Lake Erie water level means good boating season ahead

Mar 12, 2021

The water level in Lake Erie is about 1' below the levels of the last two years, but still 2' above the very long-term average.

That comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which keeps track. The water level means this could be a very good year for local boaters, in the sun and fresh air and socially distant.

For everyone from kayak paddlers to those on the bridge of 1,000'-lake freighters, water levels are an issue. They are also an issue for those who are considering setting up their docks, whether solid or floating. It’s also the time of year when people dream of sailing races in the Outer Harbor and fast-paced boat runs down the Niagara River and under the Peace Bridge.

"I’m really excited for the upcoming boating season, because, personally, I have talked to some of the marine suppliers on Niagara and they have reported having a really good year last year," said Lauren Schifferle, alternate U.S. chair of the International Niagara Working Group for the Corps. "And boating is a wonderfully socially-distant activity with lots of air flow."

Schifferle said lake levels will rise in the next few months.

"Lake Erie is above average, as is typical. We get in this area, we get more precipitation and less evaporation than in late summer. Plus melting snow is going to help drain more water into Lake Erie," she said.

As the air around here gets warmer, starting in June, and the rainy season eases off, lake levels will start to drop heading into the fall and the long cycle of water levels rising and falling.