Lake Erie Water Temperature

Water temperature
Water temperature

Lake Erie is over 62,000 acres and is one of the great lakes. It is the most shallow great lake, making the average water temperatures higher. Lake Erie also sees large temperature swings quickly because of the shallow western basin. The lake averages 62 feet deep and plays a major part in the local economy. Knowing the water temp can better help you plan your fishing trip or vacation to Lake Erie.

What is the Water Temperature of Lake Erie?

Lake Erie Water Temperature | Fishing and Activities

How Does Water Temperature Affect Fishing?

The temperature of Lake Erie plays a big part in fishing conditions and other recreational activities. Fishing turns on in Lake Erie when the water temperature starts to drop in the fall and rise in the spring. This triggers a feeding frenzy and the fish congregate in certain areas of the lake. In the fall you can expect temperatures in the 40-50 degree range. In the wintertime, you can expect temperatures in the 35-40 degree range depending on ice coverage. In the spring, the fishing turns on when the water gets into the 40’s. The walleye and smallmouth fishing will be excellent at that time. Note that in the wintertime NOAA pulls the buoys that are in the water, no readings will be available until they set the buoys in the spring. Above you will find the real-time water temperature readings from NOAA.

How Does Water Temperature Affect Activities

The Lake Erie water temp can affect recreational activities such as swimming and boating. Swimming in Lake Erie doesn’t usually take place until the late summer when the water is above 70 degrees. That is the ideal temperature for swimming on a Lake Erie beach. The same goes for swimming from a boat around the islands. Boating can take place at any time when there is no ice cover. However, more precautions should be place when boating in the colder months. Water temperature can also affect the temperature on land around Lake Erie. If you have an offshore wind at your face the air temperature will drop to try and match the water temperature.

History of Water Temperature on Lake Erie

The water temperature on Lake Erie changes from year to year. Some years, like 2023-2024 we had no ice cover. This will cause an overall higher water temperature than with ice cover. El Nino can also affect the water temperature causing warmer than normal temperatures. Colder winters will drop the water temperatures fast in the fall and remain cold until about April when the ice melts. After ice out the water will still be in the upper 30’s, but warms fast as spring sets in.