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Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior are classified as oligotrophic lakes on the basis of their biological, chemical, and physical characteristics. Lake Ontario, although rich in nutrients, is morphometrically oligotrophic or mesotrophic because of its large area of deep water. Lake Erie, the most productive of the lakes and the shallowest, is eutrophic. Several changes commonly associated with eutrophication in small lakes have been observed in the Great Lakes. These changes apparently reflect accelerated eutrophication in the Great Lakes due to man's activity. Chemical data compiled from a number of sources, dating as early as 1854, indicate a progressive increase in the concentrations of various major ions and total dissolved solids in all of the lakes except Lake Superior. The plankton has changed somewhat in Lake Michigan and the plankton, benthos, and fish populations of Lake Erie are greatly different today from those of the past. An extensive area of hypolimnetic water of Lake Erie has developed low dissolved oxygen concentrations in late summer within recent years.