Water concerns on Ault Island

Residents of Ault Island, seen in this Google Maps photo, say water levels on Lake St. Lawrence are causing significant damage to property on the island. The residents' association has asked the mayor of South Dundas to speak with provincial and federal officials about it. (Google Maps via Newswatch Group)

MORRISBURG – A residents’ group for an island in South Dundas and South Stormont says fluctuating water levels on Lake St. Lawrence is causing “significant damage” to boats and docks.

In a letter to South Dundas Mayor Evonne Delegarde, Ault Island Community Association President Jennifer Adams says the water levels fluctuated 3 feet (0.91 meters) between May and July – during peak cottage and tourist season.

Ault Island is south of County Road 2, 14 kilometers east of Morrisburg. The western third of the island is in South Dundas while the other two-thirds reside in South Stormont.

Adams says the water is the lowest it’s been since the late 1980s and early 1990s.

She says people aren’t able to launch their boats or they have to anchor offshore. Area beaches are affected, she said.

The association is concerned about the local ecosystem and property values. A current check of the Realtor website shows at least three homes for sale, listed between $330,000 and $479,000.

“Recreational boaters are sustaining significant damage to their watercraft when previously navigable water is very low. People are going to get hurt,” Adams wrote.

“Most property owners with waterfront have paid a significant amount of money for their property and are paying significant taxes for their properties and are unable to enjoy them.”

Members of the Ault Island Community Association say they’ve shared their concerns with the International Joint Commission (IJC), MPP Jim McDonell, South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the South Nation Conservation Authority.

The association is now asking the mayor to bring it to the attention of federal and provincial powers.