As the Great Lakes experience near-record low water levels, fishermen in the Chicago area are running into problems.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports November water levels in Lake Michigan were 28 inches lower than the long-term average.
“You know the place called the horseshoe?” said Igor Danilishen, who has fished at Chicago’s Montrose Harbor for decades. “There’s a great big island in the middle of this horseshoe. We used to fish there. We don’t fish there anymore. Because it’s too shallow, yeah. It’s ducks and geese there instead of fish.”
The low water also affects industrial fisheries and cargo shipping.
“It not only affects the fishing in a negative way, it’s the whole ecological system,” said fisherman Steve Ciszewski, who grew up in Chicago and comes in from the southwest suburbs to fish. “Boy, we could use the water.”