Ice Boom to be Opened After April 1, 2018


Based on the present heavy ice cover remaining on eastern Lake Erie, removal of the Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom has not started. The International Joint Commission’s International Niagara Board of Control has determined that the Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom will not likely be open before April 1.  Representatives for the International Niagara Board of Control will continue to monitor the ice cover closely over the coming days, as warmer weather is in the forecast.  

Imagery and ice measurements from 25 March showed that the eastern basin of Lake Erie, the portion of the lake east of a line between Long Point, Ontario and Erie, Pennsylvania, covered an area of about 2,527 square kilometres (976 square miles) of ice. 

The current International Joint Commission Order of Approval governing operation of the ice boom requires that all floating sections of the boom be opened by the first day of April, unless there is more than 650 square kilometres (250 square miles) of ice on eastern Lake Erie.  Other factors such as the quality of ice, ice build-up in the river above/below the Falls, in the lower Niagara River or prediction of unfavourable weather are also considered. 

Daily ice coverage analysis, satellite imagery, along with reconnaissance flights as necessary, will be used to monitor ice conditions to determine when boom opening should commence.  The latest ice boom opening was on 3 May 1971.  Due to a relatively ice free winter, last year’s boom opening began on 6 March.

A media advisory will be issued to inform the public when this year's boom opening begins.


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For more information on Ice Boom installation, operation and removal contact Louis Paonessa, NYPA at (716) 548-2141


For more information regarding the IJC approval

See the Board’s Ice Boom Information website at


In Canada contact Derrick Beach, Canadian Secretary, International Niagara Board of Control at (289) 983-0392 or


In USA contact Keith R. Koralewski, Alternate Chair to the International Niagara Working Committee at (716) 879-4358 or