Low water levels cause early end of boating season

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
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TOWN OF HAMMOND, New York (WWNY) - Official data shows that Lake Ontario is a foot lower than normal. On the St. Lawrence River, water levels are so low that many people are calling the boating season over.

“These levels are after Columbus Day. This is middle of November, these levels. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when we do hit November,” said Dale Stoughtenger, who owns Duck Cove Marina near Chippewa Bay.

He says these water levels in September are a first. Lower levels have been a trend since August on both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

At current levels, boaters are pulling out one month sooner than normal.

“It was mass, you know? Out of 62 boats, I have four boats left to put away and it’s nuts,” said Stoughtenger, Duck Cove Property Owner, Any boats still in the water now face challenges like getting stuck in the muck or damaging propellers.

“Just be careful out there. You’re going to hit bottom somewhere, there’s no doubt. Pay attention with your GPS and if you don’t have one, it shows a lot of the shoals,” said Mike Greaney, boat owner.

With the summer season coming to end this week, it looks like for many the 2022 boating season will wrap up as well with hopes of higher water levels next year.