Lake Manitoba New Year’s update

Happy New Year Lake Manitobans. The cold weather appears to be affecting many gauges and so this report will be brief. Both Lake Manitoba gauges are offline so there is no lake level update. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis is down slightly to 832.31 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River still appears to be ice affected, so I there is no data on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are slightly lower this week to 7,381 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up this week to 801.80 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 21 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are up to 1,642 cfs at Holland and down to 918 cfs at Headingly. These estimates may be ice affected. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,397.15 feet.

River update
Time: 3:00 PM December 31, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,642 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 918 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 21 cfs
Fairford: 7,381 cfs

Lake update
Time: 3:00 PM December 31, 2017
Steep Rock: gauge offline
Westbourne: gauge offline
Mean level Lake Manitoba: no data
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.80
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.31 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1397.15 ft

Lake Manitoba Xmas update

Merry Xmas Lake Manitobans. The Westbourne gauge is offline, so I do not have a mean lake level to report. The Steep Rock gauge, however, is reading 812.20 feet, down from last week’s 812.24 feet. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis rose slightly to 832.35 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River is still ice affected, so I have no data on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are slightly lower this week t 7,522 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up this week to 801.56 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 39 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are up to 1,490 cfs at Holland and 1,642 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,397.47 feet.

River update
Time: 3:00 AM December 24, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,490 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,642 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 39 cfs
Fairford: 7,522 cfs

Lake update
Time: 3:00 AM December 24, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.20 ft
Westbourne: gauge offline
Mean level Lake Manitoba: no data
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.56
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.35 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1397.47 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Dec. 17, 2017

The Westbourne gauge on Lake Manitoba is acting up and so I do not have an update on the lake level today. But it appears from yesterday’s data that the lake is essentially unchanged from last week when it was 812.20 feet. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis fell slightly to 832.32 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River is still ice affected, so I have no data on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are lower this week at 7,711 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up this week to 801.44 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 46 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,254 cfs at Holland and 1,554 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,397.70 feet.

River update
Time: 02:30 PM December 17, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,254 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,554 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 46 cfs
Fairford: 7,716 cfs

Lake update
Time: 2:30 PM December 17, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.24 ft
Westbourne: gauge error
Mean level Lake Manitoba: gauge error
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.44
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.32 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1397.70 ft

Update from your Executive and something you can do

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” (William H. Borah). 

The ALMS executive understands the frustration that we are seeing baby steps toward a solution. We understand the anger with the previous government refusing to acknowledge the role their policy decisions played in the flood of 2011. We can be proud of the resiliency demonstrated in rebuilding communities affected by the floods of 2011 and 2014. We can also acknowledge that your executive continues to advocate on behalf of its members for a Northern channel. A process is unfolding that will give us a means of managing lake levels and protection from high water events. Between then and now we will endeavour to keep members informed through Dr. Scott Forbes’ weekly updates and sharing information from contacts with the various levels of government.

Recently the executive had a productive meeting with Ron Schuler, Minister of Infrastructure. The government was well-represented with Derek Johnson, MLA for Interlake and Deputy Minister, Bramwell Strain. As well Ryan Wierbicki and Nancy Cooke executive assistants to Ralph Eichler and Ron Schuler respectively participated.
There were two major issues that we wanted to discuss: progress of the Lake Manitoba channel and a decision on running water through Fairford over the winter.

  • We heard that the Fairford Water Control System will remain open over the winter. There is good understanding that this is the most significant way to bring the lake down to a target level of 811.5 before the melt.
  • The new Lake Manitoba channel talks are progressing well. The route has been determined, as described in an earlier post. Funds have been allocated by the province and Federal Government. Once Ottawa’s contribution flows to the Province tendering for contracts will proceed.
  • As it stands the Province has begun the required environmental impact review. It is expected that the study and consultations will last a year. A decision on the Federal government’s involvement in the review is expected soon which may set back the current completion date of the fourth quarter of 2021.

The meeting ended with Minister Schuler acknowledging that other issues will have to be addressed beyond the norther egress such as shore line erosion and clean up that exceeds the ability of individual property owners. He made it clear that ALMS will be involved in these decisions.

From time to time members ask what they can do to help. Here is something you can do.  A comprehensive Provincial Climate and Green Plan report seeks input from Manitobans. The full report can be found at Click here to read report and complete survey with a link to a survey. It is an important document worth reading. The strategic framework covers a wide range of topics that include wetlands management, water quality, shoreline protection, mitigation strategies and flood emergency preparedness planning. This is an opportunity to express your opinion.  Please take a moment to do so. 

We remain focused on working with government where possible to further our goal of a managed Lake Manitoba. This Provincial government is committed to the Lake Manitoba channel and demonstrates a willingness to discuss related issues with ALMS.

Keep the faith and raise that glass that is ‘half full’ and toast the new year.

The Executive of ALMS

Lake Manitoba update: Dec. 9, 2017

Lake Manitoba fell very slightly this week and now sits at 812.20 feet. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis fell to 832.35 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River is still ice affected, so we still have no data on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are slightly lower this week at 7,911 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is down this week to 801.30 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 42 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,254 cfs at Holland and 1,448 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,397.97 feet.

River update
Time: 1:00 PM December 9, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,254 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,448 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 42 cfs
Fairford: 7,911 cfs

Lake update
Time: 1:00 PM December 9, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.24 ft
Westbourne: 812.16 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.20 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.30
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.35 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1397.97 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Dec. 3, 2017

With winter here, conditions on the lakes and rivers are changing slowly. Lake Manitoba is sitting at 812.21 feet, down 0.03 ft from last week. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis remains high at 832.45 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River is still ice affected, so we have no data on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are slightly lower this week at 7,946 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up slightly to 801.45 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 38 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,254 cfs at Holland and 1,511 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,398.20 feet.

River update
Time: 10:30 AM December 3, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,254 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,511 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 38 cfs
Fairford: 7,946 cfs

Lake update
Time: 10:30 AM December 3, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.25 ft
Westbourne: 812.17 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.21 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.45
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.45 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1398.20 ft