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Winnipeg River Flow Increases – Apr 30 Update

Posted on: April 30, 2022  |  

The following message is from Lake of the Woods Secretariat (current reports are at

Flows across the region have been exceptionally high but declining in recent days. They are expected to rise again with widespread rainfall around Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River this weekend.

The LWCB has directed the next outflow increase for Lake of the Woods for Sunday, May 1, with an authorized outflow of 1025 m³/s.

The Secretariat has been receiving inquiries from concerned residents about the rate of rise of Lake of the Woods, given that many docks remain frozen in. This is also true, however, in areas along the Winnipeg River that have not opened up. Lake of the Woods has risen by 40 cm (16 in) in the past 2 weeks, while the level of the Winnipeg River near Kenora has risen 110 cm (43 in). Lake of the Woods is projected to rise by 18 cm (7 in) or more over the next week, while the outflow increase tomorrow will raise the level of the Winnipeg River by another 30 cm (12 in).

The maximum outflow capacity from Lake of the Woods is a function of the lake level. The higher the lake level, the more pressure the lake provides to push water through the outlet in Kenora and past Norman Dam. The current lake level is not high, and the maximum outflow is approximately 1100 m³/s, less than half the inflow. The lake will continue to rise so long as the inflow is greater than the outflow. Tomorrow’s outflow increase, the 4th in a week, will bring the outflow to around 92% of maximum for the current lake level. Some messages received have requested outflow to be increased to exceed the inflow (estimated at 2500 m³/s today) or to specific rates (e.g. 1600 m³/s). This is simply not physically possible. As the lake rises, so will the maximum outflow capacity and the actual rate of outflow.

The lake is now 53 cm below the top of the operating range set in the Lake of the Woods Convention between Canada and the United States.

The LWCB will again review the latest conditions and forecasts on Monday and evaluate the next steps.


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