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Ryerson Lake Facts

Ryerson Lake has a surface area of 255 acres and a maximum depth of 82 feet. The mean or average depth is just below 27 feet, and the lake volume is 6,814 acre-feet (or 2.2 billion  gallons). Ryerson Lake has a shoreline length of 4.6 miles. Interestingly, the lake depths measured in 2016 are nearly identical to the depths measured 75 years earlier in 1941. Ryerson Lake has a shoreline length of
4.6 miles and a shoreline development factor of 2.1. Shoreline development factor is a measure of the irregularity of the shoreline. The shoreline development factor of 2.1 for Ryerson Lake indicates that the shoreline is over two times longer than if the lake were 
perfectly round.

Ryerson Lake depths were first mapped by the Michigan Department of Conservation Institute of Fisheries Research in 1941. In those days, holes were drilled through the ice and  weighted drop lines were used to measure depth and to collect bottom samples. This was a laborious process that took several days to complete. The early map showed a surface area of 262 acres and a maximum depth of 80 feet in Ryerson Lake.  According to the State of Michigan information database, Ryerson Lake is the 460th largest lake in the state and, in terms of area, is in the top 5% of lakes in Michigan five acres or greater.

For more information, please click here for a more in-depth look into the mapping done of Ryerson Lake in 2016.

Ryerson Lake is 812.5 feet above sea level. Water exits Ryerson Lake and flows south over a dam to Ryerson Creek then into  Kimball and Pickerel Lakes then to Penoyer Creek, the Muskegon River, and on to Lake Michigan. The elevation difference between Ryerson Lake and Lake Michigan is about 235 feet. 

Ryerson Lake Shaded Contour Map.png
Ryerson Lake Depth Map (1941).tif

Ryerson Lake depth contour map, 1941. Source: Michigan Department of Conservation Institute for Fisheries Research.

Ryerson Lake depth contour map, July 2016. Lake shoreline digitized from aerial orthodigital photography (USDA FSA 2014).

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Click the image above to download an informational guidebook created in 2009.

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