June 2 Conditions at Lock 23

Spring is slowly moving forward.

Water temperature today is 13C/56F, a slow start. Last year I was in the water (in my wet suit) on June 10: temp was  15C/59F. It might yet get there.

The river is high. Higher than it’s been for a while. Here is my photo gauge – from now on I’ll take all water level shots from this vantage point at the Morrisburg public boat dock.

Water Level 2019 May 29
Water Level 2019 June 2

For comparison, here’s a photo from Spring 2018 – a different section of the dock but you get the point.

Fortunately, the Ottawa River has been slowly receding so that further downstream flooding isn’t anticipated though water levels remain high throughout. However there’s also been a dramatic increase (yet again) in Lake Ontario levels, so outflow has been increased almost daily, causing a visibly rapid current and minimal change in water level. If you’re interested in following water and flow levels, check this interactive site. It’s all about balance.

What does this mean for conditions at Lock 23? Ummm, I don’t know but maybe I can guess. Current river flow is 9100 m3/s and continuing to rise. The highest it got in 2017 was 10,200 (a bit of a breaking point for freighters travelling against it). Because LSL water levels were also very low at that time, there was a lot of turbulence around the dive site. I figure that if we still get the high current, at least the water level is higher and therefore the turbulence at the locks should be less significant. I anticipate that the approach drift to the lock will be quick. If you’ve been out there and would care to give me your thoughts (sydneyschnurr@gmail.com) I’d appreciate it!

Sydney