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Corey Lake is one of the larger natural lakes in southwest Michigan. The majority of the lake lies in St. Joseph County, with only a small portion being located in eastern Cass County. The town of Three Rivers is located 5 miles due east of the lake.
The majority of the Corey Lake watershed lies in an area of undulating to rolling hills on well-drained loamy soils (Hillsdale-Riddles Association). Glacial till plains and moraines are common in the area. The watershed is primarily a combination of active and fallow farmland, followed by small blocks of forest, wetlands and urban areas. The urban areas are actually quite small and are limited to the lake’s shoreline.
At 630 acres in size (Figure 1), Corey Lake is the second largest lake in St. Joseph County and the tenth largest lake in District 12 (which encompasses the seven counties in southwestern Michigan). There is one inlet to Corey Lake, located on the eastern shore, which is the outlet for Harwood Lake. There are two outlets, both located on the south shore. These were noted in a 1953 survey to be artificial outlets. The southeastern outlet flows to Kaiser Lake. The south-central outlet flows to a wetland area which is the headwaters of Curtis Creek. These outlets eventually feed the St. Joseph River watershed of Lake Michigan.
The Corey Lake watershed is approximately 4,186 acres (Water Quality Investigators 1994). The lake has a flushing rate of about 4.4 years. It’s maximum depth is 80 feet. Approximately 45% of the lake area can be considered shoal ( 15 feet deep). Most of the Corey Lake basin has a marl bottom with sand and gravel deposits. Limited shoreline areas have pulpy peat. Water quality information was collected by the Fisheries Division in 1948, 1953, 1978, 1985, and 1996. There have been no significant changes in Secchi disk, pH, surface alkalinity, or temperature/oxygen profiles over that period.
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