Low water levels bring new challenges to boaters

OPG Reminds People to Stay Clear! Stay Safe!

TORONTO, May 20, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is reminding people that water levels on many lakes and rivers are much lower than normal for this time of year.

"Most of the province had lower than normal snowfall, and April was one of the driest on record. This means that people going to their cottage or putting their boat in the water may see very low water levels,"

said John Murphy, OPG's Executive Vice President Hydro.

Murphy explained that the lack of precipitation means flows through OPG's Dams and Stations may be markedly different than what people expect.

"Our safety message is simple: Stay Clear! Stay Safe!"

That's true the year round, but this weekend we're urging people to take extra care in watching water levels as this is a year unlike any other. For example, rocks or shoals that used to be covered by water, may now be near the surface.

"OPG manages the water levels and flows on many rivers and lakes based on water management plans approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources. These plans try to balance the needs of various interests including recreational users and wildlife while also providing water to create clean energy," he said.

Cottagers, campers and boaters can contact their local water management organization for more information, or go to:

OPG provides a variety of water safety materials, including a brochure and DVD at

The OPG web site also has award winning water safety public service announcements that were produced in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police. These ads will start airing this weekend and run throughout the summer. They are also available on You Tube.