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Secretariat

2024.06.19 Outflow Increases and Level Forecasts

Several lines of severe thunderstorms cross the Winnipeg River basin Tuesday June 18th. Rainfall totals reached up to 100 mm in some locations over the past 24 hours. Most of the basin received at least 30 mm of rain with areas around Rainy Lake and Namakan Lake seeing up to 75 mm. This precipitation has caused tributary flows to begin rising and inflows to the major lakes are expected to increase as a result of these storms.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.18 m (1060.3 ft) , a 60th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 6 cm (2.5 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. The current outflow of Lake of the Woods is 900 m3/s. With a few dry days in the forecast followed by a return of moderate precipitation, inflows are expected to remain high. An outflow increase to 1000 m3/s is scheduled for Thursday June 20th with another outflow increase to 1100 m3/s tentatively scheduled for Monday June 24th.

Each of these flow changes will cause a levels along the Winnipeg River to increase by approximately 30 cm, (12 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam, by 22 cm (8.5 in) above the Dalles, and by 20 cm (8 in) at Minaki.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.01 m (1168.01 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 14 cm (5.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 11 to 13 cm (4 to 5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no changes currently scheduled.

2024.06.17 Outflow Increases and Summer Regulation Strategy

On June 11th, the LWCB visited Lac Seul First Nation, where they met with Chief Clifford Bull and Councillors in Frenchman’s Head. Led by the Chief and other members of the First Nation, the LWCB were treated to an amazing boat tour of Lac Seul, and the opportunity to see many of the historical and significant areas of the First Nation. The boat tour ended on the shores of Manitou Miniss, one of Lac Seul First Nation’s sacred sites, where Mona Gordon, member of Grand Council Treaty #3 Women’s Council, honoured the LWCB by inviting them to participate in the Spring Offering for the Northern Direction.

On June 12th, the LWCB also visited the Wabigoon River hydrometric gauge with members of the Water Survey of Canada Winnipeg Operations Team, who provided a demonstration of a discharge measurement using a remote operated boat. That afternoon, the LWCB held its Regulation Meeting in Dryden, attended by specific interest groups and resource agencies, and adopted its Regulation Strategy for the next few months.

With less rain over the weekend we have seen inflows to Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul stabilize and begin to decline. At this time inflows are still in the high normal range for this time of year. There is still significant precipitation in the forecast this week and as such additional outflow increases from Lake of the Woods will be required.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.15 m (1060.2 ft) , a 60th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 7 cm (3 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 3 to 11 cm (1 to 4 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. The current outflow of Lake of the Woods is 800 m3/s. With the current precipitation forecast an outflow increase to 850 m3/s is planned for Tuesday June 18th and an additional increase to 900 m3/s is tentatively scheduled for Thursday June 20th.

Each of these flow changes will cause a levels along the Winnipeg River to increase by approximately 15 cm, (6 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam, by 10 cm (4 in) above the Dalles, and by 10 cm (4 in) at Minaki.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.97 m (1167.9 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 15 cm (6 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no changes currently scheduled.

2024.06.14 Conditions Update and Level Forecast

Over the past week, the Winnipeg River basin received some pockets of moderate rainfall which contributed to lake inflows and delayed their decline. As a result, inflows to Lac Seul and Lake of the Woods remain in the high normal range for this time of year. Forecasts are indicating a drier period through the weekend, followed by a large rainfall system expected to move through the basin early next week. Rainfall amounts associated with this system are currently uncertain, however outflow increases at Lake of the Woods next week are possible if the precipitation in the forecast materializes.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.12 m (1060.1 ft) , a 60th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 6 cm (2.5 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 3 to 8 cm (1 to 3 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. The current outflow of Lake of the Woods is 800 m3/s. With the current precipitation forecast an outflow increase to 850 m3/s is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday June 18th.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.91 m (1167.68 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 17 cm (7 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 8 to 14 cm (3 to 5.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no additional outflow increases currently planned.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.06.06 Conditions Update and Level Forecast

Over the past week the Winnipeg River basin received above normal rainfall and this has caused inflows to both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul to remain stable and in the high-normal range for this time of year. Lake of the Woods inflow is around 1,700 m3/s (80th percentile) and Lac Seul inflow is around 1,100 m3/s (70th percentile). These inflows have resulted in the continued rise of lake levels, but lake levels and outflows are still within the normal range on both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul. At Lac Seul, the lake continues to refill with outflows remaining in the normal range.

At Lake of the Woods the current lake level of 323.06 m (1059.91 ft) is 6 cm ( 2 in) above the normal summer level of 323.0 m (1059.7 ft) and 1.06 m (3.47 ft) below the peak level in 2022 of 324.12 m (1063.39 ft). Lake of the Woods outflow is currently 800 m3/s. Lake levels and outflows are being managed in accordance with the regulation strategy adopted in March, taking all interests into consideration both upstream on the lake and downstream on the Winnipeg River. In particular, this consideration from the high inflow scenario applies at this time:

“Avoid outflow above 800 to 900 m³/s if the lake level (or projected level) will remain
below 323.20 m (1060.4 ft) in June. A flow of 900 m³/s on the Winnipeg River would
cause the level below the Norman Dam to rise 1.4 m (4.6 ft) above normal, whereas a
lake level of 323.2 m (1060.4 ft) is only 15 cm (6 in) above median at the end of June.”

Weather forecasts and inflow predictions indicate that the level of Lake of the Woods is not expected to increase above 323.2 m (1060.4 ft) within the next 10 days. Therefore, no additional outflow increases are scheduled at this time. The Secretariat will continue to monitor conditions in the event that inflows remain higher than forecasted.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.06 m (1059.91 ft) , a 60th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 13 cm (5 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 6 to 9 cm (2 to 3.5 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. The current outflow of Lake of the Woods is 800 m3/s. With inflows forecasted to decline with dry weather, no outflow changes are currently planned.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.72 m (1167.1 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 17 cm (7 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 12 to 15 cm (5 to 6 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no additional outflow increases currently planned.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.05.31 Conditions Update and Lake of the Woods Outflow Increases

Although the basin received less precipitation over the last week, inflow to Lake of the Woods remains high, between 1,400 and 1,600 m3/s, at 85th percentile for this time of year. As a result, the lake level has increased sharply, coming up 17 cm (7 in) over the last week. The current lake level of 322.95 m (1059.55 ft) is 5 cm ( 2 in) below the normal summer level of 323.0 m (1059.7 ft) and 117 cm (46 in) below the peak level in 2022 of 324.12 m (1063.39 ft).

The basins upstream of Lake of the Woods are slow to drain and outflow from Rainy Lake has been increased over the last few days. There is a significant rainfall event forecasted for June 3rd which could deliver up to 40 mm (1.5 in) of rainfall across a large portion of the Winnipeg River basin and directly over parts of Lake of the Woods. This rainfall, in addition to the high outflows from Rainy Lake, will sustain high inflows to Lake of the Woods over the next week. To manage lake level rise and avoid having the lake fill up too quickly, additional outflow increases are required as outlined below.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.95 m (1059.55 ft), a 55th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 17 cm (7 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 10 to 18 cm (4 to 7 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will increase to:

  • 650 m3/s today, Friday May 31st
  • 750 m3/s on Monday June 3rd
  • 800 m3/s on Wednesday June 5th.

These flow changes will cause significant level increases downstream on the Winnipeg River. By Thursday June 6th, water levels will have increased by approximately 58 cm (23 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 38 cm (15 in) above the Dalles. Because Lake of the Woods outflow will surpass 700 m3/s, the water level at Minaki will start to rise and will increase by 18 cm (7 in) over the next week.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.58 m (1166.6 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 28 cm (11 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 14 to 20 cm (5.5 to 8 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 300 m3/s with no additional outflow increases currently planned.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.05.29 Conditions Update and Levels Forecast

Over the weekend, moderate precipitation amounts that have kept inflows rising across the basin. Most areas saw at least 15 mm since Friday with some areas seeing closer to 30 mm. As the level of Lake of the Woods continues to increase, additional outflow increases are planned to manage the rate of climb.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.91 m (1059.41 ft), a 55th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 18 cm (7 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 9 to 16 cm (3.5 to 6 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 550 m3/s and will increase to 600 m3/s today Wednesday May 29th and to 650 m3/s Friday May 31st. There is a tentative outflow increase planned to 700 m3/s Monday June 3rd.

Each of these flow changes will cause a levels along the Winnipeg River to increase by approximately 14 cm, (5.5 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 8.5 cm (3 in) above the Dalles. The level at Minaki will not be affected by these flow changes, but could increase due to local inflow.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.51 m (1166.4 ft), a 45th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 29 cm (11 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 20 to 27 cm (8 to 10.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 240 m3/s with a planned increase to 300 m3/s today, Wednesday May 27th.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.05.23 Conditions Update and Levels Forecast

Although the basin received high rainfall over the last few days, so far inflows have been manageable and lake level are rising within their normal ranges.  Most of the basin received 50 to 60 mm on Tuesday evening and Wednesday.  This resulted in very rapidly increasing flows in the tributaries and a sudden jump in lake levels (8 cm at Lac Seul and 5 cm at Lake of the Woods).  Forecasts are predicting a chance for some moderate rainfall this Friday and Saturday, followed by much drier conditions next week.  This means high tributary flows and lake inflows will be temporary.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.74 m (1058.86 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 7 cm (3 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 5 to 12 cm (2 to 5 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts and upstream flow changes. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 400 m3/s with planned outflow increases to 480 m3/s tomorrow May 24th and 550 m3/s Monday May 27th. More outflow increases may be required depending on the amount of the rainfall over the next week.  

These flow changes will cause a large and rapid increase in levels along the Winnipeg River. By Tuesday, water levels will have increased by approximately 35 cm, (14 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 20 cm (8 in) above the Dalles. The level at Minaki will not be affected by these flow changes, but could increase due to local inflow.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.25 m (1165.5 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 14 cm (5.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 17 to 22 cm (6.5 to 8.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 200 m3/s with a planned increase to 240 m3/s Friday May 24th.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.05.21 High Rainfall Event

Conditions in the Winnipeg River basin are beginning to change quickly. The basin has received larger amounts of precipitation over the past week and over the weekend. Most of the basin received a 7-day total of 25 mm with some areas totaling up to 40 mm.

A low pressure system is forecast to impact the Winnipeg River basin starting this evening, bringing heavy rainfall over the next couple of days. Environment Canada has issued a Rainfall Warning covering the entire basin. This system could bring up to 80 mm (3 in) of rainfall tonight through tomorrow. Forecasts indicate weekly totals could exceed 150 mm (6 in).

This large amount of rainfall will cause flows in tributaries and inflows to the major lakes to rise quickly. Although outflow increases are being made in advance of the upcoming precipitation at Namakan Lake, Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods, outflows are lower than the expected inflows. Therefore, lake levels will rise and additional, larger outflow increases will be required at Lake of the Woods and may be required at Lac Seul. These outflow increase will be made in consideration of downstream impacts, but levels along the English and Winnipeg Rivers are expected to rise considerably over the next week. 

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.72 m (1058.79 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 6 cm (2.5 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 15 to 35 cm (6 to 14 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 200 m3/s with planned outflow increases to 225 m3/s today May 21st, 300 m3/s Wednesday May 22nd, and 400 m3/s Thursday May 23rd. More outflow increases may be required depending on the severity of the rainfall over the next couple of days.  

Flow changes this week will cause a large and rapid increase in levels along the Winnipeg River. By Friday, water levels will have increased by approximately 40 cm, (16 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 16 cm (6 in) above the Dalles. The level at Minaki will not be affected by these flow changes, but could increase due to local inflow.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.2 m (1165.4 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 13 cm (5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 30 to 46 cm (12 to 18 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with a planned increase to 200 m3/s Wednesday May 22nd.

If you have any questions, comments or observations, please contact the Secretariat at secretariat@lwcb.ca or by calling 1-800-661-5922. This Noticeboard will be updated regularly as conditions develop.

For more information on Namakan and Rainy Lakes, visit the Water Level Notices page of the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

2024.05.16 Conditions Update and Levels Forecast

Spring conditions in the Winnipeg River basin have so far been favourable, with an early freshet followed by moderate amounts of rainfall. Water levels on both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul have been rising steadily within the normal range. Some Regulation Strategy targets that have been, or are on track to be achieved include the May 15th preferred water level of 355.1 m on Lac Seul for fisheries, and the end-of-May water level target of 322.7 m (1058.7 ft) for Lake of the Woods under moderate inflow conditions. Flows on the English and Winnipeg Rivers are also slowly rising with steady precipitation and small outflow increases from Lake of the Woods.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.67 m (1058.61 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 5 cm (2 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week, depending on precipitation amounts. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 200 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.10 m (1165.0 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 10 cm (4 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 8 to 12 cm (3 to 5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.


The LWCB Basin Data page will not be updated on Monday, May 20th (Victoria Day in Canada). Daily data updates and publication will resume on Tuesday, May 21st.

2024.05.09 Levels Forecast and Lake of the Woods Outflow Increases

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.62 m (1058.45 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 10 cm (3 in) over the last week and is expected to increase by 1 to 4 cm (1 to 2 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow was increased to 175 m3/s today, May 9th, and is scheduled to increase to 200 m3/s on Monday, May 13th.

Each of these flow changes will cause the level of the Winnipeg River to increase by approximately 4 cm (2 in) directly downstream of the Norman Dam and by 1 cm (0.5 in) above the Dalles. The level at Minaki will not be affected by these flow changes.

The current level of Lac Seul is 355.00 m (1164.70 ft), a 40th percentile level, within the normal range for this time of year. The lake level increased by 14 cm (5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.