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Lake Erie

The Lake Erie Connection

The Ottawa River watershed is a headwaters river system in the larger Lake Erie Basin. The Ottawa River outlets into the Auglaize River in Putnam County between the communities of Kalida and Cloverdale. The Auglaize River travels north to Defiance where it connects with the Maumee River. From there the Maumee extends to the north and east to outlet into the Western Basin of Lake Erie at Toledo Harbor.


Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes, and the eleventh largest water body by surface area in the world. Lake Erie connects with the Atlantic Ocean through the Niagara Falls and the St. Lawrence Seaway, with 1% of the lake’s water volume draining to the ocean annually.


Water quality in the Ottawa River impacts all of these downstream water bodies. That presents added importance and responsibility for our watershed residents to do their very best in protecting the health of our river and the water bodies downstream. The photo to the left shows the algae bloom in Lake Erie in the fall of 2017.