SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Two popular West Michigan buoys are back on the water after spending the winter away. LimnoTech is the environmental company credited for the buoys.

They have successfully deployed and maintained buoys all over the Great Lakes for a decade.

The two most used by West Michigan natives are the South Haven buoy and the Port Sheldon buoy, both of which were deployed Tuesday for the 2022 season.

Each spring, the buoys are towed out to a permanent anchor point located roughly three miles off shore.

Both the South Haven buoy and the Port Sheldon buoy are community funded, meaning their deployment rests purely on whether the community can raise enough money to operate each for the given season.

All season long, you can access video from the buoy cameras every hour. Meteorological data is also readily available at any time. Boaters and swimmers can check the buoy before they head to the lake for conditions like:

  • Wind speed
  • Air temperature
  • Water temperature
  • Wave height
  • Water temperature from the surface down to the bottom of the lake
  • And more

Buoys do not move through the season. Both the South Haven buoy and the Port Sheldon buoy record still images and video every hour available.

TEXT A BUOY!

Any easy way to access this data before heading to the Big Lake is by using a feature called “Text a Buoy.” You can find a list of buoy numbers here. Simply text the buoy number to 866.218.9973 for current data.

Port Sheldon Buoy

  • Text 45029 to 866.218.9973
  • Click here for current buoy data on the web
  • Click here for current or archived buoy camera video

South Haven Buoy

  • Text 45168 to 866.218.9973
  • Click here for current buoy data on the web
  • Click here for current or archived buoy camera video

According to LimnoTech, observations from the South Haven buoy were requested over 510,000 times in 2021 — that’s almost once every 30 seconds for six months straight.