International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board Issues Survey for Recreational Boaters
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (Board) is seeking your input. The Board temporarily reduced outflows from Lake Ontario from October 7 to October 10, 2022, to increase water levels on Lake St. Lawrence. This was intended to provide marinas and shoreline dock owners on Lake St. Lawrence with assistance at the end of the season to remove recreational boats more easily. The Board has discretionary authority granted by the International Joint Commission (IJC) to temporarily alter flows from Plan 2014 prescribed flows at the Moses-Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River within specific parameters. The minor deviation is sometimes implemented in the fall to provide improved conditions for boat haul-out on Lake St. Lawrence upstream of the dam by raising water levels.
There are approximately 700 marina and boat club slips, and hundreds of private docks located along the shores of Lake St. Lawrence. Recreational boaters who navigate the St. Lawrence River, Lake St. Lawrence, and adjacent rivers and lakes have experienced high and low water level conditions that have made it challenging to remove boats from the water at the end of a given boating season.
The Board would like to collect information specifically related to the reduced outflows from Lake Ontario October 7 through October 10 to support boat haul out and learn more about where people access the water to remove their boats, when and how boats are removed, and whether recreational boaters took advantage of the opportunity provided by the minor deviation. This information will help the Board in the future when considering minor deviation strategies to improve conditions within the system that would facilitate the removal of boats from the water.
Surveys will be available through March 3, 2023, at the links below.
- Survey for boaters – October 2022: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/oct22boat
- Survey for marinas and yacht club owners – October 2022: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Oct22marinas
The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board ensures that outflows from Lake Ontario meet the requirements of the International Joint Commission's Orders of Approval. Under any regulation plan, the ability to regulate the outflow from Lake Ontario does not mean that full control of lake levels is possible. This is because the major factors affecting water supply to the Great Lakes, precipitation, evaporation, and runoff cannot be controlled, and are difficult to accurately predict.