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2023.10.26

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.67 m (1058.6 ft), a 20th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level changed little over the past week. With forecasted precipitation the lake level could increase 2 to 4 cm (0.5 to 1.5 in). Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 150 m3/s.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.13 m (1168.4 ft), a 25th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to remain stable or decrease 2 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s.

Outflow increases for both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul can be expected in the coming weeks as adjustments are made to target winter outflows.

2023.10.19 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.66 m (1058.6 ft), a 20th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level changed little over the past week and is expected to follow the same trend and remain stable over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.12 m (1168.4 ft), a 20th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level decreased by 1.5 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

Outflow increases for both Lake of the Woods and Lac Seul can be expected in the coming weeks as adjustments are made to target winter outflows. The Lake of the Woods Control Board will hold a Regulation Meeting next week in Kenora to adopt its Regulation Strategy for the remainder of the fall and for the winter.

2023.10.12 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.67 m (1058.6 ft), a 20th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level decreased by 1.5 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decrease by 1 to 1.5 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.14 m (1168.4 ft), a 20th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level increased by 2 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

2023.10.04 Level Forecast and Lake of the Woods Outflow Increase

Over the past few days, severe thunderstorms have been impacting parts of the Winnipeg River basin, bringing some much needed rainfall. Although some areas have received locally high rainfall amounts, the basin remains in a moderate drought and tributary flows are low. A return to drier and cooler weather is expected as of this weekend.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.68 m (1058.6 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. With inflows slowly increasing due to rain and additional outflow from Rainy Lake upstream, Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will increase to 150 m3/s tomorrow, Thursday October 4.

This flow increase will cause levels on the Winnipeg River to rise by approximately 8 cm (2 in) downstream of the Norman Dam, 3 cm (1 in) at the Dalles and will cause very little level change at Minaki.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.11 m (1168.3 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level increased by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The Basin Data page will not be updated on Monday, October 9 which is Thanksgiving in Canada.

2023.09.28 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.66 m (1058.6 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level increased by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by up to 5 cm (2 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.07 m (1168.2 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level decreased by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by up to 7 cm (3 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The Basin Data page will not be updated on Monday, October 2 due to the federal observance of the National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

2023.09.21 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.65 m (1058.5 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level decreased by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 to 2 cm (0.5 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.09 m (1168.3 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level increased by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week.

Work to replace the Ear Falls Dam safety boom will begin on September 26 and crews will be in the water downstream of the dam. Lac Seul outflow will remain at 100 m3/s for the duration of the work.

2023.09.15 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.66 m (1058.6 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level decreased by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 1 to 3 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow will decrease to 100 m3/s on Friday, September 15.

This outflow reduction will cause levels on the Winnipeg River to decrease by approximately 8 cm (2 in) downstream of the Norman Dam, 3 cm (1 in) at the Dalles and will cause very little level change at Minaki.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.07 m (1168.2 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level declined by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to remain stable over the next week.

The work to replace the Ear Falls Dam safety boom has been delayed and will now occur from September 26 to October 10. Lac Seul outflow will remain at 100 m3/s until then and for the duration of the work.

2023.09.12 Update on Drought Conditions and Lake of the Woods Outflow Reduction

As drought conditions persist across the Winnipeg River basin, the Lake of the Woods Control Board (LWCB) is planning ahead for its upcoming October Regulation Meeting and setting targets for winter flows and end-of-winter levels. The LWCB has been reviewing long term forecasts and metrological indicators. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an El Niño advisory, indicating it is very likely El Niño conditions will persist through the winter and that they may develop into a strong event.

You may have heard the term El Niño before. El Niño and La Niña describe the warming and cooling trends of climate patterns that develop over the Pacific Ocean. When ocean temperatures warm (El Niño) or cool (La Niña) they impact wind and rainfall patterns all over the globe, including North America. Generally, El Nino conditions cause warm and dry conditions in the Winnipeg River basin, and La Nina conditions cause cool and wet conditions. Studies have shown that El Niño and La Niña conditions can increase the risk of droughts and floods, respectively.

This winter, under El Niño conditions, the Winnipeg River basin can expect the predominant storm track to be further south, resulting in a milder winter with potentially lower than normal snowfall. With less snowfall over the winter, there in an increased chance for lower than normal spring flows. Thus, if El Niño conditions persist or strengthen over the winter and into next year, there is a chance drought conditions in the Winnipeg River basin may also persist.

Typical El Niño Winters, Graphic produced by NOAA, Published July 2021

In light of these developing conditions, the LWCB will temporarily decrease Lake of the Woods outflow to 100 m3/s on Friday, September 15. This outflow reduction is expected to last until mid-October.

By reducing outflow now, while inflow to the lake is at its lowest, some additional water will be stored in the lake. This extra storage will help maintain slightly higher lake levels over the course of the winter and ensure March lake levels are higher than those experienced under extreme drought conditions. To be clear, March lake levels are still expected to be lower than normal, however in case of extended drought conditions next year, having that little bit of extra storage may help provide sustained flows on the Winnipeg River.

This outflow reduction will cause levels on the Winnipeg River to decrease by approximately 8 cm (2 in) downstream of the Norman Dam, 3 cm (1 in) at the Dalles and will cause very little level change at Minaki.

If you have any concerns or questions about this outflow reduction, or drought conditions in the basin, please contact Secretariat staff by emailing us at secretariat@lwcb.ca or calling our toll free number at 1-800-661-5922.

2023.09.07 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.69 m (1058.7 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level decreased by 3 cm (1 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 2 to 3 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.09 m (1168.3 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level remained stable over the past week and is expected to change little over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

From September 11 to 22, workers will be in the water downstream of the Ear Falls Dam to replace the safety boom. Therefore, Lac Seul outflow will remain at 100 m3/s for the duration of this work.

2023.08.31 Level Forecast

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.72 m (1058.8 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level remained stable over the past week and is expected to decline by up to 2 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 150 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.09 m (1168.3 ft), a 15th percentile level for this time of year. The lake level remained stable over the past week and is expected to decline by up to 2 cm (1 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 100 m3/s with no changes scheduled.

The Basin Data page will not be updated on Monday, September 4 due to the Civic Holiday.