|ft|m|abbr=on
islands =
cities = Detroit

Lake St. Clair ("French: Lac Sainte-Claire") is a lake that lies between Ontario, Canada, and Michigan in the United States, located about convert|6|mi|km northeast of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Approximately convert|430|sqmi|km2| in area, the lake is part of the Great Lakes system; however, because of its relatively small size, it is very rarely included in enumerations of the Great Lakes [ Lake St. Clair summary report] ."Great". Retrieved on December 2, 2007.] cite web |url= |title=Chapter 1:Introduction to Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River |accessdate=2008-06-08 |publisher=U.S. government U.S. Army |date=June 2004 ] . The quest for its official recognition as a Great Lake is ongoing [" [ Does size matter? Lake St. Clair advocates believe that it deserves to be called 'great'] ", "The Plain Dealer", October 14, 2002.] [" [ Great Lakes panel wants monster fish to stay away] ", "The Plain Dealer", October 16, 2002.] . Along with the St. Clair River and Detroit River, Lake St. Clair connects Lake Huron (to the north) and Lake Erie (to the south).

The lake is convert|26|mi|km| from north to south and convert|24|mi|km| from east to west. It is a very shallow lake with an average depth of about 11 feet (3.3 m), and a maximum natural depth of convert|21.3|ft|m, although it is convert|27|ft|m deep in the navigation channel which has been dredged for freighter passage. The lake is fed from Lake Huron at its north by the St. Clair River, which has an extensive delta, the largest within the Great Lakes system. The Thames River and Sydenham River enter the lake from the east in Southwestern Ontario, and the Clinton River enters from Michigan on the west. The lake is drained on its southwest end into Lake Erie by the Detroit River.

The residence time of water in Lake St. Clair averages 7 days, but can vary from 2 to30 days, depending on wind direction and circulation patterns. If the water flowsthrough the navigation channel, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the time the water remains in the lake is perhaps just 2 days.


The lake served as part of the extensive navigational system of the Great Lakes for First Nations/Native Americans. On August 12, 1679 an expedition led by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle named it "Lac Sainte-Claire" as they discovered it on the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi. The historian on the voyage, Louis Hennepin, recorded that the Iroquois called the lake "Otseketa". [Jenks, [ p. 22] ] Prior to the voyage of La Salle, other names for the lake had appeared on earlier maps, including "Lac des Eaux de Mer" [Seawater Lake] , "Otsiketa" [Sugar or Candy] , "Ganatchio" [Kettle] , "Lac de la Chaudière" [Kettle] , "Kandequio" or "Kandekio" [possibly, Candy] , "Oiatinatchiketo" [probably, a form of Otsiketa] , and "Oiatinonchikebo". Candy or sugar, Iroquois Otsiketa, was reportedly used by Native People to describe "white man's sugar" or salt. To complement the Sugar, or Candy, Lake, Lake Huron was called "The Grand Lake of the Sweet Sea" and "Mare Dulce" on Dutch maps while "Mer Douce" [Sea that is Sweet] is found on early maps by the French. "Wahwehyahtahnoong" was the name used by the Mississauga for Lake Saint Clair. They established a village near the lake in the latter part of the 17th century. [Jenks, [ p. 24] ] The lake is named on English maps as early as 1710 as Saint Clare. But as early as the Mitchell Map in 1755, the spelling is presented with the current spelling as St. Clair. [Jenks, [;cc=micounty;rgn=full%20text;idno=bad1042.0001.001;didno=BAD1042.0001.001;view=image;seq=63;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset; pp. 23-24] ] The name is sometimes attributed as honoring the American Revolutionary War General and Governor of the Northwest Territory Arthur St. Clair, but the name was in use with the current spelling long before St. Clair was a notable figure. However it is possible that earlier name of the lake was conflated with that of the general in naming some of the political entities near the lake and the river, such as St. Clair County, Michigan, St. Clair Township, Michigan, and the cities of St. Clair and St. Clair Shores.

The origin of the name has also been confused with that Patrick Sinclair, a British officer who purchased land on the St. Clair River at the outlet of the Pine River. There, in 1764, he built Fort Sinclair, which was in use for nearly twenty years before being abandoned. [Fuller, [;cc=micounty;rgn=full%20text;idno=ARH7752.0001.001;didno=ARH7752.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000017 pp. 21-22] ]


The southwestern portion of the lake shore is lined by the wealthy eastern suburbs of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario known as the Grosse Pointe communities and Russell Woods and St. Clair Beach respectively. Public access to the lake is highly restricted in these areas, limited to private marinas and parks that are open only to residents of the specific community. Further north, in Harrison Township, lies Metro Beach, a popular public beach.

Several yacht clubs are located along this shore, including:
* Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Shores
* [ Crescent Sail Yacht Club] in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
* Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Michigan
* Big Boat Yacht club in St. Clair Shores, MI

Many of North America's fresh water fish species can be found in the lake throughout the seasons. Species popular with anglers include Bass, Bluegill, Bullhead, Catfish, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Perch, Salmon, Smelt, Steelhead, Sturgeon, Trout, and Walleye.

ee also

*Clinton River (Michigan)
*Detroit River
*Grosse Pointe
*Harsens Island
*St. Clair River

References and notes

*cite book |last=Fuller |first=George Newman |title=Local history and personal sketches of St. Clair and Shiawassee counties |origyear=1926? |url= |accessdate=2007-11-23 |year=2005 |publisher=University of Michigan Library |location=Ann Arbor, Mich. |pages=pp. 17-27 |chapter=Indians and Explorations |chapterurl=;cc=micounty;rgn=full%20text;idno=ARH7752.0001.001;didno=ARH7752.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000013
*cite book |last=Jenks |first=William Lee |title=St. Clair County, Michigan, its history and its people |origyear=1912 |url= |accessdate=2007-11-23 |year=2005 |publisher=University of Michigan Library |location=Ann Arbor, Mich. |pages=pp. 20-24 |chapter=Origin of Name |chapterurl=;cc=micounty;rgn=full%20text;idno=BAD1042.0001.001;didno=BAD1042.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000060

External links

* [ The Lake St.Clair Network] Networking boaters, anglers, and water sport enthusiasts
* [ Fishing Reports for the Area] Fishing Reports for the Area.
* [ World Lakes Database entry for Lake St. Clair (facts & figures)]
* [ Terry Pepper on lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes.]

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