Opening of the 2014 Navigation Season and Maximum Allowable Drafts - Revised for Montreal / Lake Ontario Section

Due to unusually heavy ice conditions, the opening date for the 2014 navigation season for the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section has been revised, and is now scheduled to take place on:

  • Montreal / Lake Ontario: March 31, 2014 - 0800 hours (D.S.T.)

The opening date for the Welland Canal has not changed, and remains:

  • Welland Canal March 28, 2014 - 0800 hours (D.S.T.)

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Transit restrictions may apply until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and CanalsĀ 

  • United States Soo Locks will open March 25.

Allowable Draft

In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the draft will be 80.0 dm (26' 3") until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 22nd, whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels are favorable, the draft will be increased to 80.8 dm (26' 6") for all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for ship's draft in excess of 80.8 dm (26' 6").

Mariners are reminded that for ships loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26' 3"), speeds will be monitored carefully between St. Lambert Lock and St. Nicolas Island.
In the Welland Canal, a maximum allowable draft of 80.8 dm (26' 6") will be in effect from the start of the navigation season for all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for vessel drafts in excess of 80.8 dm (26' 6'').

Please note that, for vessels loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26' 3"), speeds will be monitored carefully between the upper entrance to Lock 7 and former Bridge 12 in order to reduce bank erosion in this area.
March 17, 2014