The Canal Dilemma

What’s going on?  The Ayrault Road Boat Launch Slip is closed until the 19th of May, and many rumors abound as to why the entire canal is off limits to the general public for almost a month into the season.   A week before opening the canal, they added eye-bolts to the chain across the slip, and added a note that the slip wasn’t open until 19th May. Previously the chain could be simply lifted off.  So my question is, now the canal is full, why are they preventing small day boats from launching into this stretch of water? It’s not that it could be flooded, there are too many spill ways along this length to prevent an overfill. In fact, the level has been maintained about 9′ below maximum.

“It’s because they are moving some tanks from China (paid for at NY Taxpayers expense on a government grant to Genesee Brewery!)” But this wouldn’t hinder day boats.

“It’s because there’s been too much rain and opening the locks will flood ‘downstream’.”  Excess water sheds into local streams from this stretch of canal.

“It’s because  they are working on the canal east of here and the workers safety is in question.”  See previous comment.

Etc. Etc.

No one seems to give the same answer and The Canal Authorities Facebook page is incredibly void of comment.

Worse, the latest rumor is they’re going to close the canal early this year.

Added to all this, we now hear the Canal Authority is strapped for cash, yet this year, to ‘celebrate 100 years’, they forego all their lock fees to boaters. In the same breath, they then add fees to all the commercial shipping, like The Sam-patch and Belle.

It doesn’t make any sense. Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? It certainly doesn’t appear so.




Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my two dogs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: