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Old 09-08-2018, 11:24   #1
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Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Beware Lake Ontario sailors. The lake level this year is average or only slightly above. This is rendering several harbors at least on the south shore dicey with reduced depths. Oak Orchard is virtually impassable when entering or exiting from the east. At 4 feet draft I'm pushing rocks. My dock neighbor has reported 6 feet on the western side through a very narrow channel with significant shoaling.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:26   #2
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Re: Thinning water

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Beware Lake Ontario sailors. The lake level this year is average or only slightly above. This is rendering several harbors at least on the south shore dicey with reduced depths. Oak Orchard is virtually impassable when entering or exiting from the east. At 4 feet draft I'm pushing rocks. My dock neighbor has reported 6 feet on the western side through a very narrow channel with significant shoaling.
any info on Huron?
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:02   #3
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Re: Thinning water

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any info on Huron?
If you mean Huron, NY/Sodus Bay, they are digging like gophers on speed to get the channel deep and wide. Inside the bay I don't have any info on that.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:09   #4
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Is this just the normal drawdown, or is it worse this year.

The last season I spent in Ontario we barely made it back into our marina in September. We were dredging the whole way in.
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Old 09-08-2018, 13:36   #5
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

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Is this just the normal drawdown, or is it worse this year.

The last season I spent in Ontario we barely made it back into our marina in September. We were dredging the whole way in.
I think this is more due to lack of rain and ridiculously high temperatures. It is shaping up to be the same as 2016 by fall. Last year the heavens sent a biblical deluge in the spring so the level was quite high. The south shore whiners coalition cried like heck so the IJC has done what they do to keep it at average levels even though that is like spitting in the ocean. Of course average requires dredging these harbors on occasion. I may look for a slip in Rochester since that is a deep water harbor anyway. Bald Eagle in Kendall, NY is dredging also.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:20   #6
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

That's interesting and quite a contrast to Superior. They have too much water and they are increasing the amount that is spilling out into Michigan/Huron. It's causing some annoyance with those who have property on those two lakes since they are experiencing issues related to a higher lake level such as beach erosion, etc.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:07   #7
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

This is an awesome interactive chart for the great lakes.

https://www.glerl.noaa.gov//data/dashboard/GLWLD.html

in 2013 signs all over Georgian Bay, Lake Huron were "stop the drop" only took a couple of cold winters to freeze it over to bring it back.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:11   #8
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Last year at Toronto, by way of contrast:
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:40   #9
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Re: Thinning water

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If you mean Huron, NY/Sodus Bay, they are digging like gophers on speed to get the channel deep and wide. Inside the bay I don't have any info on that.
No, I meant Lake Huron.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:51   #10
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

This site charts monthly water levels in all the GL going back and predicting forward:

https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/dash...GLD_HTML5.html

L Ont. is still above the historic average, but is fast approaching the level. Does indeed look like a low year. The upper lakes are showing above average levels.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:00   #11
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Interesting... Lake Michigan is at near record high water level. Water has been over the seawalls in my marina all summer, slightly lower now as we've had a long dry spell. Five years ago it was the lowest I've seen. I expect all that water will work it's way downstream and the lower lakes will be high and the upper lakes low again in the next couple years.
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Old 10-08-2018, 13:14   #12
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Scarlett, Lake Huron/ Michigan is three feet over chart datum, lots of water. Almost up over our walkways in Sarnia.
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Old 10-08-2018, 13:29   #13
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

Yes, definitely check the levels on Lake Ontario before making plans. There are places we went into in the Thousand Islands last year that I couldn’t get close to this season.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:02   #14
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

I have a theory on the highs and lows of Ontario. Once I asked why was the St. Lawrence built the answer was fairly obvious. The St; Lawrence river was impassable to ships in its' natural form. It was subject to rapids, low water, high water, and treacherous currents. To open the lakes to navigation regulatiing the flow and depth had to be accomplished. Now Lake Ontario is no small inland lake even though its' surface is the smallest of the lakes. It is still a huge body of water and weather, dry or wet is the deciding factor on its' level. It does serve a dual purpose as a reservoir for depth regulation of the river. The depth of the river and ports downstream are adjusted according to their particular needs by releasing or holding water in Ontario. Right now several ports downstream are becoming very shallow inducing the IJC to release water to help keep them open. Remember a foot or so of draft is a huge economic issue for a ship that has to either load or unload cargo to accommodate the depth of its' proposed route. In 2017 high levels of precipitation and snow melt caused extensive flooding and fast currents along the river where the flow could be reduced to alleviate the flooding occurring in Montreal and maintain slower currents in the river. The St. Lawrence is a choke point for Ontario when one looks at its' position as a wide point in a river system. What happens is the reservoir fills or drops based on the precipitation and the resulting adjustments are made to outflow for the St. Lawrence River and ports downstream are protected from extremes. The historical record indicates periods of high and low water in Lake Ontario prior to the Seaway being built similar to what the upper Lakes continue to experience. In short if anybody thinks they can regulate the Great Lakes I have a transportation system in New York I am willing to sell real cheap. You'll pay a lot less than you'd expect for a bridge of that quality.
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Old 13-08-2018, 06:15   #15
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Re: Thinning water - Lk Ontario

I think it's largely perception. Last year the water was so high it was easy to glide in an out of most ports...that is, unless you're Rochester USCG who ran aground mid-channel in April.


The water has dropped markedly in the last month. This trend is typical for this time of year. By the time I haul in November it will drop probably another 2 feet.


Bars do develop across channels, and one must accept that and plan for it. A couple inches of water makes all the difference.


There is still plenty of water in, for example, Fairhaven/ Little Sodus; the channel two years ago was less than 7', this year it is still over 8'.


I like it. Shallow water + 82 degree water = fun on sandbars.
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