DEC reopens river after dam vandalism

SARANAC LAKE — A section of the Saranac River has reopened after vandals damaged the sluice gate at the Lower Locks last week, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The department closed the river Thursday between Second Pond and the Lower Locks when the sluice gate could not be closed. The loss of water made part of the river impassible to motorboats, but a DEC spokesman said paddlers could try to get through.

On Friday, the DEC said in a press release that water levels had gone back up after repairs were made.

“The low water levels were the result of vandals breaking into the controls for the sluice gate and fully opening it,” a press release said. “The sluice gate was further damaged and could not be immediately closed. DEC completed repairing the sluice gate and shut the gate, allowing water levels to rise. DEC will continue monitoring water levels and asks boaters to use caution while passing through until water levels return to normal.”

DEC conservation officers are investigating the incident, and anyone with information should call 518-897-1326.