The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is lowering its reservoir elevations within the Red River of the North basin to prepare for potential spring snowmelt.
The Corps is currently lowering the elevation of Lake Ashtabula, located near Valley City, North Dakota. The current elevation is 1,265.5 feet, and will be further drawn down to 1,262.5 feet by March 1. The reservoir may be lowered further prior to spring runoff based on snowpack conditions.
Elevation at Homme Dam, near Park River, North Dakota, is currently at 1,078 feet, and will be drawn down to 1,077 feet by the end of the week. The reservoir may be lowered further prior to spring runoff based on snowpack conditions.
White Rock Dam, part of the Lake Traverse project, near Wheaton, Minnesota, is currently at 973.9 feet, almost 2 feet above normal. Normal levels of 972 feet are expected by the end of November. Additional drawdown at the Lake Traverse project may occur prior to the spring melt based on snowpack conditions.
Red Lake Dam, near Red Lake, Minnesota, is currently at 1,175.3 feet and is currently being drawn down to target 1,173.5 feet before spring runoff.
A wet fall has caused above average stream flows and reservoir levels for this time of year throughout the basin. River and reservoir levels may change more rapidly as ice forms than they have in the past due to the higher water levels this fall.
Drawdown releases may degrade river ice downstream of the reservoirs and care should be taken for those recreating or working in these areas. Just because ice has formed, doesn't mean it is safe. Lake ice conditions will vary throughout the winter and lake users should exercise caution at all times.