Douglas Lake Levels

Douglas Lake Levels

Douglas lake levels (feet above see level) for Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, MI spanning 1922-present.

In the summer of 1984 the lake level of Douglas Lake was established by Doyle Civil Engineers of Chebogyan. They established two benchmarks in or near Lakeside Laboratory as follows:

1. Near the SE corner of the boatwell - elevation 715.455 USGS
2. Top of concrete monument on the shore of Douglas Lake NE of the NE corner of the boatwell - elevation 715.152 USGS.

These benchmarks were established from USGS bench designated Emmet 1956 with elevation 712.026 at the Emmet County Airport near Pellston. [The second has since been removed - noted Oct. 93, BVK].

From 1976 to the summer of 1984 the water depth in the boatwell had been measured with a graduated stick. Those records were then correlated with the new vertical control mark and rewritten as feet above sea level on the monthly weather records.

From June 1942 to December 1959 the USGS compiled hydrographs for Douglas Lake from a staff gage installed on one of the wooden piers of the old boatwell channel and read by Clem Bur. The gage was at the lakeward end of the channel and on the W side. Reference mark no. 4 was relocated in May, 1987, and then a level line was run between the benchmark in the boatwell (described above) and the spike on the red oak tree. The records were then converted from feet to feet above sea level. These records have now been added.

Records for the summers of 1922, 23, 24, and 27 were taken by the staff of Camp Davis (Ass't. Professor Thomas Mitchell). Paul Welch (primarily) compiled the records for the summers of 1929-1941 inclusive (and 1942-1950, but the USGS records above were used for these years). Data prior to USGS records are skewed low, probably because of a faulty elevation benchmark. These records were corrected for the years 1922 through May 1942 in 1993. Once in 1948 and 5 times in 1949 Welch read and recorded the lake elevation both from the benchmark and from the staff gage in boat canal usually read by Clem Bur. His readings of the staff gage are very close to those values reported by Clem Bur to USGS on the same day. Analysis of those six events. show that Welch’s usual readings and of those before him were low (on average .779 ft. low). So the data from 1922 to June 1942 were increased by 0.779 ft.

As of 1996, UMBS (again) became an official USGS site and the Resident Biologist now reports by mail to the Grayling office what the gage in the boatwell reads. The USGS now maintain the benchmark and reference marks.


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Lake levels data table
did year month lake_level observer
1 1922 JAN NA
2 1922 FEB NA
3 1922 MAR NA
4 1922 APR NA
5 1922 MAY NA
6 1922 JUN 713.78 Camp Davis Staff
7 1922 JUL 713.08 Camp Davis Staff
8 1922 AUG 712.58 Camp Davis Staff
9 1922 SEP 712.08 Camp Davis Staff
10 1922 OCT NA