On YouTube: Boater Education on Weather Conditions in NY's North Country
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Last year at this time, we were looking at water levels so low people were having trouble getting boats into the North Country's lakes and rivers. This year, as discussed in this clip from Watertown, NY's Your News Now, the rain and flooding is causing more problems. And while levels won't be low, Your News Now's Brian Dwyer informs that boaters will have a new issue this year.

Jefferson County, NY, May 5, 2011 - Last year it was low levels. This year, it's rain and flooding. And once again, the weather is wreaking havoc on boating season. All that water means full rivers and flow rates off the charts.

"When you're going out there, especially on a smaller vessel and that water is really flowing fast, if you begin to have a problem it's going to move you in directions you don't want to go," said Dave White of New York Sea Grant.

White says it gets worse near access points and areas where other rivers and streams meet. It was just last week a canoe flipped on the Black River in Dexter and the body of the 67-year-old Pennsylvania man in it has yet to be found. White says it's key to be prepared for anything.

"Obviously if you're in a small paddle craft, you definitely want to have your life jackets on because you can quickly get sideways and quickly get turned around. We've already seen deaths in the area because of those circumstances," White said.

This won't be a year-long problem though. This particular April rain, which has water levels up around five inches in Lake Ontario. But the rain will only impact that number for about a month before going down, meaning boaters will have to hope enough has fallen to avoid last year's extreme lows.

"It won't go down quite as far as it did last year because our water table is up now with all the rain and snow we've had. But it will be a lot lower than it is at the present time," said Wilburt Walh of French Creek Marina.

Wahl says to have a better idea for the whole summer, you have to look Northwest.

"Our water levels though are governed by Lake Superior. It takes about three years for the water in Lake Superior to get down here," Walh said.

And Lake Superior has been extremely low for years now.

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