New Alert System Being Developed to Inform Public of Future Changes

For Immediate Release: 07/31/2015

The Canal Corporation today announced it has reduced discharges from Hinckley Reservoir in order to preserve recreational opportunities and ecological advantages in the area.

Reservoir levels will only decrease at a rate of approximately one inch per day, barring additional rainfall, for the foreseeable future. The new release rate - 300 cubic feet per second (cfs), a reduction of 100 cfs from the operating diagram's prescribed release of 400 cfs - also protects the West Canada Creek fishery and avoids causing ecological harm downstream.

Currently, the level of the reservoir is approximately 5 1/2 feet lower than its average elevation for this time of year. Discharge levels from Hinckley Reservoir were recently increased in order to provide compensating flow to Erie Boulevard Hydropower, LLC because less water was released out of the reservoir earlier this year at the request of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority to assist it with its water supply needs.

In cooperation with reservoir stakeholders, officials from the New York State Canal Corporation and the New York Power Authority will closely monitor water levels and flows and return discharges to the rate prescribed by the operating diagram as soon as practicable.

To help keep members of the public and the surrounding communities informed, the Canal Corporation is developing a new email and text alert system which will provide updates related to the operation of Hinckley Reservoir and changes to its discharge rates. This subscription service will be available through the Canal Corporation's website later this summer, and will notify subscribers when changes to reservoir releases are made. These alerts will also be published on the Canal Corporation's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Brian U. Stratton, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation said, "We believe this reduction is necessary to prevent further loss of recreational activities on the Hinckley Reservoir, while protecting and preserving the various economic and ecological advantages of this important resource."

Marc Gerstman, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation said, "The new release rate is intended to protect the popular and economically important West Canada Creek fishery while minimizing possible ecological harm downstream while it is in effect."

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO said, "In conjunction with our Jarvis hydroelectric plant at Hinckley, NYPA controls discharges from the reservoir as directed by the Canal Corporation. We will continue to work collaboratively with officials and other stakeholders as operations and flows are optimized."

Patrick Becher, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Water Authority, said, "We commend the Canal Corporation and Power Authority for working together to take this appropriate step to maintain levels in the reservoir. We are also encouraged by the steps the Canal Corporation has already taken to improve communication among the reservoir's stakeholders, and with the general public."

About the New York State Canal Corporation

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles, the waterways link the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, Niagara River and Lake Erie with communities rich in history and culture. For more information about the New York State Canal System, vacation opportunities and events call 1-800-4CANAL4 or visit

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Shane Mahar
Office of Media Relations and Communications
(518) 471-5300