Lake Erie Ice Cover April 17, 2019 (NOAA CoastWatch MODIS Imagery)

Media Advisory - Ice Boom to be Opened 2019


BUFFALO, NEW YORK; BURLINGTON, ONTARIO Preparations are underway for the removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom.

The area of ice on eastern Lake Erie as of April 18, 2019 remains above 650 square kilometres (250 square miles). However, warm temperatures are forecasted for the coming days so ice cover is estimated to be below 650 square kilometres (250 square miles) by Monday April 22. Considering this and the absence of an ice buildup in the Maid-of-the-Mist Pool below Niagara Falls, preparations are underway to begin a staged removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom.

If weather allows for safe working conditions, and ice has melted as anticipated, crews from the New York Power Authority will begin opening the boom’s 22 spans on Monday April 22, 2019.  Progress on removal operations will be provided on the Board’s web site. Last year, the boom opening began on April 10. The latest date for the start of the boom opening was May 3, 1971, while the earliest start date was February 28, 2012.

The ice boom is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation.  The use of the boom is authorized by the International Joint Commission with its International Niagara Board of Control overseeing the installation, operation and removal.

Each winter since 1964, the Lake Erie-Niagara River Ice Boom has been installed near the outlet of Lake Erie to reduce the amount of ice entering the Niagara River.  Reduction in ice entering the river reduces the potential for ice jams, which can result in damage to shoreline property and significantly reduce water flow for hydro-electric power production.

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