The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) issued a Watershed Conditions Statement on Thursday.
It advises local residents to stay off of ice covered water bodies and away from unstable creek banks. The advisory come as recent rainfall has increased creek and lake levels, leading to weaker ice conditions in the Cataraqui Region watershed.
The purpose of CRCA watershed conditions statement is to raise public awareness about a change or potential change in watershed conditions. It does not measure ice thickness for recreational activities.
A Watershed Conditions Statement is a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or, in some cases, which have the potential to lead to flooding.
There are two variations of these Statements:
- Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
- Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
The statement issued this week is valid until further notice.
Conservation authorities, including the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, rely on a watershed approach to manage natural resources for their communities.
The CRCA’s jurisdiction has 11 watersheds including the large Cataraqui and Gananoque River systems as well as smaller systems such as Wilton and Buells Creek.