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Higher flows in St Marys Rapids

                                                        5 May 1997
     Anglers Cautioned of Higher flows in St Marys Rapids
     On Tuesday morning May 6, 1997 the flow though the control structure 
     at the head of the St Marys Rapids will be increased from the 
     equivalent of three gates fully open to eight gates fully open. As a 
     result, the flow and water levels will increase significantly in the 
     St Marys Rapids.  
     The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority 
     granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake 
     Superior outflow to 3200 cubic metres per second (m3/s) for the month 
     of May.  This is an increase from the April outflow, but is less than 
     the 3300 m3/s outflow recommended by the regulation plan for the month 
     of May 1997.  The outflow will be achieved by discharging as much 
     water as possible through the hydropower plants in Sault Ste. Marie 
     Ontario and Michigan, and by increasing the setting at the control 
     structure to eight gates fully open.  
     Maintenance work is scheduled to begin on two of the U.S. gates of the 
     control structure in the next week.  Although only two gates are being 
     worked on this year, to permit work boats to safely navigate along the 
     upstream side of the structure during the repair period, adjacent 
     gates must also remain closed.  This results in only 8 gates of the 16 
     gates in the structure being available for use during the repairs that 
     are scheduled to be complete in September.  During the initial phase 
     of the maintenance work, the gate setting may have to be reduced to 7 
     gates open for several days to allow installation of the coffer dams 
     around the two gates.
     Gate #1, at the head of the fishery channel north of the fishery dike, 
     will be fully opened tomorrow and will remain fully open until at 
     least mid-July to provide stable water levels in the fishery channel 
     during the spawning, hatch out and fry development period for rainbow 
     trout and salmon. 
     During April, the water supply to Lake Superior was above average, 
     while the supply to Lakes Michigan-Huron was about average.   
     Currently, Lake Superior is 26 centimetres (cm) above its long-term 
     average beginning of May level and about 20 cm above the level 
     recorded last year.  The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is about 52 cm 
     above its long-term average level and about 43 cm above the level of a 
     year ago.  The Board will continue to monitor conditions on Lake 
     Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint 
     Commission accordingly.
     Mr. Doug Cuthbert, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario is the 
     Board Member for Canada.  Colonel James Van Epps, Commander, North 
     Central Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is the Board Member 
     for the United States.
     Additional information can be obtained from Mr. Peter Yee, Great Lakes 
     St.Lawrence Regulation Office, Environment Canada, Cornwall at (613) 
     938-5725 or by e-mail at Peter_Yee@pch.gc.ca. or from Mr. David 
     Schweiger, Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch,  Detroit 
     District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at (313) 226-6440 or by e-mail 
     at david.l.schweiger@nce01.usace.army.mil