Changing Conditions on Inland Lakes & Streams -Saftey

Feb. 26, 2021 - Cataraqui Conservation has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement today to inform the public that local dam operators in the Cataraqui region are performing routine operations due to seasonal changes, including above freezing temperatures.

Currently, there is an above average snowpack, with some areas containing over 150% of average water equivalent.

Water Managers, who operate dams on inland lakes, are increasing outflows through water control structures to keep water levels within targets for this time of year in preparation for the spring freshet (snow melt).

Ice conditions are expected to deteriorate over the coming days and weeks, becoming unsafe. Cataraqui Conservation does not measure ice thickness for advising the public about ice conditions for recreational activities. Ice conditions can vary considerably from one waterbody to the next and within a single waterbody.

Cataraqui Conservation is urging caution around all dams (inflow and outflow channels) and fast-flowing watercourses. Respect the hazards in these areas by obeying all warning signs, keeping away from booms, buoys, and barriers. Stay well back from the water’s edge above and below dams and hydroelectric stations. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in. 

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and will update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

For up-to-date flooding information, please visit our flood forecasting and information page.

As part of our flood forecasting and warning program staff are collecting information to help track flood events. If you are experiencing flooding impacts on your property or business please fill in a brief questionnaire at the following link:

See below for watershed conditions terminology:

Normal: No flood conditions exist

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.