LAKE ERIE WATER LEVELS CURRENTLY HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR|
Boaters should expect easy navigation through mid June
COLUMBUS, OH - Lake Erie is Ohio's most popular boating destination,
and boaters are reminded that the lake's fluctuating water levels make using
up-to-date navigational charts a must, according to the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources (ODNR).
"Spring and early summer are traditionally the times when Lake Erie
is at its highest," said Dick Bartz, chief of the ODNR Division of Water.
"Levels then begin to decline through mid-summer and into the fall."
Lake Erie water levels are currently about 4 inches higher than this
time last year and are expected to remain higher than last year until at
least mid June. By late summer, water levels are projected to be about 4
inches below last year's levels, making the use of current navigational
charts even more important. Up-to-date charts are available at most marine
supply stores and bait shops on the lake.
"Most recreational boating will not be affected by low water levels
across most of Lake Erie, but boaters must continue to exert care,
especially around the western reef complex and other areas where depths are
more shallow," said Ken Alvey, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft
In addition to using navigational charts, recreational boaters on
Lake Erie should always observe all "rules of the road" when encountering
buoys and markers, Alvey said.
ODNR hydrologists say the lake's water levels remain slightly below
the long-term averages since 1918. Lake waters were about 4 inches lower
than the long-term average for April and will likely drop lower by August.
Weather patterns in the Great Lakes basin can change quickly and
unexpectedly, altering the most educated of pre-season projections, Bartz
said. Prolonged, heavy downpours or extended dry spells in the Upper Great
Lakes directly impact Lake Erie's waters. And those events cannot always be