NYPA Press Release

New York Power Authority Reminds Public to Use Caution on Ice in South Channel and Downstream of Dams on St. Lawrence River and Heed Warnings

For Immediate Release: 2/8/19

Contact:  Karen White |
Karen.white@nypa.gov | (315) 764-6863

MASSENA— The New York Power Authority would like to remind recreational users of the St. Lawrence River to be aware of potential changes in river conditions during the winter season and the heed warnings.


During the winter months, NYPA may need to release water through the Long Sault Dam on very short notice.  A spill through the dam will result in rapidly changing river flows and potentially unsafe ice conditions along the South Channel of the river, downstream of the dam. When warnings are issued, members of the public, including those ice fishing on the river or channel, should be alert to rapidly changing ice conditions and should stay off the ice. See safety flier for a map detailing affected areas.

  • A warning siren at the Long Sault Dam will sound just prior to the start of spilling and before any flow changes through the dam. Temporary signage will be posted along various locations near the South Channel to inform the public when water is being released from the Long Sault Dam. 

    Members of the public should:

  • Keep back a minimum of 800 ft. from the Long Sault Dam spillway and Robert Moses Power Dam, both on the upstream and downstream side
  • Use caution on and near the river
  • Be aware of changing river conditions and strong currents

Spilling water at Long Sault Dam can occur with very little notice, so caution and awareness along the river, especially in the South Channel, and near the Long Sault Dam spillway and the Robert Moses Power Dam is advised at all times.

Water flows from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are governed by the International Joint Commission (IJC). Outflows from Lake Ontario are established on a weekly basis by the International Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB). The ILOSLRB monitors water levels and oversees water releases with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the U.S. side and the Environment Canada on the Canadian side monitoring day-to-day activities. Information on water levels can be obtained at: http://ijc.org/en_/islrbc

Actual outflows will depend on conditions in the St. Lawrence River. Spilling activities could take place through the remainder of winter and through the spring.

For more information on NYPA’s role in managing the needs for water and power production, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=23&v=13K_6oOcZXo.

For more information on marine conditions visit the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System website at: http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/