Lake of the Woods Control Board Update – November 29, 2019

Kenora Hospital on Lake of the Woods
Kenora Hospital on Lake of the Woods

KENORA – Take extra caution with ice now and all winter.

Lake of the Woods Control Board update as of November 29, 2019:

Due to high flows expected throughout the winter, swift currents may make areas along the English and Winnipeg rivers unsafe, including some areas that normally have reliable ice cover. There will also be areas of Lake of the Woods where much higher currents than normal may affect ice stability. The Board urges caution when on or near these waters over the winter.

The current level of Lake of the Woods is 323.19 m (1060.3 ft), which is greater than the 95th percentile level for this time of year. The level of Lake of the Woods declined by 4 cm (1.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 5 to 6 cm (2 in) over the next week.

Lake of the Woods outflow is approximately 800 m³/s following a 50 m³/s reduction on Friday November, 28. This is the target outflow for the early winter. It is higher than normal winter flows, and is necessary to lower the level of Lake of the Woods over the winter to create storage room for the spring melt. A high lake level at the start the spring increases the risk of high water on both the lake and the river.

The Winnipeg River level is expected to decline as follows as a result of Friday?s flow adjustment:

Below Norman Dam: 22 cm (9 in)

Above Kimberly Rapids: 18 cm (7 in)

Winnipeg River Marina: 17 cm (7 in)

Near Locke Bay: 17 cm (7 in)

Above Myrtle Rapids: 16 cm (6.5 in)

Above the Dalles: 16 cm (6.5 in)

Above Throat Rapids: 16 cm (6.5 in)

Minaki: 15 cm (6 in)

On Monday, December 2, planned maintenance at the Kenora Generating Station and the Norman Generating Station will require shutting down all turbines, resulting in a temporary flow reduction from both stations. The LWCB has directed the dam operator to pass additional flow through the sluices at Norman Dam to offset the reduced flow through the turbines. However, a temporary drop in river levels below the dams is still expected. Starting at 9 am, the level immediately below Norman Dam is expected to decline by approximately 20-30 cm (8-12 in) and to return to the morning’s level later in the day.

Manitoba Hydro has provided the following level forecast for the Winnipeg River through the Whiteshell over the next week:

Nutimik Lake: decline by 22 cm (0.7 ft)

Dorothy Lake: decline by 17 cm (0.6 ft)

Margaet/Eleanor Lake: decline by 14 cm (0.5 ft)

Sylvia Lake: decline by 8 cm (0.3 ft)

The current level of Lac Seul is 356.56 m (1169.8 ft), an 85th percentile level for this time of year. The average lake level was unchanged from a week ago and is expected to change little over the next week. Lac Seul outflow is 450 m³/s, with no changes scheduled.