Water quality on Lake Huron
To find out about water quality along the southeast shore of Lake Huron visit the Healthy Lake Huron – Clean Water, Clean Beaches Partnership website:
For information on water quality monitoring of Lake Huron, in Ausable Bayfield watersheds, please visit:
Shoreline Video Series
Three local conservation authorities, working with community partners, have released four videos on shoreline themes for public information.
The 2022 video series, videotaped by a professional video production company, includes two new videos and two updated videos.
The videos provide information on four themes: shoreline processes; living with erosion; what you need to know before planning to build along the shoreline; and what you need to know before buying property along the shoreline.
Watch the series now:
- Living with Erosion
- Building along the shoreline – What you need to know
- Shoreline Processes
- Buying a property along the shoreline – What you need to know
Water levels on Lake Huron
Lake Huron water levels are of interest to property owners along or near the shoreline, to people who visit Lake Huron, and to people who rely on Lake Huron for economic reasons and as a source of drinking water.
The impacts of high water levels include erosion and unstable bluffs.
How can you find out more about water levels?
There are several sources of national and local information related to high water levels and their impacts.
Canada has a newsletter that provides a monthly update, on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River water levels, LEVELnews, at this link:
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) issues Shoreline Conditions Statements, to local municipalities, when warranted. These statements are issued when weather forecasts over Lake Huron suggest a potential for high waves reaching the shoreline and resulting in potential coastal flooding and erosion issues. These messages, in addition to flood messages, are also posted on the abca.ca website at this link:
The Shoreline Conditions Statements are also posted on Ausable Bayfield Conservation's social media channels (Facebook and Twitter):
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has resources, (including the Shoreline Slope Stability Risks and Hazards Fact Sheet for Property Owners, by Terraprobe Inc.) on its website.
Download the fact sheet now (large PDF file):
In addition to LEVELnews (a Canadian newsletter that provides a monthly update) on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River water levels), Environment and Climate Change Canada also has a web page with links to a number of official websites containing Great Lakes water level and related data:
The conservation authority, and its partners in the Healthy Lake Huron – Clean Water, Clean Beaches Partnership, are adding materials – this summer and autumn – related to water levels; water level impacts; and best practices residents can consider. These resources are to include a new fact sheet about what vegetation to plant along the shoreline.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation wants to help the public become aware of, and to navigate, the different sources of information related to lake levels; their impacts; and best practices.
“The high lake levels are a concern to us and to property owners and we want to do what we can to connect people to current information from the relevant authorities and to helpful information to deal with the impacts of high water levels,” said Geoffrey Cade, ABCA Water and Planning Manager.
Fact sheets for property owners
Ausable Bayfield Conservation and the Healthy Lake Huron partnership are sharing some more materials on the topic of water levels and water level impacts and fact sheets with practical and positive actions property owners can take. These fact sheets include bluff and shoreline stability (PDF) and fact sheets about adding vegetation. Visit healthylakehuron.ca and abca.ca to learn more.
Download the fact sheets now:
- Guidelines for Lake Huron Bluff Access – 1.1 MB – Large PDF file
- Guidelines for Lake Huron Bluff Vegetation – 1.1 MB – Large PDF file
- Guidelines for Lake Huron Dune Vegetation – 1.3 MB – Large PDF file
- Shoreline Slope Stability Risks and Hazards Fact Sheet for Property Owners – Terraprobe Inc.
– 1 MB – Large PDF file
- Information for landowners and contractors proposing shoreline protection works – 500 KB (Medium-sized) PDF file
- Checklist for Applications for Shore Protection – 200 KB (Mediums-zied) PDF file.
Visit the the Healthy Lake Huron – Clean Water, Clean Beaches Partnership website to learn more:
For information on planning, shoreline regulations, and to apply for permits in Ausable Bayfield watersheds, please visit the Planning and Permits page.
Residents and visitors reminded to avoid lake and other waterbodies during season of cold temperatures
The return of winter and dropping temperatures is a time for residents and visitors to remember to keep safe by keeping their distance from Lake Huron and creeks and rivers.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) joins local municipalities in reminding the public to put safety first this season.
As ice forms on the lake, it constantly breaks up, refreezes, and gets pushed toward the shoreline. This forms ice shelves that can stretch several metres out into the lake. It appears almost as an extension of the shoreline in some places. This may tempt some people to consider walking near or on these formations but these surfaces are not safe to walk on.
Compared to ice that forms over bodies of standing water, ice forming over the Great Lakes is thinner and more unstable because the lake is always moving beneath it. What appears to be thick, stable ice, can hide large cracks or caverns. One wrong step and individuals can find themselves falling through the cracks and getting trapped in the caverns or plunging into the frigid waters. Hypothermia can set in within minutes in cold temperatures. Depending on conditions, it can be difficult for rescue crews to respond. As beautiful as these natural phenomena are, it is far better, and safer, to enjoy them from a great distance.
The message to ‘Never walk on shelf ice’ is part of the conservation education river safety programs delivered to schools at no charge thanks to the support of local municipalities. The program (delivered to schools virtually in 2022) teaches about safe practices near rivers and lakes and discusses why you should avoid icy shorelines and ice shelves and educates about the phenomenon of ‘ice volcanoes.’
To find out more about lake and river safety messages visit Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s River Safety (formerly Spring Water Awareness Program) page here:
Shoreline Bluff Webinar from Maitland Conservation
Although the water level of Lake Huron has dropped somewhat recently, the risk of significant bluff erosion remains high.
In a webinar from Shannon Millar, Shoreline Technician with Maitland Conseration, our neighbouring conservation authority (Maitland Valley Conservation Authority) outlines, in a webinar, types of potential bluff failures and provides tips on bluff safety.
Watch the video now:
The questions from this webinar have been gathered in a FAQ document and posted on Maitland Conservation's website: