The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.68 m (1058.7 ft), a 25th 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 few days until the next outflow change, when levels will rise up to 2 cm (1 in) by end of next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 200 m3/s and will increase to 250 m3/s on Tuesday, November 7.
This flow increase will cause levels on the Winnipeg River to rise by approximately 8 cm (2 in) downstream of the Norman Dam, 2 cm (1 in) at the Dalles and will cause very little level change at Minaki.
The current level of Lac Seul is 356.10 m (1168.3 ft), a 25th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to decrease by approximately 2 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 150 m3/s and will increase to 200 m3/s on Tuesday, November 7.
Winter Regulation Strategy
On October 24, the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB) held its fall Regulation Meeting, attended by specific interest groups and resource agencies, and adopted its Winter Regulation Strategy. The strategy outlines regulation targets for various inflow conditions for the period of November 2023 to March 2024. The Secretariat provided a review of current drought conditions and how outflows and levels on the major lakes had declined over the summer and early fall. Climate forecasts indicated El Nino conditions may strengthen and drought conditions could persist into the spring. At the meeting, these outlooks were reviewed and considered when setting spring lake level targets.
With the expected limited winter inflow to Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul, the strategy focuses on providing minimum flows along the English and Winnipeg Rives for hydropower production and plant heating, as well as monitoring the drawdown of both lakes over the winter.
For Lake of the Woods, the strategy targets a normal spring level target, given the risk of drought conditions in the spring. For Lac Seul, the strategy recommends a lower than normal spring level target while ensuring the supply of core winter flow requirements on the English and Winnipeg Rivers.