The opening dates for the 2021 navigation season were announced today by the Canadian and U.S. St. Lawrence Seaway agencies as winter weather conditions remained relatively mild.
“Water levels, environmental conditions and forecasts have been favourable, allowing for early opening dates within the usual timeframe,” Nicolas Poirier-Quesnel, spokesman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, told Maritime Magazine.
The Montreal-Lake Ontario section is to open on March 22 at 0800 hours (DST) compared with April 1 in 2020.
The Welland Canal is to open March 19 at 0800 hours (DST) versus March 24 in 2020.
Opening of the Sault Ste.Marie Locks in the USA is currently scheduled for March 25.
Per usual, ship transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.
Maximum allowable drafts of 26’3” apply to the MLO and Welland Canal sections.
(photo Paul Beesley)