Record Low Waters!

As of January 1st, and with the end of the season for freighter travel, the International River Board has decided to dramatically increase outflow from Lake Ontario in an effort to further reduce water levels there. They will do so until ice formation prevents it.

In our Lake St. Lawrence region (between Iroquois and Cornwall – see this post), the waters have dropped to unheard-of levels. I took these photos yesterday when I was out chatting with some (crazy…) divers who’d been out once and were planning a second dive. With the waters low and the Cornwall gates open and Iroquois closed, divers told me that travelling the locks is like being “in a river inside a river” with very, very quick flows. They also noted that visibility a couple of days ago neared 60 feet (60 feet???) but that it had diminished to 30 feet (30 feet??? sigh… maybe I should join them…).

Despite the swift water flow, conditions – invigorating to say the least – remain good for experienced (and obviously drysuit) divers. Recorded maximum depth on the dive, in the outer lock, was 38 feet. 38 feet??? – you can probably stand on the walls and touch the surface!

Anyway – here are my photos. Enjoy and see you in the spring!

The beach exit point Jan 4.

The beach area Jan 5 with local residents wandering around the uncovered river bottom.
The dock entry site Jan 4 showing super low water… and some of the divers.

My usual shot to show water levels at the dock Jan 4. One of the town’s large wooden piers has been secured to the dock for the winter.