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Old 07-19-2018, 05:33 AM   #1
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The Rideau Canal water depths?

So we planned on taking 2 weeks to explore The Rideau mid August. I'm waiting on the charts to arrive. However as I do my research, I found that they post weekly min water depths on there website. Right now they(I think Parks Canada) has predicted a min water depth of 4 ft 8 inches through July 28th and the trend has been a steady decline. As we draft 4 ft 6 inches, we have concerns. Can anyone with local knowledge chime in? Where are the min depths? Should we assume that is the lock sill depth? Should we postpone till next season and go early in the season before water depth decline? I know boats larger than ours and with more draft have done the trip.


Thanks in advance for any advice.


Mike
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:10 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. Mr. I think you may be correct that the sill depth is the ultimate determining factor of navigation limits. The channels can be dredged if necessary but it's kinda hard to move tons of limestone. The Rideau system is very closely monitored so I would trust their "predictions" are fairly accurate. As you're surely aware, Parks Canada tries to maintain a minimum depth of 5' but weather is the deciding variable.


Perhaps a call to one of the downstream lock stations toward Kingston might help you decide. Rideau Canal - Lockstation Telephone Numbers
or perhaps the Canal office in Smith's Falls. Rideau Canal - Information Contacts
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:56 AM   #3
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For what I recall, water in the Nicholson lock area and Buritts Rapid lock are was pretty shallow. Also in lakes around Kilmarnock. In locks themselves no problem. I always went there in the early season so I did not have any issue with water depth but curing summer the weather tells it. Last year was quite rainy so there was no issue with water depth, the year before it was different, no way to tell in advance.
Like Mr RTF mentioned if you call them they will surely help.

L
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like we will have to shoot for next year. Probably earlier in the season.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:24 PM   #5
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I always went there in the early season so I did not have any issue with water depth but curing summer the weather tells it. Last year was quite rainy so there was no issue with water depth, the year before it was different, no way to tell in advance.
It's been very dry this summer, almost zero rain so far this month in Southeastern Ontario. But that could change in the next few weeks. I wouldn't give up yet... When I went through last August they were coping with too much water. A couple of good rains may bring the levels back up.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mragan View Post
So we planned on taking 2 weeks to explore The Rideau mid August. I'm waiting on the charts to arrive. However as I do my research, I found that they post weekly min water depths on there website. Right now they(I think Parks Canada) has predicted a min water depth of 4 ft 8 inches through July 28th and the trend has been a steady decline. As we draft 4 ft 6 inches, we have concerns. Can anyone with local knowledge chime in? Where are the min depths? Should we assume that is the lock sill depth? Should we postpone till next season and go early in the season before water depth decline? I know boats larger than ours and with more draft have done the trip.


Thanks in advance for any advice.


Mike
We came through four days ago in a Defever 44 drafting 4'9". No problem in any of the locks. We touched, just a brief bump, once coming out of the canal below Lower Brewers Lock.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:45 AM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. Mr. My connections tell me that it has been REALLY wet along the Rideau Canal and a lot of rain has fallen throughout the watershed so I would suggest a phone call to the Canal authorities regarding water levels. As with all things weather related, there are no guarantees...


https://instantweather.ca/2018/07/25...arning-issued/


100mm is about 4".
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:50 PM   #8
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These sites should have the info you need.
Rideau Canal - The Rideau Canal FAQ
https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/visit
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:35 PM   #9
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I can confirm that it is raining a lot here since Sunday. I am not on the Rideau but not very far.

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Old 07-25-2018, 05:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the updates. Been watching the rain as well. We are planning to be in that area(Kingston) in 3 weeks. Hopefully water levels in the canal respond to the recent rains favorably. As of this past Monday, Parks Canada was predicting another inch drop in the Kingston Mills section by next Monday, but that will probably change with the additional rainfall. Fingers crossed!

Cheers!

Another question? Is a mooring permit required in addition to the lock permit to tie up outside of locks? The way the website reads it would appear so to me. We don't require services(electric, water etc)
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for the updates. Been watching the rain as well. We are planning to be in that area(Kingston) in 3 weeks. Hopefully water levels in the canal respond to the recent rains favorably. As of this past Monday, Parks Canada was predicting another inch drop in the Kingston Mills section by next Monday, but that will probably change with the additional rainfall. Fingers crossed!

Cheers!

Another question? Is a mooring permit required in addition to the lock permit to tie up outside of locks? The way the website reads it would appear so to me. We don't require services(electric, water etc)
You need to pay if you spend the night at the dock at the lock. It is quite cheap. Ether you get a permit that allow you t spend any number of night at the dock or you get a daily permit when you want it. If you plan to spend most of your nights docking at the locks better to get the unlimited permit. Note that power is not included in the permit.
Personally I would recommend you to dock at the locks as these are peaceful places with amenities like bbq (in some places), toilets etc.

L
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:17 PM   #12
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My experience is that whether you are charged is hit or miss. I was on the Rideau for 3 weeks last year and paid for maybe four nights, and going through the Trent Severn was similar the previous year. Also if you save your receipts you can credit them towards a season pass. Essentially they cap your daily costs for the season at the price of the season pass. Very reasonable.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:09 PM   #13
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My experience is that whether you are charged is hit or miss. I was on the Rideau for 3 weeks last year and paid for maybe four nights, and going through the Trent Severn was similar the previous year. Also if you save your receipts you can credit them towards a season pass. Essentially they cap your daily costs for the season at the price of the season pass. Very reasonable.
Even if the lockmaster is not coming to me to ask for fees I am always go to the house to pay my dues for the night at the dock and power. First it is really cheap and second never forget that these collected fees allow to maintain the canal, the locks and to keep these very friendly lockmasters at work.

L
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:17 AM   #14
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We just finished our voyage of the Rideau yesterday, now on the Ottawa River. For the most part the water levels at the lowest point were around 5 feet. There was a sailboat traveling with us (we met in Oswego) who draws 4’ 11 “ and he told me that he did touch a couple of times, but made it through (we went through the Ottawa locks together). It has been dry, however downpours the last week, so it’s hard to tell. Parks Canada is great, so accommodating. I would send my concern directly to them. It’s a great trip, well worth the effort! Enjoy!
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:30 AM   #15
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I did the Rideau a couple of years ago and the only problem we had was in a couple of the low spots. Weeds fouled the prop, but going into reverse cleared it.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:58 PM   #16
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Having finished the Rideau and now in Montreal, I had a good discussion about the various types of passes available. I had a one way Transit Pass, which was good for all the locks through Ottawa. If your continuing on a Loop, say to the Sorel to Champlain, this is not the pass to get. A season pass will cover all lock fees for all locks affiliated with Parks Canada. It will also include staying overnight on the lock “Grey Walls”. It’s the one pass for all your needs for all of the locks.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:14 PM   #17
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Having finished the Rideau and now in Montreal, I had a good discussion about the various types of passes available. I had a one way Transit Pass, which was good for all the locks through Ottawa. If your continuing on a Loop, say to the Sorel to Champlain, this is not the pass to get. A season pass will cover all lock fees for all locks affiliated with Parks Canada. It will also include staying overnight on the lock “Grey Walls”. It’s the one pass for all your needs for all of the locks.
Little correction, there are 2 seasonal passes, one for the locks one for the docks. Staying at the locks overnight is not included in locking pass. You can get one or the other or both. The locking pass is including the carillon lock (the one you went through on the Ottawa river).
It is a pity I was not at my boat, you went just in front of me!

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Old 07-26-2018, 08:47 PM   #18
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Little correction, there are 2 seasonal passes, one for the locks one for the docks. Staying at the locks overnight is not included in locking pass. You can get one or the other or both. The locking pass is including the carillon lock (the one you went through on the Ottawa river).
It is a pity I was not at my boat, you went just in front of me!

L
+1 Lou, there are definitely 2 passes, one for locking and one for docking overnight, with electricity extra as you pointed out. One consideration, if you are considering a Transit pass (one direction, all locks), in the event you go through a lock wanting to dock on the other side and it is full, they will not let you turn around to dock on the other side of the lock without paying an additional lock fee. The 6 day or Seasonal is not much more money and gives full flexibility.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:35 PM   #19
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Little correction, there are 2 seasonal passes, one for the locks one for the docks. Staying at the locks overnight is not included in locking pass. You can get one or the other or both. The locking pass is including the carillon lock (the one you went through on the Ottawa river).
It is a pity I was not at my boat, you went just in front of me!

L

Hi Lou,

Where did I pass you? I’m currently in St Anne-De-Bellevue.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:47 PM   #20
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Hi Lou,

Where did I pass you? I’m currently in St Anne-De-Bellevue.
When you went on the Ottawa river, before Carillon lock, you went under a big bridge. My marina is on starboard after passing the bridge.

L
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