#2 – Opening of the 2003 Navigation Season

March 6, 2003

The Seaway Corporations have determined that, due to severe ice conditions throughout the St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes system, the opening of the 2003 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the dates and times indicated below:

  • Montreal / Lake Ontario March 31, 2003 – 0800 hours (E.S.T.)
  • Welland Canal March 31, 2003 – 0800 hours (E.S.T.)

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Navigation may be restricted to daylight hours in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

The Seaway entities also announce that, for this navigation season, the clearance date for the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section has been designated as 2400 hours December 20, 2003. The closing date will be no later than December 24, provided that weather and ice conditions permit.

The “clearance date” is the date by which vessels must report at the applicable calling-in point referred to in subsection 97(3), Part X, of the Seaway Handbook, for the final transit of the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals

United States Soo Locks will open March 25.

Allowable Draft

In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the draft will be 79.2 dm (26’0″) until the South Shore Canal is ice free at which time the draft will be increased to 80 dm (26’3″), this will occur no later than April 15. Draft of 80 dm (26’3″) will be in effect in the Welland Canal for the full season.