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Secondly, too bad for the man who took his last today, and his family.. No one goes out to have that happen..

As a warning / caution / heads-up ... beware of the western basin of Lake Erie... it DOES NOT resemble the characteristics of any other body of water ...

Due to the relatively shallow / low slope / force of a major body , with totally different characteristics / and the various feeds from tributaries, it is a VERY dangerous body of water...
Having only ever gone for a swim in rivers or the ocean, I'm not really getting how it's dangerous. Is there some sort of movement in it that takes you off your feet like a hidden current?

I understand that lakes can get a bit rough when the wind picks up but I would have expected that a shallow, low slope lake would be the safest sort of swimming spot you could get.
 

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Having only ever gone for a swim in rivers or the ocean, I'm not really getting how it's dangerous. Is there some sort of movement in it that takes you off your feet like a hidden current?

I understand that lakes can get a bit rough when the wind picks up but I would have expected that a shallow, low slope lake would be the safest sort of swimming spot you could get.
We have a international standard freshwater rowing lake near my shop that you can swim in.....3 meters deep, zero underwater hazards, smooth clay bottom....yet 2 people have drowned there....maybe poor swimmers avoid the ocean and rivers and go to the benign places thinking they will be OK
 

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Thats cool as hell, I didnt know ya was from these parts! We go up there quite a bit in the summer. Whats that "Crazy Lady Saloon" like in Curtice?
Yea, was a bit shocking to open your post and see those pics as well.. even though I knew you were jus' down 23...

Crazy lady is not terrible, but, quite corner local bar.. been in there quite a bit - used to work with a guy that had a shop in Curtice.. we'd go in for lunch..

If your at the Park - a great place for food is the Oregon Inn..on Bayshore Rd.. i'ts just a stone's throw from the west end of the beach. Easy to get to on bikes from the park, easy in car too, but you have to go around the block (county blocks) .. great food, ( The best prime rib - anywhere..) but not too expensive or stuffy - anyone fits in..


I'll pm you, if you ever need anything up this way, just lemme know..
 

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Having only ever gone for a swim in rivers or the ocean, I'm not really getting how it's dangerous. Is there some sort of movement in it that takes you off your feet like a hidden current?

I understand that lakes can get a bit rough when the wind picks up but I would have expected that a shallow, low slope lake would be the safest sort of swimming spot you could get.
The western Basin is very circular ( like a toilet bowl) , and low slope shallow.. alot of the problem, and danger comes from the bordering topography that breeds hotspots that make the conditions change in a VERY short timeframe, (perfect day - to 60 mph winds, wind direction swing, 30 degree temp shift, fog, and extreme water temp change in two to five minutes..) ..

The shallow nature leads to the huge water temp swings which takes people by surprise, fatigues them, etc , also cause a pretty major ebb as the water is getting pushed in on the top, it's trying to equalize on the bottom - but the bottom is so close to the top... The biggest issue that usually bites people is also due to the shallow nature.. the wavelength is very uncommon in tough conditions.. even in the largest storms, and out in "deeper" water - the lake never has time , or space / depth to produce swells as would be expected in any other large body of water... So, the wave height / wave frequency is punishing.. and basically the entire lake is "breaking"..

E.G. - in say, Lake Michigan.. it is common to get 10 to 15 foot swells, but, the frequency is maybe 30 or more feet which causes a long slope bobbing effect, that is still navigable ... and the waves just start to break as they approach the shore / shallows... The western basin here can easily get the same 10' waves - but the frequency is more like 10 to 15 feet... This makes every wave break, even in open water... so, in stead of a bobbing type motion, it turns into more of a "bashing, and tossing" ...
 

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The western Basin is very circular ( like a toilet bowl) , and low slope shallow.. alot of the problem, and danger comes from the bordering topography that breeds hotspots that make the conditions change in a VERY short timeframe, (perfect day - to 60 mph winds, wind direction swing, 30 degree temp shift, fog, and extreme water temp change in two to five minutes..) ..

The shallow nature leads to the huge water temp swings which takes people by surprise, fatigues them, etc , also cause a pretty major ebb as the water is getting pushed in on the top, it's trying to equalize on the bottom - but the bottom is so close to the top... The biggest issue that usually bites people is also due to the shallow nature.. the wavelength is very uncommon in tough conditions.. even in the largest storms, and out in "deeper" water - the lake never has time , or space / depth to produce swells as would be expected in any other large body of water... So, the wave height / wave frequency is punishing.. and basically the entire lake is "breaking"..

E.G. - in say, Lake Michigan.. it is common to get 10 to 15 foot swells, but, the frequency is maybe 30 or more feet which causes a long slope bobbing effect, that is still navigable ... and the waves just start to break as they approach the shore / shallows... The western basin here can easily get the same 10' waves - but the frequency is more like 10 to 15 feet... This makes every wave break, even in open water... so, in stead of a bobbing type motion, it turns into more of a "bashing, and tossing" ...
Makes sense. Thanks for the reply.
 

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Makes sense. Thanks for the reply.
No prop... here you go with a few very impromptu cell captures..

These were taken from here on shore , I have been on the other end, and had these things catch me when out in the lake... - it aint cool.

This was a short bit after it was apparent that there was a storm brewing.. 10 minutes earlier, and the whole day before was a picture perfect beautiful day in the 80's, just a slight breeze, and dead calm water.. I could FEEL that something was going on, and went out from the shop to see what was up..

Here's what I saw.. from the timestamp of 200051 - I know that it was 8:00 . 50 sec...

20150903_200051.jpg by j t, on Flickr


Here's an interim shot at 200459.. - 8:04.59 pm...

20150903_200459.mp4 by j t, on Flickr

..and the last shot that i could stand being outside, at 200616.. - 8:06.16 pm ...

20150903_200616.mp4 by j t, on Flickr


So, in 5+ minutes in these captures, the lake basically exploded.. this is a normal occurrence through certain conditions.. and when they hit - it gets much worse than the last vid here - that's just when I ran for cover.. ..and I was safe on land. Like I said - I've been 20 miles out, on the other side of this, and am happy to be able to post this..


Edit to add that the last two pics are vids, if they don't work by clicking , lemme know, I'll make a link..
 

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That's a pretty fast change of scenery.

I've fished a few big dams before, nothing the size of your lakes obviously but pretty big. It is amazing how fast the conditions can change and how big the chop can get in a really short space of time. One trip we were way out the back of Awonga dam and the wind came out of nowhere. Headed straight back. The waves were so tall and so close together it was like we were powering off the top of one, airborne, and slamming into the next. I thought my spine was going to go through the seat.
 

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That's a pretty fast change of scenery.

I've fished a few big dams before, nothing the size of your lakes obviously but pretty big. It is amazing how fast the conditions can change and how big the chop can get in a really short space of time. One trip we were way out the back of Awonga dam and the wind came out of nowhere. Headed straight back. The waves were so tall and so close together it was like we were powering off the top of one, airborne, and slamming into the next. I thought my spine was going to go through the seat.
here ya' go, last vid.. you can see in the turn around that the clear / sunny sky hasn't even been completely pushed out yet to the south..


 
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