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2023.03.21 Level Forecast and Spring Strategy

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.43 m (1057.8 ft), a 40th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. The last of the gradual increases to Lake of the Woods authorized outflow continue this week as follows:

March 21: from 375 to 390 m3/s

March 22: 405 m3/s

March 23: 425 m3/s

Each flow adjustment will result in the Winnipeg River near Kenora rising by roughly 3 cm ( 1 in). The Winnipeg River level at Minaki will not be affected by these adjustments.

The current level of Lac Seul is 354.86 m (1164.2 ft), a 35th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 4.3 cm (1.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 3 to 5 cm (2 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 200 m3/s with no scheduled changes.

Spring Strategy

On March 7, the LWCB held its spring Regulation Meeting, attended by specific interest groups and resource agencies, and adopted its Spring Regulation Strategy. The strategy outlines regulation targets for various inflow conditions for the period of March to the end of June. Winter conditions were also reviewed at the meeting, with measured snow depth close to normal throughout the basin and other factors resulting in a winter severity that was less than normal.

For Lake of the Woods, the strategy targets a lower end of March level to assist with property repairs following the 2022 flood. Summer level targets are also set slightly lower than typical for this same purpose. With higher snow depth in the headwaters of the larger Lake of the Woods basin, the risk of insufficient inflow for lake refill is reduced this spring.

For Lac Seul, the strategy targets mid-April levels that meet preferences for fish spawning and are slightly higher than the typical range. Inflows to Lac Seul have been below normal over the course of the winter and with the snowpack close to normal, there is no elevated risk of high spring inflows.