The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Parry Sound District is advising area residents that a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is in effect for the shoreline of Georgian Bay until Friday, June 5, 2020.
The water safety statement indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
Residents within the Parry Sound-Muskoka area on Georgian Bay should keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and exercise caution around the shoreline as water levels are expected to remain high through the coming weeks and months. Any storm surge and waves from wind and storm events is expected to worsen shoreline conditions as those events occur.
Heightened risks, while water levels remain at or above their current level, include shoreline flooding, beach submersion, crawl space and septic system inundation, and wave-driven erosion along some reaches of the shoreline. Residents may wish to consider taking action to ensure their sump pumps are working properly and to secure or protect any property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas.
Banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies may be slippery and unstable and water temperatures remain very cold. Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around water bodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets.
The ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Forecasts by the National Hydrologic Services indicate that Lake Huron / Georgian Bay’s level will likely exceed historical monthly mean water levels for at least the next four months. This message will be updated as significant wind or storm events are forecast, that may result in higher water levels and shoreline impacts due to storm surge and waves. The National Hydrological Services Great Lakes Water Levels Information Memorandum from May 4, 2020 reports that:
- Water levels of all the Great Lakes remain near or above record highs, with the exception of Lake Ontario, which remains well above average.
- Lake Michigan-Huron’s April monthly mean level was 91 cm above average last month,
34 cm higher than last year, the highest April mean level on record and 7 cm above the
previous record high of 1986
- Lake Michigan-Huron rose 6 cm in April, less than its average rise of 11 cm.
- Lake Michigan-Huron’s beginning-of-May level was 90 cm above average, 26 cm higher than last year, the highest on record and 9 cm higher than the previous record high set in 1986.
- Assuming average water supply conditions, Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to rise in May
- For more information, refer the Canadian Hydrographic Service’s Tides and Level
Forecasts: Recent and Forecast Water Levels page.