High-Water Levels

Lake Michigan water levels are higher than they have been in decades and are proving to be very challenging for all of us this year.  The current water levels are about 8” higher than last year and are expected to go even higher in June and July.  We recognize that this is going to create some issues, particularly for those harbors with bridges.  Please note the following:

  • Diversey Harbor Users.  If your boat will not fit under the LSD bridge, please fill out a transfer form right away so we can move you to another location. If you barely make it into the harbor and the water goes up as forecast, your boat may get trapped in the harbor until the water level goes back down.  Please note that there are NO slips larger than 30’ in Belmont, Montrose or DuSable.  In Burnham, we have 35’s and a handful of 40’s.  31st Street is a great option for many of you as the slips are less expensive and you are likely to get a refund of some of your fees.  https://www.chicagoharbors.info/forms/transfer-request/  We make transfers every Wednesday.



  • Belmont A Dock Users.  We have experienced significant seiching over the past week.  We request that you leave some slack in your mooring lines so your boat doesn’t hang up during these fluctuations.  If the lake levels go up another 8”, we will probably have to ask you to transfer to 31st Street as this would flood your docks.
  • Burnham East Side Dock Users.  The promenade at your gate entrances has flooded several times this spring.  We are planning to construct temporary walkways to make it easier to get to your boats.


  • Navigation. As you boat along the lakefront this summer, please be mindful of navigation hazards that are present due to the high water levels. Be mindful of your navigation chart and pay close attention to now submerged obstacles. As always, the harbors are no-wake zones and we ask you to respect other boaters.

The water levels are a challenge for all of us in the entire Chicago marine community.  We thank you for your patience and ask that you continue to be patient and work with us as we try to solve these issues one-by-one.


Chicago Harbors