Current Lake Levels and what they might mean

From LOWDSA Lake of the Woods Control Board Representative Jack McKenzie: 

I just completed a conference call meeting with the Lake of the Woods Water Control Board and thought you might like to know some of the numbers discussed.

The level of the lake at freeze-up, namely approximately November 15th, stood at 1060.7 feet elevation.

The preferred level for freeze up is 1059.0 feet, or lower, so you can see that the ice formed about a foot and one half above "normal".

Since then, the outflow had been held at about 700 cubic meters per second, which reduces the level at Minaki to about winter normal..

The lake level, today, stands at 1059.2 feet which is down about 18 inches since the ice formed.

There is concern about the spring run off, due to WET conditions last fall, so they have targeted trying to get the lake down to a level of 1057.5 feet come April 1st.

The outflow rate will be cut GRADUALLY from the current 700 cms to about 600 cms over that time.

That's a projected drop of about three feet since the ice formed in mid November.

The other interesting item that was discussed is the ice thickness. Reports are that it is about half of what many consider "normal", due, most agree, is due top the high outflow = current under the ice.

 

Official LOW Control Board Current Standings:

Warning Continues: Potentially dangerous river conditions exist along the Winnipeg River and English River due to high winter flows.

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 322.82 m (1059.1 ft), a 65th percentile level for this time of year. The level of Lake of the Woods declined by 5 cm (2 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 6 cm (2 in) over the next week.

Lake of the Woods outflow is approximately 712 m³/s. A reduction in outflow, to 675 m³/s, is scheduled for Friday, January 17th. The Winnipeg River level immediately Norman Dam will decline by approximately 11 cm (4 in) as a result of this flow change. Between Norman and Minaki, the level will decline by approximately 7-8 cm (3 in), while the level at Minaki should change very little.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.1 m (1168.7 ft), an 80th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 7 cm (3 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 7-8 cm (3 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 450 m³/s, with no changes scheduled.