Lake St. Clair is a small lake (especially relative to the rest of the lakes), in the Great Lakes
system, though it is not considered to be one of the
It is merely ten feet, or three meters deep, and only twenty-one (or 6.4 meters) at its very deepest. It is approximately 26 miles long, and 24 miles wide, with a total shoreline
of about 257 miles, including islands, and extends to both the U.S. and Canada, split almost equally between the two.
It is often grouped together with Lake Erie
because of their close proximity, and the fact that it drains into the great lake through the Detroit River
The water in the lake cycles almost weekly, which is slightly amusing when it is considered that there are lakes in the system that take as many as 100 years to do the same. The drainage basin
for Lake St. Clair is 4,890mi2
), quite large considering its total volume of approximately 1mi3
There are two theories as to the origin of the lake's name. The first is that it was named by french explorers for Sainte Claire of Assisi, as its discovery in 1679 coincided with said persons "feast day
". The other, is that it was named for the first governor of the Northwest Territory
, General Arthur St. Clair
. The first seems more likely if only because the name was originally french, Lac Sainte Claire.