MASSENA, N.Y. (WWTI) — Changes are coming to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River next month.
On September 9, the International Lake Ontario- St. Lawrence River Board confirmed plans to temporarily reduce outflows from Lake Ontario to increase water levels on Lake St. Lawrence the second weekend of October.
According to the Board, at the time of the decision, water levels on Lake St. Lawrence were 72.73 meters. In a weekly report on the same day from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Ontario water levels were nine inches below 2021 levels and are expected to drop another four inches by October 9.
The Board said that by reducing outflows, marinas and shoreline docks will be able to remove recreational boats easier as seasons come to a close.
Outflows will be temporarily reduced through the Moses- Saunders Dam for 72 hours from noon on October 7 through noon on October 10. Based on current forecasts, Lake Ontario outflows will be temporarily reduced to reach a target water level of about 73.10 meters on Lake St. Lawrence.
The proposed flow reduction is considered a “minor deviation” and is permitted by Plan 2014. After the flow reduction is complete, the Board said water levels will decrease on Lake St. Lawrence, and it will be difficult to remove boats after the holiday weekend.
“The goal of the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River regulation plan, known as Plan 2014, is not to keep water levels at a determined level; the levels throughout the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River system will fluctuate based on weather conditions”, United States Co-Chair for the Board General Peeples said in a press release.
The Board also confirmed that this operation will not “meaningfully” affect water levels on Lake Ontario during this period.
The full announcement on the decision can be read on the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board website.