Heavy Rains Flush Debris into Lake Superior

JensenNR - June 28, 2012

The recent heavy rains, which caused widespread and serious damage along Lake Superior's West End, has impacted the big lake. It can be seen on satellite photos. For a news story about the runoff and its implications, please CLICK HERE to read the Minneapolis Star Tribune's article.

JensenNR's picture

Incidentally, it appears the recent heavy rains increased Lake Superior's overall water level. We're now 2 inches above chart level.

Bill Rohde's picture

This week I and two other crew helped Niels Jensen move his boat from Superior, Wisconsin, at the head of Lake Superior, to Bayfield Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands. The NOAA satellite view of Western Lake Superior in the Mineapolis Star-Tribune article shows some of the extent of that silt field, however even more troubling to boaters is the amount of debris in those same waters.

We found everything from thousands of small branches to numerous logs and even mature trees floating on or near the surface along our path. Fully a week after the major rain event that triggered the massive flooding, this resulting debris field stretched roughly 50 miles from Duluth-Superior to near Sand Island in the Apostles.

We positioned a lookout on our bow for the first three hours of the trip to help spot debris and call for evasive action. After running about 18 miles we were finally able to drop the bow watch, but still needed to keep a very sharp lookout and frequently adjust our course around floating debris.

Until this debris field clears, any transit of this area should be undertaken only at moderate speed with a constant sharp lookout, and never at night.