by Jeremy Moule
Low water levels in Lake Ontario persist, with the water depth measuring approximately 5 inches below average at the end of March, says the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control.
The board, a sub-group of the International Joint Commission, oversees and manages water levels in the lake and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Simply put, it determines the amount of lake water that will be released into the Seaway via the Moses-Saunders hydropower dam. The adjustments are made based on a regulatory plan, which includes target water levels for the lake and the Seaway. For several years, the IJC has been trying to develop a new regulatory plan, but the efforts have generated controversy. Different interests — homeowners, environmentalists, and recreational boaters, for example — have different opinions on how high the water should be and how much levels should be allowed to vary.
A press release sent out this morning by the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control says the organization will continue monitoring water levels and adjust outflows if necessary. The release is attached below.
Lake Ontario's water levels have been unusually low this winter; that's particularly apparent along the south shore of Irondequoit Bay. In a report late last year, WHEC 10 said the water was at its lowest levels in 50 years, though levels appear to have recovered some since the story aired.