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New York State Canal Corporation

Notice to Mariners

Erie Canal – Vischer Ferry

August 10, 2023


Water Levels at Vischer Ferry Dam to be Lowered Briefly for Opening of Juvenile Fish Passage August 15 &16


ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA), with the assistance of the Canal Corporation, will begin lowering water levels to accommodate the seasonal relocation of the fish diversion passage at the Vischer Ferry Dam beginning the evening of Tuesday, August 15.

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

This work is required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  During the period when the work will be taking place, the lower water levels may affect some marinas, including boats and docks in shallow waters. The adjusted levels should have no impact on boating within the navigation channel.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, August 15:

Overnight, a gradual drawdown begins at Vischer Ferry as water levels between Mohawk River / Erie Canal Lock E7 and Lock E8 are lowered. Water levels will drop between 2 and 3 feet, depending on river flows at the time. The water drawdown is completed by Wednesday morning. (Elevation 210.5’ Barge Canal Datum)

Wednesday, August 16:

Morning water levels will be approximately 2 feet below normal navigation season levels in order to accommodate the opening of the juvenile fish passage. (Elevation 210.5’ Barge Canal Datum).  Water levels are expected to begin to rise by 12 p.m. Water levels at the Vischer Ferry dam are expected to be restored to normal navigation season levels within 24-48 hours, as river flows permit. (Elevation 213.1 Barge Canal Datum)

Unforeseen precipitation and high-water conditions may delay this schedule or decrease the time to refill. The Power Authority and Canal Corporation have notified area marinas and recreational boaters of the pending work schedule.  Any questions regarding this work should be directed to Steve Ramsey, New York Power Authority 518-496-4998, email:

A chart showing the affected areas can be found at

Features along the eastern portion of the Erie Canal are listed by mileage The Canal Corporation urges all users and stakeholders to register to receive updates through the Notice to Mariners notification program by clicking here.

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In case of emergencies, please call the Canal Corporation’s Emergency Call Center at 833-538-1042.