Lake Ontario

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Ontario, Lake,

7,540 sq mi (19,529 sq km), 193 mi (311 km) long and 53 mi (85 km) at its greatest width, between SE Ont., Canada, and NW N.Y.; smallest and lowest of the Great LakesGreat Lakes,
group of five freshwater lakes, central North America, creating a natural border between the United States and Canada and forming the largest body of freshwater in the world, with a combined surface area of c.95,000 sq mi (246,050 sq km).
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. It has a surface elevation of 246 ft (75 m) above sea level and a maximum depth of 778 ft (237 m).

Lake Ontario is fed chiefly by the waters of Lake Erie by way of the Niagara River; other tributaries are the Genesee, Oswego, and Black rivers in New York and the Trent River in Ontario. The lake is drained to the northeast by the St. Lawrence River. Oceangoing vessels reach the lake through the St. Lawrence Seaway and use the Welland Canal to bypass Niagara Falls and reach Lake Erie; smaller craft (mostly pleasure boats) can travel the Rideau Canal between Kingston and Ottawa, and the Trent Canal between the Bay of Quinte and Georgian Bay. Navigation on the lake is not usually impeded by ice in winter.

The chief Canadian lakeshore cities are St. Catharines, Hamilton, Toronto, Oshawa, and Kingston; on the south shore are Rochester and Oswego, N.Y. Commercial fishing is important, but pollution has been a problem. A U.S.-Canadian pact (1972) established that water quality would be improved and further pollution ended. Recreational facilities are provided at state and provincial parks. The first European to see (1615) Lake Ontario was Étienne BruléBrulé, Étienne
, c.1592–1632, French explorer in North America. He arrived (1608) in the New World with Samuel de Champlain, who sent him (1610) into the wilderness to learn about Native Americans and the land. He lived with the Huron and accompanied (c.
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, the French explorer; later that year Samuel de ChamplainChamplain, Samuel de
, 1567–1635, French explorer, the chief founder of New France.

After serving in France under Henry of Navarre (King Henry IV) in the religious wars, Champlain was given command of a Spanish fleet sailing to the West Indies, Mexico, and the
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 visited it.

References in periodicals archive ?
The significance of food habits in the biology, exploitation, and management of Algonquin Park, Ontario, lake trout.
The Ottawa River, Ontario, Lake Saint Pierre--Saint Lawrence River, and Richelieu River, Quebec and the Allegheny River, Pennsylvania, are the closest locations to New York where suagers are still known to exist and may, with the DEC plan, make a reentry into the state.
So many big bass are coming to net in places like Lake Erie, eastern Lake Ontario, Lake St.