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Dropping Lake Michigan level hits homes, boats

Sep 3rd, 2012 - State News

LELAND, Mich. (AP) — Drought conditions are contributing to a continued drop in the level of Lake Michigan, and operators of harbors and docks in the northwestern Lower Peninsula say it's causing hazards and hassles for residents and boaters.

Lake Michigan water levels are down 11 inches from 2011, and record low levels could be ahead if the drought persists.

Those affected by the dropping water levels include lakefront property owners on Grand Traverse Bay, as well as people who make their living on the water.

Commercial fisherman Joel Petersen says that Leland Harbor's south break wall is deteriorating from low levels, and boaters must avoid hitting bottom on the Leland River.

Peterson says the water level forces him to carry fewer nets, cutting into the size of his catches.

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