So, Lake Ontario boaters, how are conditions in your area?

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by bracketracer, May 26, 2017.

  1. bracketracer

    bracketracer Member GOLD Sponsor

    280
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Unfortunately, I'm still in storage. Things are seriously rough around my area in the SW corner of the lake. Most fixed docks are underwater, and the floaters are questionable due to stress where they meet the breakwalls.

    Here are a couple of last year/this year shots...

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

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  2. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    We've been in for 6 weeks since ours our floaters, but it's ugly. The lake is a mine field and I've been out twice, they built a dock on a dock to get from shore to the main floater. We planned on going to Sodus for a night or two this weekend but that's not happening anymore. We are still planning on going to Wilson June 23/24/25 if it drops enough by then.
     
  3. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    How much higher than normal is your water level? What are the mine field thingies that are all over the place that would keep you at the dock?
     
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    On another boating website I found this information. WOW, five feet above normal water level. Are all the lakes that much higher than normal?

    If not, why is only Ontario affected?

    http://www.canals.ny.gov/wwwapps/tas/notices/ntm.aspx?id=820

    Notice to Mariners

    Oswego Canal - Oswego

    May 25, 2017



    Mariners are advised that the water level of Lake Ontario is five (5) feet above normal. This has reduced the overhead clearance of Bridge O-14 (Bridge Street) from its normal of 26.5 feet to 21.5 feet, still higher than the governing height of 21 feet for the Eastern Erie Canal and Oswego Canal.

    Mariners are advised to check with their destination marina on Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence River to ensure that dockage is still available. The 48-hour limit for mooring on canal walls is waived on the entire Oswego Canal and on the Erie Canal in Brewerton for those mariners who need more time to make other docking arrangements.
     
  5. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    I don't know the gritty details but plan 14 is a new plan developed to help maintain a certain level in the lake (by means of the St Lawrence Dams) to help sustain wildlife in certain marsh areas in addition to other wildlife benefits. It added 2" to the upper limit and like 6 or 8" to the lower limit. Some people are blaming the plan but personally I think it was just a perfect storm. A new plan, already high levels, lots of snow up north, a relatively warm winter and a VERY wet spring have contributed to the rise. Montreal and Quebec are under water already and last I heard dropping the lake 1" equates to a nearly 1 FOOT rise of the St Lawrence down stream.

    The minefield is all the debris from the shoreline. We had a very bad wind storm, 80+ mph, a couple months ago and those broken trees are making their way into the lake. There are docks, decks, and all kinds of structures floating around as well since they've been washed away from people homes.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  6. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    Exactly as outlined above. Downstream in the St. Lawrence river they are at flood levels and the river cannot take the amount of water needed to drop lake ontario. And we just had another week of record rainfall here so it will rise again.

    The Toronto Islands (barrier islands in the Toronto harbour) are very flooded. There are carp spawning on the baseball and soccer fields on the Islands. Some of the lower breakwalls protecting the harbor and harbor entrances are under water. I expect a few boats will run into them at some point before the water drops. There are several roads and highways in Toronto that are close to the normal lake levels, so major flooring is a significant risk if we have summer storms that hit before the water can be let out of the St. Lawrence. This could get ugly.

    The upper lakes are not as bad. We have the boat on Georgian Bay, which part of lake Huron (and basically at the same level as Huron)l. Our water is up quite a bit over historical averages, but not much over last year's levels. This is after 10 years of MUCH lower than average levels on Lake Huron. The recovery started 2 years ago. Its great where it is now as far as I am concerned. Our beach at our place is back to looking nice. Our marina is 100% floating docks so that is not an issue for us.

    I know that many of the reservoir lakes in the US have cyclical water level changes that are enormous every year so it may not sound bad to you. But generally the Great Lakes don't vary that much. So many great lakes docks and houses are designed and built with only minor water level changes in mind.
     
  7. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    That brings up another question: What do they use on the downstream end to control how much water flows out of the lake into the SL Seaway?

    In our neck of the woods the USArmy Corps of Engineers dams are what control the levels of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. There are 60 dams on the two rivers, but most are not navigable. Only 4 on the Snake and 4 on the Columbia are navigable. Here's an article from Wikipedia about the dams if you're interested.

    Right now the Columbia in our area is about 2'-3' higher than normal and flowing about 3-3.5kts. It too has a lot of junk in the river, but we've been out twice in the last month or so.
     
  8. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Too bad because we have a short season as it is. We are slowing down in the Chesapeake to take all of this in and hope that things will be better toward mid July for some time in the 1000 Islands before heading home.
    It was an extremely mild winter in the Northeast with a lot of rain. When things are normally cold, stream levels are low and the ground is frozen. When the thaw comes, the ground absorbs a lot, the rest goes into the watershed. This year the ground was saturated so all the spring rains just went right into the lakes, no ground absorption, and the rains have been above normal. Montreal is recovering so the seaway authority will be able to send more water down as things improve. Just have to hang in there. Call ahead to be sure destinations are open. I hear marinas may be open but no fuel because of flooded fuel docks. Hopefully a few weeks will bring big improvement. Come on sunshine!
     
  9. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    The primary dam is the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam which spans the entire river before Montreal. It's massive. US and Canada share the operations of the power generators, but I'm not exactly sure who decides how much water is/isn't let out.

    Edit: Wikipedia says it is 195' tall and 3,216 ft long

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses-Saunders_Power_Dam
     
  10. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    It's an international committee between US and Canada. I don't know the specifics for the St Lawrence, but I'm sure it's very similar to the one that decides when to take the ice boom out of lake Erie and how much water is allowed to flow over Niagars Falls.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  11. Doc O Rock

    Doc O Rock Member GOLD Sponsor

    193
    Mar 23, 2016
    Lake St Clair, Belle Maer Harbor
    1999 380 Sundancer
    twin 7.4 Merc
    We noticed yesterday at the marina, that the water levels are the highest that the seawall has ever seen. I have a 2 step Taylor Made step to get on the boat from last year, but I could use a 3 step now.
     
  12. bracketracer

    bracketracer Member GOLD Sponsor

    280
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons

    Yeah, I really wanted to do 2 longer trips this season. One to Sodus (lived there and spent a lot of time there as a kid), and one up the Trent Severn later in the year.

    Still, hopefully things go well over the next few weeks, and we're in soon. The contingency plan may be to launch, go back up the Welland, and get a slip in Buffalo for the season. Keep in touch if your Wilson trip works out. We'll be on the only floater right next to Wilson Boathouse.
     
  13. diveman

    diveman Member

    75
    Aug 15, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    1988 Sundancer 270
    twin Merc 4.3 w/Alpha 1 drives
    We are at Highland Yacht Club in Toronto. Our boats have been in since April 29 but the docks now have 5" of water on them. We have two boat in between the fingers and we have to raft up so that we don't float over the docks. Fenders are useless.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. bracketracer

    bracketracer Member GOLD Sponsor

    280
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Yeah, that looks really familiar. Sorry, man. Hopefully the 4" rise conditions don't actually happen and things start to go the other way in a month or so. Was looking forward to crossing over a few times this season, but with how things look around the Toronto islands, that may not happen. Also keeping an eye on the Trent, which looks like it's still closed from the lake.
     
  15. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    It never ceases to amaze me that people will spend a lot of money to put in nice docks in a marina and not use floating docks. I'd be really pi$$ed if I had to wade through water to get to my boat because the docks were not designed to float.

    How often does a scene like diveman posted happen? Once every 5 years? Every 10 years?
     
  16. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Thankfully, not to often

    http://www.newyorkupstate.com/weather/2017/05/lake_ontario_flooding_cuomo.html
     
  17. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Pulled into Clayton Municipal Marina yesterday, of course floating docks but I have not seen any fixed docks around town underwater. Harbormaster here says the water is about 10" to 12" higher than normal right now, no big deal. Water is it's usual crystal clear. Good to see that things are returning to normal.
     
  18. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I'm guessing the shorepower doesn't work when it's under water?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. bracketracer

    bracketracer Member GOLD Sponsor

    280
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Yeah, a couple of marinas in my little bay had to shut all of that down, and it's still shut down.
     
  20. oceanpearl

    oceanpearl Member

    101
    Aug 20, 2008
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    400DB Searay 2001
    240 Searay Sundeck 2008
    454 7.4 MPI Horozons
    5.7 Mercruiser 300MPI
    Water levels in the Montreal, Quebec area rose in early May are now 5 feet above normal. We had a major flood occur in early May and it is slow in receding. According to our source of info, 5500 homes have been damaged or evacuated. We are one of the unfortunate ones who have been evacuated and living in a hotel since May 6th waiting for our house repair. We have floating docks in our beautiful Lachine Marina but the chains had to be loosened to keep them above water. The St Lawrence seaway is fed by Lake St Francis which is fed by Lake Ontario and thus the problem. Looking forward to some normal times soon.
     

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