Removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom to Begin
Lake Erie’s ice cover remained minimal during the 2022-2023 winter season. At the end of January there was less than one percent of ice cover on Lake Erie and as of February 28, 2023, the water temperature near the ice boom was 1.1°C (34°F). Due to the lack of ice cover on Lake Erie and the absence of ice in the Maid-of-the-Mist Pool below Niagara Falls, preparations are underway for the removal of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom.
If weather allows for safe working conditions, crews from the New York Power Authority plan to begin opening the 21 spans that were installed this season, as early as Thursday, March 2, 2023. Last year, the boom opening began on March 29. The latest date for the start of the boom opening was May 3, 1971. The earliest start date for removal to begin 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. A reduction of 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 installation, operation, and removal of the ice boom contact Louis Paonessa, New York Power Authority at (716) 286-6651 or Louis.Paonessa@nypa.gov
Visit the Board’s webpage to learn more about the IJC approval or ice boom frequently asked questions
In USA contact Lynn Greer, Public Involvement Specialist to the International Niagara Board of Control at (716) 866-3417 or Lynn.M.Greer@usace.army.mil
In Canada contact Hafiz Ahmad, Canadian Secretary to the International Niagara Board of Control at (905) 220-8181 or Hafiz.Ahmad@ec.gc.ca