Lake Ontario water levels rising, outflows to increase

·2 min read

Jul. 17—Rainfall in the past two weeks has led to a 2.8 inch rise in water levels on Lake Ontario, according to the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board.

"The above average rainfall the first two weeks of July was unexpected but truly benefited the region", said Mr. Steve Durrett, U.S. co-chair of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board.

Normally, Lake Ontario water levels typically have begun the seasonal decline by this time of year. Water levels are currently at 245.41 feet which is approximately 8.7 inches below long-term average levels for mid-July.

The return to regulation plan flows means an increase in Lake Ontario outflows. As a result, Lake Ontario will increase or decrease depending on natural weather conditions; lake levels will increase if there continues to be above average rainfall and decrease if dry conditions return.

Water levels will decrease on Lake St. Lawrence approximately 5.9 -7.9 inches and rise on Lake St. Louis and at the Port of Montreal approximately 3.9- 5.9 inches. Recreational boaters, anglers, and other users should be aware of these expected water level fluctuations.

The board says it will continue to monitor weather forecasts and water supply conditions and will re-evaluate the regulation strategy regularly.

Although July has experienced above average rainfall in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system, drought conditions have persisted into July in much of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River watershed. The US drought monitor maps continue to show abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions within the basin, both upstream (around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario) and downstream (along the St. Lawrence River).

More detailed information is available on the board's website at

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