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New York State Canal Corporation

Notice to Mariners

Erie Canal – Vischer Ferry and Crescent

May 14, 2021


Work to Ready Waterway for Recreational Boating this Season

ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will oversee a water drawdown to install flashboards at the Crescent and Vischer Ferry dams beginning on Sunday, May 16. Flashboards are plastic and/or wooden planks that are installed in the spring to raise water levels upstream of the dams for navigation purposes. These activities will affect water levels which may affect marinas, boats, and docks.

The water drawdowns will also accommodate installation of a fish deterrent system to guide juvenile fish away from the powerhouse and a boat barrier line to prevent boats from approaching too close to the Vischer Ferry dam. The work follows an extensive rehabilitation of Lock E-7 which was undertaken during the winter season.

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

Sunday, May 16:

A gradual drawdown begins at Vischer Ferry as water levels between Mohawk River / Erie Canal Lock E7 and E8 are lowered. Water levels will drop between 2 feet and 3 feet, depending on river flows at the time. The water drawdown is completed by Monday. (Elevation 211.0’ Barge Canal Datum)

Monday, May 17:

Morning water levels at Vischer Ferry rise to Navigation Season levels from elevation 211.1’ to 213.3’ Barge Canal Datum.

During the morning a gradual drawdown of water levels begins 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 dam crest. (Elevation 183.5’ Barge Canal Datum). 

During the afternoon, flashboard work is completed at Crescent. Evening water levels at Crescent pond rise to top of flashboards (Navigation Season levels) as water flows permit. (Elevation 185.0’ Barge Canal Datum).

Work barge travels to Vischer Ferry Dam.

Tuesday and Wednesday May 18 and 19:

Water levels at Vischer Ferry remain at Navigation Season levels while workers install boat barrier line and buoys. (Elevation 213.1’ Barge Canal Datum).

Barring any complications or inclement weather, the installation of the flashboards will be completed by Monday, May 17. Unforeseen precipitation and high-water conditions may delay this schedule.  Any questions regarding this work should be directed to Steve Ramsey, New York Power Authority at 518-469-4998 , email:

Chart 14786 E-39 showing the affected area can be found at

Features along the eastern portion of the Erie Canal are listed by mileage at

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