Todd in NY

Could All This Snow Bring High Water Again?

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Can't help but wonder what could happen with the spring time water levels if we keep getting snow dumped on us this winter. Some places on the east end of Lake Ontario have already seen upwards of 10 feet this winter, and most or all of it in December alone.

 

Don't think that the lake effect snow will stop if a lot of the lake freezes over. I remember a few years ago when Lady O was at or near record ice cover, we were still getting pounded with heavy lake effect snow on the east end right through March. Some places recorded over 20 feet of snow that winter, if memory serves me correctly.

 

It could be a long winter for some of us, and I'm already looking forward to April.

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Yea that’s something to think about Todd, You guys have been pounded already, with the ice cold just beginning, like you mentioned!! I certainly don’t want to see the NY. State folks go through what they did last year for sure, but it make for a epic walleye fishing year. The work it createsf or both the homeowners, which is just a added expense, and the snow removal folks is a added income so it’s good for some and just a pain in the a$$ for others, let’s not forget the wildlife. I remember back in 96 I bought a brand new snowmobile and it didn’t snow a flake around home, so we loaded them up and we stayed in Oswego in those cabin looking rentals to the right of Fat Nancy’s where on the trails we saw the wildlife management was putting out bales of alfalfa and we talked to the guys that were doing this they said to be very careful as some guys were injured by hitting a deer on the trails. The trails were the only way they could move, I jumped off the trails and I was up to my waist in snow. I have pics somewhere I’ll have to dig them out. Hard on the wildlife for sure, I said no wonder the deer are so big up here they need to be to survive the nasty a$$ winters up here!! Time will tell. Erie is getting pounded also so it’s going on all over the LakeO area. Will be interesting to see the outcome???

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It is going to happen again.  The lake is high already, Erie is high again and predicted to be a touch higher than last year.  If the snow continues and we get some rain this spring, history will repeat! 

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Hold your guns for a moment.

Most of the snow and rain is lake effect snow and rain. That means that it is water that evaporated out of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It is stored in the form of snow for now but it does not make it more water than there was before. It will return to the lake in spring in the form of slightly warmer water than the water in the lake and that will bring bait and brown trout to the river outlets. On top of that, a lot of lake effect snow went into the St. Lawrence valley which is east of the lake. So that water/snow will go to the ocean without going through Lake Ontario again. There may be high water again next year but not because of this snow.

Edited by rolmops

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Rolmops is right. If the lake freezes over the water level will typically rise or stay the same because evaporation is eliminated. Lake effect snow pulls enormous amounts of water from the Great Lakes.

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The snow is only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is the people who manage the water levels (the International Joint Commission) and their Plan 2014.

 

I think they will have a lot more ice and snow melt to deal with in 2018 than they dealt with in 2017. When all that water gets blocked upstream of the dams, such as the Moses-Saunders Power Dam on the St Lawrence River, the "upper" St Lawrence and Lake Ontario will flood again. Spring is still a long 4 months away for some of us, if the remainder of winter keeps pace with this December pace. Only time will tell...

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Rolmops is correct. I would even go so far as to say that a good percentage doesn't even make it back into the lake. You have constant evaporation of the snow,some finds its way into the water table and some into retention ponds for summer irrigation along with whats on flat land that hardly drains off. Yes the IJC needs to step up its game ,earlier than later.

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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It is very likely that the Board of Control will be able to discharge down the St. Lawrence in January and February at higher rates because there will be good ice cover.  Please remember that the lack of ice cover prevented that last year. 

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The hydro power is worth millions of dollars every minute and the control boards are their stooges. They will hoard every drop of water they can to produce revenues all year long. Then the political powers will take credit for cleaner air. Mean while the "Grid" imports power from coal mining states like Pennsylvania and Ohio to replace power from closed down New York State power plants.

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 5:09 PM, rolmops said:

Hold your guns for a moment.

Most of the snow and rain is lake effect snow and rain. That means that it is water that evaporated out of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It is stored in the form of snow for now but it does not make it more water than there was before. It will return to the lake in spring in the form of slightly warmer water than the water in the lake and that will bring bait and brown trout to the river outlets. On top of that, a lot of lake effect snow went into the St. Lawrence valley which is east of the lake. So that water/snow will go to the ocean without going through Lake Ontario again. There may be high water again next year but not because of this snow.

Yes it is from evaporation of the lake but not all of it.  If the lake level managers do not take into consideration about the huge snow pack on Tug Hill and the entire Lake Ontario watershed, it could drastically affect the water levels. 

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The amount of freshwater in the world is constant.  Where that water is held varies. The single biggest factor on Lake Ontario water levels is the amount released past the turbines IMO. The floods along the shore this year were mostly of the man made variety. For the most part, water in equals water out. From my house in Buffalo, if I choose to be a poor steward of our resource and decide to hose off my driveway, the water isn’t destroyed .....it finds its way back into watershed. Lake effect snow pulls moisture from the lake and it eventually finds its way back. Lake effect snows should have a neutral effect on lake levels IMO. 

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Well I wouldn’t expect anything less, if there’s big money involved, does this mean to get out the chest waders again. Missed out on some of the best eye fishing in a long time, till I realized it’s either boots or go home. The docks were fine, it was getting to the docks after parking the tow rig and trailer. :rain: :tmi:

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Floating docks are the answer, but I believe Pap is referring to the floating docks at the boat launches, like these in Henderson Harbor, NY. You needed hip waders to get to the floating dock sections, and the water was 2-3ft deep, if not deeper at some places.

 

This picture was taken July 9th 2017, and this water is roughly 30" or more deeper than normal. There is a steel retaining wall under water that is usually 2ft above water.

 

IMG_20170709_105003427.thumb.jpg.18f4790913c713739c8dca270fcc4a27.jpg

Edited by Todd in NY

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Yes indeed Todd that what I meant, and those that launched there in hip boots must have been related to the Jolly Green Giant, I didn’t know if I was going to make it with chestwaders, as it was up to that pocket in the front of fishing style chest waders. Lol this year I’ll bring up my little 12’fter use it like the cruise ships do, I believe there called tenders:lol: :rofl:

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On 1/7/2018 at 12:23 PM, Capt Vince Pierleoni said:

We've been told(Niagara county fishery advisory board) to expect high water again. They(IJC) are sticking to their guns with the 2014 plan. They are blaming the flooding on a wet spring and gambling that it won't be as wet this year.  

 

And we are starting the year almost a foot higher than last year

 

ontarioLevelsFeet.png

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And we are starting the year almost a foot higher than last year
 
ontarioLevelsFeet.png&key=02179f96371045131eb7e83dc8c8bb2aa8d1b9d399506e6eb061b583f1d09d2b

I don’t live on the shore and can’t even imagine if last year happens all over again with the impact to residents, businesses etc. Flooding due to rainfall or Mother Nature events is one thing, two years in a row is unlikely but can happen I get it, the accountability however in my opinion was never accepted. With this trend, id be worried if if I was tied to this branch (IJC). A very risky move with a tremendous impact. I don’t get it.


Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Having the lake higher and having mother nature in the equation is a recipe for disaster.  They had trouble controlling the levels before Plan 2014. 

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7 hours ago, GAMBLER said:

Having the lake higher and having mother nature in the equation is a recipe for disaster.  They had trouble controlling the levels before Plan 2014. 

 

Couldnt agree more!!!

 

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