2020 Winter Newsletter
A Message From the Executive Director

As we near the end of a year memorable for all the wrong reasons, our team here at the Hudson River – Black River Regulating District caps a year which again illustrated why our mission is so essential.
From providing critically-important flow augmentation through discharges from reservoirs in the Black River and Hudson River areas during an abnormally dry season, to storing water in the interest of flood protection as the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaias impacted many areas of upstate New York, the amazing staff of the Regulating District handled both ends of the water regulation spectrum with their characteristic skill and dedication. In a year when “flattening the curve” became part of the lexicon, our team once again “flattened the curve” in the Black River and Hudson River by decreasing downstream flows in periods of heavy runoff and high water, and increasing downstream flows during periods of naturally low flow – which in 2020 was the rule more than the exception.
New Year BRINGS CHANGES for GSL Permit Holders
Online Permit Transactions, New Fees Debut in 2021
Changes are in store for Great Sacandaga Lake permit holders in 2021 – designed to improve customer service for permittees and to better align permit system costs with revenue.
The most significant improvement to the permit system is the long-awaited online capability which will make it easier for permittees to process annual renewals or conduct other routine permit transactions with the Regulating District. Annual notifications to existing permittees for renewals will be mailed early in 2021. Letters will include information on how to log on to the new system and set up an account. Each permittee will receive a unique “special code” on the permit renewal form which will be used to set up an account.
As shown by the image here, this code appears in the upper, right-hand corner of the renewal form. Permittees who take advantage of this new system will not need to return the paper form.

Sample of Pre-Printed Form Permit Holders Will Receive:
A unique, special code for each permittee to be used for online account/payment will be pre-printed on the top of the form.
Deadline for Payment is March 15th.
Thank you!

Bird's Eye View of Great Sacandaga Lake and Conklingville Dam on a beautiful day this Fall.

photo credit: Tim Tracy

HRBRRD Continues to Provide Important Public Health, Safety Benefits Throughout Year
 Most people are aware that the HRBRRD provides significant flood protection annually in the spring, but did you know that the important flood protection benefits provided by our operations can come into play any time of the year? Well it's absolutely the case - as illustrated just over the last few days.
A combination of heavy rain and snow melt just before Christmas left streams and mainstream rivers swollen throughout the region. In the Hudson River area, storage provided through operation of the Great Sacandaga Lake prevented the Hudson River from reaching flood stage in Fort Edward (Washington County) and from reaching moderate flood stage in downstream communities like Lansingburgh (Rensselaer County), Waterford (Saratoga County), Cohoes & Green Island (Albany County).
In Fort Edward, the Hudson River reached action stage, peaking at 25.12 feet (just below minor flood stage) - as opposed to a likely peak of 33 feet, more than 8 feet higher, which would have been 4 feet above major flood stage and likely would have resulted in considerable damage, without the benefits of the flood protection provided by HRBRRD.
In the downstream communities of Lansingburgh, Waterford, Cohoes & Green Island, the river reached minor flood stage, peaking at 22.8 feet (minor flood stage) - as opposed to a likely peak elevation of 24.2 feet (moderate flood stage), had the Great Sacandaga Lake not provided the downstream flood protection benefits for which it was constructed 90 years ago. An additional approximate foot and a half of inundation in these communities would have proved challenging for residents and emergency responders alike, especially during the Christmas holiday.
Whether its flood protection - or the flow augmentation benefits which proved so vital throughout the abnormally dry 2020 season - the HRBRRD continues to provide important public health and safety, ecological, recreational and economic benefits throughout the year!
Marking History Along The GSL
The Regulating District was proud to host an event, along with the Great Sacandaga Lake Advisory Council (GSLAC) and other municipal partners at the Sacandaga Field Office on October 1 unveiling 15 new historic markers. The markers note significant locations around GSL and highlight the history of the reservoir. Please see some of the photos and news coverage here.
Important Reminder
With the fluctuation of temperatures that are typical this time of year, the Hudson River – Black River Regulating District reminds all recreational users of the Great Sacandaga Lake, Indian Lake, Stillwater, Sixth Lake and Old Forge river regulating reservoirs to use caution when recreating near a reservoir or when on the ice.
The elevation of each reservoir can change dramatically during the winter, creating variations in ice thickness and strength. As reservoir water levels fluctuate, ice pressure ridges, voids, and pockets may form on the ice surface.
It’s a good time for all of us to be aware of ice hazards, including thickness of the ice. Please consider downloading the SEND IT HDRIII app developed by the Henry D. Ross III Memorial Fund. The safety app allows users to mark locations of potential hazards on the GSL.
Annual Organizational Meeting: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Please note that walk-in public access to the meeting remains limited due to continued COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. Remote access to these meetings is available. Information and links are posted on our website.
We are here for you!
Reach us:
In Albany: HRAO@hrbrrd.ny.gov
In Mayfield: SACFO@hrbrrd.ny.gov
In Watertown: BRAO@hrbrrd.ny.gov

Please note, minutes and video recordings of our Board and Committee meetings are available on our website.
Hudson River Black River Regulating District