The water level of Lake Ontario is rising because of recent precipitation and might exceed the longtime average this summer, according to officials with the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control.
John W. Kangas, secretary of the binational organization, said the lake's water level in Oswego is about 245.8 feet, about 2 inches above its historic average for April owing to recent "heavy supplies" of water, including precipitation and runoff from streams. That's about 8 inches lower than the 2009 level.
"We've been below average for quite a while, and we initially expected the summer water levels to be 3 to 4 inches below our long-term average," Mr. Kangas said. "But now with the rain, I expect the next forecast will show a summer peak for Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River that is closer to average, and perhaps even a bit above average."
Outflow from the Robert H. Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena this week will be 259,200 cubic feet per second, which is a little less than called for by the water regulation plan 1958-D, because of high water conditions in the lower St. Lawrence River area around Montreal, he said.
"This week's flow is still above the long-term average outflow for this time of the year," Mr. Kangas said.
However, Joan F. Coughlin, owner of Shangri-La Campground and Marina, Point Peninsula, said she believes the lake is still quite a bit lower than what most marina owners would hope it to be in April.
"It's definitely lower than in 2009. I'd say it's about where we were last fall, which is unusual because of the amount of snow we had this winter," she said.
The St. Lawrence River's water level was 245.41 feet in Alexandria Bay as of Sunday, about 7 inches lower than in 2009.
Mr. Kangas said he had received only one complaint in the past few weeks regarding water levels. He said a resident had sent him an email asking for an additional 8 inches of water on the lake by summer.
"It appears that Mother Nature is providing that without any intervention from the Board of Control," Mr. Kangas said, alluding to recent weather forecasts.
This week's projected rain will not have much impact on Black River water flows, however.
Robert S. Folton, an engineer with the Albany office of the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District, said the National Weather Service is forecasting the water flow "to not come up much" as a result of the rain expected this week. And the Black River's water level is only slightly above its 90-year historic level, he said.
The regulating district continues to release water on a need basis at the Stillwater Reservoir on the Beaver River.
The district provides river regulation, including flood protection and low-flow augmentation, in the Hudson River and Black River watersheds through the operation of water storage reservoirs, including Great Sacandaga Lake, Indian Lake, Stillwater Reservoir and the Fulton Chain of Lakes.
Times staff writer Craig Fox contributed to this report.