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Gill-T, March 3, 2013 in Open Lake Discussion
Who is responsible for the levels in the lake? Someone once told me it was the Corp of Engineers. Is there any truth to that? Is there anybody we can contact to b*tch about it?
Thanks for posting that Chad - very interesting.
I think that the responsible body is "The Great Lakes Consortium". This is an international body that is responsible for most things having to do with the Great
I have heard that most of the Great Lakes are at or below record lows. So, with the other lakes being low they can't drain and fill Lake Ontario. This will take many years of normal rain/snow to fill the lakes back to normal. Beware of rocks close to the surface. I lost a prop and outdrive last year coming in the east port of the oak..
A lot of our boats are trailer boats and our launching ramps were designed when the lake was at higher levels, not what we have now. Without a safe channel to enter the lake, you are unable to go out and the few ramps available will be jammed up with new users this year. Please make our legislators aware that the situation is critical now. We pay a lot of registration fees and fuel taxes with our boats and the government has returned very little of over the years so do not accept the replies that they are broke..
USACE expects 2" rise in Lake Ontario over next month:
Wish it was 12-14".
(That's what she said)
Lake Huron and Lake Michigan interests are requesting the construction of structures in the connecting rivers with Lake Erie to raise the water levels in those lakes that were present previous to dredging and rock removals for the Seaway project. These structures would prevent waters from entering Lakes Erie and Ontario making conditions worse here.
Well, water at Genny has come up. Top of docks are only 4 ft above water line. Couple weeks ago they were 4'2"
Dam up the falls, problem solved! It's that easy.
Lake levels are controlled by the consortium and their FIRST responsibility is shipping lanes, especially St. Lawrence Seaway, which very much affects us on Lake Ontario. From what I understand the dredging and other changes in the upper great lakes has affected levels maybe more than anticipated. Flow of water has improved and thus been pushed thru all the lakes and out the seaway. On top of that, low winter snowfalls and other runoffs that are not there at the moment. What water is coming our way is less and not much they can do about it and in fact, they are searching for ways to help raise there levels, which I am guessing might not help us. On top of that, water thru the dams on the St. Lawrence have to be allowed in order to get water levels high enough for the shipping lanes all the way to the ocean. So they can't just "close them down" to raise water levels. They are doing what they can, but although the projection is for another 12 inches of water by June, I think we will all be in trouble by end of summer, if we dont get alot of rain. What I would like to see, but it aint gonna happen, is the DEC to let up on its restrictions and other obstacles to let ramps be repaired, extented or otherwise improved to deal with the lower lake levels. It will be interesting to say the least, how crazy launches and marinas will be.
Superior, Michigan still way down....probably from lack of run-off due to cool temps, but it does not look great for future water levels.
I was at Chaumont bay 2 weekends ago when there was still ice. The level of the water was near what it was at the end of the season last year and there was no snow on the ground. My father in law and I are putting in a ramp at the end of this boating season. His uncle has been up there since the 40s and can't ever remember it being this low.
We haven't been getting any good rain events so far either. It's sure seems like the level this summer/fall is on it's way to being worse than last fall. The trend since the 60's is downward also. It all add's up to boater's being SOL.
Is this really something new? According to this chart it's just part of a natural cycle. Trust me it sucks, but eventually it will go back up. That being said.....I don't know if I can get in my slip at the oak.....lol
Its been a long, cold, and pretty snowless winter. We could be in trouble. On August 25th the lake level was 244.74 feet last year. We are currently just hovering below that mark. I had about 1 inch of clearance with my hoist. I do not want to move it further back, but I will and put in another section of dock if needed.
One thing about that chart that worries me is the decreasing trend of the high water on there.
Counting on rain and snowmelt to raise the lake is sort of futile if the rain and snow is generated from lake effect storms. We are returning water to the lake but we lose a lot from evaporation over the land. We need events like hurricanes from the Gulf and Ocean to really raise the lake water levels.
Jim, most of our snowfall this winter was NOT lake effect, but precisely from storm up from the gulf, i.e. new water.
Also two that came from the West.
I'm not sure what my problem is, but frankly I think I'm just getting tired of all the "bad" news and forecasts lately. From the SafeAct passage to threats of the windfarms a few years back, and now to month by month updates on water levels, it seems like an endless pipeline of negative bad news. I realize we all have to be realistic and cautious, but to worry about what "might happen" with 20,000 different theories as to "why" it's happening in regards to the water levels seems to generate lots of angst.
Here's a chart on the past few years of annual precipitation and it seems like we might be down a few inches, but certainly not a few feet. Also, the historical trends on yearly rainfall doesn't seem to correlate with the water level trends.
I still don't understand the whole St. Lawrence, Canadian Power Authority, or whoever the heck seems to be in charge of regulating the lake level but it seems like they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want.
I simply want to fish and frankly my heart can't take any more bad news.
I look at it from the 30,000 foot view: like Yankee said, it's cyclical, and some years are going to be high, some years low. There's going to be 20,000 different variables as to why, but frankly I just want to fish.
I know my lowest water ever that I barely was able to get my boat out last year and fish right up to it, was October of 2012. I'm just going to remember what that level was, what marks on the dock indicated that water level, and when/if it ever gets to that level again, it's time to pull the boat.
Just my two cents - not meant to hurt anyone's feelings,
The whole deal behind this topic is to enlighten and motivate you to contact our elected officials to open up the pursestrings that hold our money for registrations and fuel taxes tht have been collected for years and do some dredging and maintenance for our ramps, docks and channels. The state of Michigan has passed millions of dollars to fix harbors on Lakes Michigan and Huron. New York politicians do not even comment on the situation. What will it take to get some movement? Do we have to blockade the roads with our trailer boats on the Fourth of July to have our ramps and docks taken care of. Albany can pass gun legislation overnight to increase their revenues but does not want to see the problem that their neglect is responsible for.
Your reply is an excellent one and something I did not even think. Taking a look at it from your perspective, I can see why it's important to be concerned.
Good luck on the water,
Well if we think back to Last Winter 2011-2012, there was none, no snow at all and very little rain in the Spring. Somewhere I read it was one of the lowest precip Winters recorded. I remember Sept 1st the water level dropped significantly in a week. Then the bad Winter started and the following Spring the water level really hadn't changed. One would expect a rise in Spring from the runoff .
Now a year later I would say the water is up from the fall indicating some runoff. Our little inlet into our Marina was dry last fall, now it has water. My side dock is floating lol..And there is still ice in the bay. Lake looks great!
Lol I generally gauge the lake levels by the scum line on the inside of the chute lol. That tells me the real deal lol
But honestly over the years I dont really see much variation. It evens out. Heck 4 years ago water levels were too high, no wake down the entire bay. I guess short term you see it more but it seems to even out over time.
Sure, its a political thing too with the locks and all. Power many dont even get to use. But even when you add that in Mother nature really runs the ship in regards to a lake level....The demographic area is not just lake ontario, its the whole chain and the weather patterns involved within a season...
After reading this thread this AM, I contacted ALL of my state reps (Gov. included) plus our two senators. Most have already accnowledged receipt of the emails. Here's hoping everyone else who fishes or owns a boat will do the same immediately.
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