DEC closes portion of Saranac River due to vandalism
SARANAC LAKE — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that part of the Saranac River will be closed due to the work of vandals on Wednesday night.
The river will be closed to boating from the Second Pond boat launch on state Route 3 to the dam at the Lower Locks near Oseetah Lake.
“The low water levels are the result of vandals breaking into the controls for the sluice gate overnight and fully opening it,” DEC said in a press release. “The sluice gate was further damaged and cannot be immediately closed. DEC is working to repair and close the gate and will provide notice when repairs are complete and water levels have risen enough to reopen this section of the Saranac River to boating.
“DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers are investigating this incident and ask that members of the public with information about the act of vandalism contact 518-897-1326.”
The Lower Locks are one of two such facilities on the Saranac chain of lakes. The Lower Locks are on the Saranac River between Second Pond and Oseetah Lake, which then flows into Lake Flower.
DEC spokesman David Winchell said the closure applies to motorboats, but may impact paddlers of all stripes as well.
“We haven’t viewed the whole stretch, so we don’t know how low the water is,” Winchell wrote in an email. “Paddlers may need to carry or drag through certain sections.”
Saranac Lake village Manager John Sweeney said he doesn’t expect the change in flow to cause any issues in Lake Flower or with the village-owned Lake Flower dam, although he added that water levels may drop quickly.