LWCB Logo Lake of the Woods Control Board Notice Board

Issued:  2018.12.05

Normally issued weekly on Thursdays but may be issued more frequently or on other days depending on conditions.


Following an exceptionally wet fall, seasonal flows across the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River watershed turned from very low to very high. Since early October, the LWCB directed a series of outflow increases from Lake of the Woods to keep pace with rising flows and to limit the rise of Lake of the Woods ahead of freeze-up. This resulted in a steady, significant rise in the level of the Winnipeg River below Norman Dam and to a lesser degree at Minaki.

The LWCB recognizes the difficulty this poses for properties along the river at this time of year, as ice is forming and seasonal residents have closed up for the winter. The recent outflow increases were necessary, however, to prevent the lake level from rising further and to create storage capacity over the winter. The development of high flows across the watershed late in the fall greatly reduces the storage capacity in the watershed to absorb snowmelt and rainfall next spring. This makes storage room within Lake of the Woods key to reducing the risk of high water levels on both lake and river in the spring.

From late November through December, the LWCB plans to direct reductions in outflow from Lake of the Woods in stages to set a moderately high winter outflow. For details on individual flow adjustments and the resulting change in river level, please consult this Notice Board each week.

The LWCB maintains an email distribution list to notify people along the Winnipeg River of unusual flow adjustments from Lake of the Woods. This list has been used throughout this fall to keep residents and property owners abreast of the latest outflow changes. If you would like to be added to this list, please email secretariat@lwcb.ca .


The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.83 m (1059.2 ft), a 45th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 2 to 5cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week.

Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will be reduced from 600 to 550 m³/s on Thursday, December 6. The Winnipeg River level below Norman Dam will decline by approximately 16 cm (6 in) in response. The level above the Dalles is expected to decline by approximately 9 cm (4 in). The level at Minaki should not be affected by this flow change. Please note it can take several days for the flow and level to adjust at locations farther downstream of the Norman Dam.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.32 m (1169.0 ft), a 60th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 2 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to rise by 1 to 2 cm (1 in) over the next week.

Lac Seul authorized outflow will increase from 250 to 300 m³/s on Thursday December 6.

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