August 2021

Issued 2021.08.26

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.51 m (1058.1 ft), a 10th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level fell by 2 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to fall by 1 to 4 cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week. 

Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 120 m3/s.   

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.52 m (1166.4 ft), a 5th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to rise by 1 to 4 cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week. 

Lac Seul authorized outflow was increased from 60 to 75 m3/s on Thursday August 26.  

Issued 2021.08.20

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.53 m (1058.2 ft), a 10th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to rise by 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week. 

Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 120 m3/s.  No changes to outflow are currently scheduled. 

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.52 m (1166.4 ft), a 5th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to rise by 4 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) over the next week. 

Lac Seul authorized outflow is 60 m3/s. No changes to outflow are currently scheduled. 

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Manitoba Hydro has provided the following weekly forecast for lake levels along the Winnipeg River in the Whiteshell. For questions related to water levels in this area, please contact Manitoba Hydro. 

* Note: average is based on limited historic data. 

The Winnipeg River receives most of its water from Ontario’s Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul, these flows are regulated by the LWCB. Manitoba Hydro models the expected rise and fall for lakes on the Winnipeg River downstream of Slave Falls Generating Station based on flows set by the LWCB, unregulated tributaries, and expected precipitation. 

Please note: 

  • Operations of Caribou Falls Generating Station in Ontario and local precipitation may cause daily fluctuations in levels. 
  • Manitoba Hydro’s generating stations on the Winnipeg River pass on all the water received from upstream – generally referred to as “run of river”. 
  • This weekly forecast will be provided during the open water season. 

Issued 2021.08.12

The past week saw some precipitation across the basin, with the greatest amounts near the English River downstream of Lac Seul.

7-day precipitation as of August 11, 2021. Data from the Regional Deterministic Precipitation Analysis (RDPA) by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Across the entire Winnipeg River watershed, however, drought conditions remain. The July 31 classification of drought by the North American Drought Monitor shows the entire watershed as either in severe or extreme drought. The latest update (August 12) from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a swath of the Rainy River watershed now in the Exceptional Drought category.

Precipitation statistics from NOAA indicate that county-wide precipitation for Lake of the Woods and Koochiching counties in Minnesota were the lowest on record for July, June-July, and May-July. Records date back to 1897.

Lake of the Woods County, MN precipitation statistics May-July 2021
Source: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/county/rankings/MN-077/pcp/202107

The LWCB’s watershed-wide statistics mirror this data.

Low flows and water levels persist across the watershed. Natural (undammed and unregulated) rivers are exceptionally low as are inflows to Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul. The Big Fork River and Little Fork River, key tributaries to Rainy River and Lake of the Woods, set new calendar day low flow records several times over the past few weeks, with record-keeping there by the USGS dating back over 100 years.

LWCB regulation of outflows from Lac Seul and Lake of the Woods and flows along the Winnipeg and English Rivers in Ontario is being carried out according the low flow scenarios in the adopted Regulation Strategy. With the ongoing drought conditions, the primary focus remains on conserving water in these lakes for future river supply.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.55 m (1058.2 ft), a 10th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level fell by 2 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1-2 cm (1 in) over the next week.

Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 130 m3/s.  A reduction in outflow, to 120 m³/s, is scheduled for Monday, August 16. The Winnipeg River immediately below the Norman Dam is expected to decline by 1-2 cm (1 in ) as a result of this flow reduction.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.50 m (1166.3 ft), a 5th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level rose by 4 cm (2 in) over the past week and is expected to rise by 1-2 cm (1 in) over the next week.

Lac Seul authorized outflow is 60 m3/s. No changes to outflow from Lac Seul are currently scheduled.

Issued 2021.08.05

With ongoing moderate to severe drought conditions across the basin, the LWCB is regulating outflows from Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul and flows along the Winnipeg River and English River according to the low inflow scenario in the adopted Regulation Strategy

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.58 m (1058.3 ft), a 10th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level fell by 2 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to change little over the next week with some rainfall in the forecast.

Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 130 m3/s.  The Winnipeg River immediately below the Norman Dam is a 10th percentile level for this time of year. Moving downstream from Kenora to Whitedog, the river level is closer to normal, with the level at Minaki within the standard operating range for the Whitedog Generating Station.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.46 m (1166.1 ft), a 5th 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 rise by 3-4 cm (1-2 in) over the next week.  

Lac Seul authorized outflow is 60 m3/s.