Lake Erie is the smallest of the great lakes in volume and is exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. Because of the fertile soils surrounding the lake, the area is intensively farmed. The lake receives runoff from the agricultural area of southwestern Ontario and parts of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Seventeen metropolitan areas with populations over 50,000 are located within the Lake Erie basin. Although the area of the lake is about 26,000 km2 (10,000 square miles), the average depth is only about 19 meters (62 feet). It is the shallowest of the five lakes and therefore warms rapidly in the spring and summer, and frequently freezes over in winter. It also has the shortest retention time of the lakes, 2.6 years. The western basin, comprising about one-fifth of the lake, is very shallow with an average depth of 7.4 meters (24 feet) and a maximum depth of 19 meters (62 feet).
While both Burbot(Cusk) and Alewife are both found in Lake Erie, both species are uncommon to find.
Lake Erie (pronounced /?iri/) is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake Erie
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