ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will be overseeing a water drawdown to install flashboards at the Crescent and Vischer Ferry dams. The work is to ready the waterway for recreational boating season.

Flashboards are plastic or wooden planks that are installed to raise water levels upstream of the dams for navigation purposes. NYPA said this will affect water levels which may affect marinas, boats, and docks.

The water drawdowns will also help the installation of a fish deterrent system to guide fish away from the powerhouse. The drawdowns will also help prevent boats from getting too close to the Vischer Ferry dam.

The Vischer Ferry Dam (Lock E-7) spans the Erie Canal and Mohawk River between Vischer Ferry and Niskayuna. The Crescent Dam (Lock E-6) is between Waterford and Colonie.

Work schedule and anticipated water levels

  • May 1: During the afternoon and evening, a gradual drawdown of water levels will begin at Vischer Ferry dam between the Erie Canal Locks E-7 and E-8. Water levels will drop between 6 inches and 2 feet depending on river flows at the time. The water drawdown will be complete by Monday morning.
  • May 2: Water levels will remain at the dam crest to help the removal of debris and reconnection of debris/ice boom
  • May 3: Water levels will remain at the dam crest to help the removal of debris and reconnection of debris/ice boom
  • May 4: Morning water levels at Vischer Ferry will drop about 7 inches below the dam crest as the fish deterrent system and flashboards are installed on Dam F. Evening water levels at Vischer Ferry will rise about 7 inches.
  • May 5: Morning water levels at Vischer Ferry will drop 7 inches as flashboards are installed on Dam D and E. Evening water levels at the Vischer Ferry Dam will rise about 7 inches.
  • May 6, 7, and 8: Water levels at Vischer Ferry will remain at the dam crest. Work barge transits to the Crescent Dam.
  • May 9: Morning water levels at Vischer Ferry will rise to navigation season levels. During the morning, a gradual drawdown of water levels will begin at Crescent between the Mohawk River/ Erie Canal Locks E-6 and E-7. Water levels will drop between 6 inches and 2 feet, depending on river flows at the time, to 6 inches below the dam crest. During the afternoon, flashboard work will be completed at Crescent. Evening water levels at Crescent pond will rise to the top of flashboards as water flows permit.
  • May 10: Morning water levels at Vischer Ferry will remain at navigation season levels. Work Barge transits to Vischer Ferry Project. Downstream Boat Denial Line is installed in the afternoon.
  • May 11 and 12: Water levels at Vischer Ferry will remain at navigation season levels as Upstream Boat Denial Line and mooring buoys will be installed.

NYPA said work is expected to be completed by Monday, May 9. inclement weather or high water conditions could delay this schedule.