Posted on: July 8, 2019 | Water Levels
As you are no doubt aware, this spring and early summer have been remarkably dry; in fact, rainfall has been at or below average (mostly below) in the Lake of the Woods and Winnipeg River areas since the middle of April. Inflow to Lake of the Woods has been declining steadily and we have been reducing outflow from the lake steadily too. Flow from the lake into the Winnipeg River will continue to decrease until inflow and outflow on Lake of the Woods are roughly equal. The dam operators in Kenora have been directed to decrease outflow a small amount each day until that equilibrium is reached, which we expect will take 10 to 14 days. The gradual changes are an attempt to mimic natural conditions and to assist with spawning conditions on the river, which may be continuing a bit longer this year due to the cool start to spring.
We expect the river level to decline by 1 to 2cm (1/2 to 1 inch) each day that the outflow is reduced. The farther you are downstream of Kenora, the longer it will take for the change to reach your location, and it will probably be several flow changes before you are able to notice a real difference in the river level. The river level at Minaki should not be affected by any of these flow reductions. We will send an update once this directive has been lifted and steady outflow from the dam has been established.