Outflows at the Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena have picked up again, to drain some of the water built up by previous outflow-cuts made to improve conditions further down the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — More water is being released from the Moses-Saunders Power Dam, a trend which will last until mid-December.

The International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board, the U.S – Canadian group responsible for controling the water flows through the dam, announced the move in a press release Friday, with a start-date for the increased outflows set for Saturday.

The board has changed outflow rates relatively frequently this year, in response to an early-season drought that led to very low water levels along the lake and river system.

A relatively wet summer rebuilt some of that lost water stock, but the board again reduced outflows in early October to make it easier for people to get their boats and other equipment out of the water.

Together, those deviations added about 4.8 centimeters of water to the lake and river levels, which the lake and river board says should be undone by their current eight-week outflow increase.

In statements included in Friday’s release, the Canadian and American co-chairs of the lake and river board stressed that all their outflow-controlling actions are done with approval from their parent organization, the International Joint Commission, and that respect for the natural environment is kept at the forefront in their decision-making process.

“Lake Ontario remains a natural system, and is not a reservoir,” said Steve Durnett, U.S. co-chair.

Board officials said they anticipate to return to standard Plan 2014 operations once the eight-week outflow increase is finished.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

I write about north country politics, Jefferson County and the northern shoreline towns of Lyme, Cape Vincent, Clayton and Alexandria Bay

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