The Ebb and Flow of the St Lawrence River

Following the winter closure of the St. Lawrence Seaway to ships in December 2019 and a spell of mild temperatures across the Lake Ontario basin, the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board took action and set Lake Ontario outflows at unprecedented levels. The volume of water passing through the St. Lawrence River reached up to 10,700 cubic meters per second, higher than has ever previously been released in winter. This led to extreme low water conditions on stretches of the River above the Moses-Saunders Dam in Cornwall, and concern being expressed by anglers and others who live along the River that important habitat and aquatic life had been imperiled. A drop in air temperature has meant a reduction in flow levels to allow ice to form and stabilize; however, if mild weather returns this winter, the Board intends to increase outflows again as much and as soon as possible.

Hear professional angler Todd Beckstead speak with Lawrence Gunther about his first-hand experiences fishing on Lake Ontario during recent flood events, and how high out-flows at the Moses-Saunders Dam have impacted the Upper St. Lawrence River above the dam on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: