Control Board Update: November 22, 2019

Caution on water and ice this winter urged; outflow slowing

By: Lake of the Woods Control Board - www.lwcb.ca

Due to high flows expected throughout the winter, swift currents may make areas along the English and Winnipeg rivers unsafe, including some areas that normally have reliable ice cover. There will also be areas of Lake of the Woods where much higher currents than normal may affect ice stability. The Board urges caution when on or near these waters over the winter.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.24 m (1060.5 ft), which is greater than 95th percentile level for this time of year. The level of Lake of the Woods declined by 6 cm (2 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 5 cm (2 in) over the next week. 

Lake of the Woods outflow is approximately 950 m³/s. Following a Regulation Consultation call on November 14, the Board has planned a series of outflow decreases from Lake of the Woods over the remainder of November to reach the target winter outflow of 800 m³/s. This target outflow, which is a much higher than normal winter outflow, is necessary to lower the level of Lake of the Woods over the winter to create storage room for the spring melt. A high lake level at the start the spring increases the risk of high water on both the lake and the river. 

Once this series of outflow reductions is completed at the end of November, the river level will have fallen by 1.25 meters (4 feet) below Norman Dam and 90 cm (3 feet) at Minaki from the peak levels at the end of October. Locations between Norman and Minaki will see a water level drop within that range.

Outflow is scheduled to be reduced from 950 to 900 m³/s on Friday, November 22

 

The Winnipeg River level will decline approximately as follows as a result of this flow change:

Below Norman Dam: 15 cm (6 in)

Above Kimberly Rapids: 12 cm (5 in)

Winnipeg River Marina: 12 cm (5 in)

Near Locke Bay: 12 cm (5 in)

Above Myrtle Rapids: 11 cm (4.5 in)

Above the Dalles: 11 cm (4.5 in)

Above Throat Rapids: 11 cm (4.5 in)

Minaki: 10 cm (4 in)

 

Outflow is scheduled to be reduced from 900 to 850 m³/s on Monday, November 25. The Winnipeg River level decline will be similar to the change on Friday, November 22.

A further decrease, to 800 m³/s, is scheduled for Friday, November 29.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.56 m (1169.8 ft), an 85th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 1 cm (1/2 in) over the past week and is expected to change little over the next week. Lac Seul outflow 450 m³/s, with no changes scheduled.