Lake Huron Overview


Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake by surface area and the fifth largest freshwater lake in the world. There are 30,000 islands on Lake Huron giving it the longest shoreline of the North American Great Lakes of 3,827 miles (6,157 km).  Lake Huron receives flow from both Lake Superior, through the St. Mary’s River, and Lake Michigan via the Straits of Mackinac.  Water flows through Lake Huron faster than the other Great Lakes with a retention time of only 22 years. Lake Huron and Michigan are considered to be one lake hydrologically. Lake Huron’s outflow is through the St. Clair River to Lake Erie. 

Lake Huron has a fairly large drainage basin covering parts of Michigan and Ontario.  There are many forested areas in the basin including the Huron-Manistee National Forests. The population on the U.S. side of the basin is 1,191,467 and 1,502,687 in Canada.  Some of the primary fish that can be found in Lake Huron include: Round whitefish, ruffe, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, white perch, white sucker and yellow perch. 


Surface Area 23,000 miles2 59,600 km2
Maximum Depth 750 ft 229 m
Watershed Area 51,776 miles2 134,100 km2
# of Fish Species 115*  
Water Retention/Replacement Time 22 years  

 *97 native, 18 introduced


Lake Huron

aCoordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data, Coordinated Great Lakes Physical Data. May, 1992


Links to other resources:

Great Lakes Atlas - U.S. EPA