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

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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

Lake Manitoba update: Nov 26, 2017

Winter has arrived and water conditions are approaching a steady state. Lake Manitoba is sitting at 812.24 feet, down slightly from last week. Upstream Lake Winnipegosis remains high at 832.55 feet. The gauge on the Waterhen River is still ice affected, so we have no read on the current inflow to Lake Manitoba. Fairford flows are slightly lower this week at 8,069 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up to 801.41 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River remains a trickle at 30 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,271 cfs at Holland and 1,409 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,398.47 feet.

There is good news to pass along this week. Representatives of ALMS met with Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler and his staff on Monday. We were informed that MI would be keeping Fairford wide open this winter (as MI did last winter) to reduce lake levels. This action last year prevented a flood on Lake Manitoba in the summer of 2017. This year we should see the lake at a more comfortable level at the end of winter (somewhere in the middle of the operating range), which creates additional freeboard for water levels that inevitably rise during the spring freshet.

River update
Time: 8:30 AM November 26, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,271 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,409 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 30 cfs
Fairford: 8,069 cfs

Lake update
Time: 08:30 AM November 26, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.28 ft
Westbourne: 812.21 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.24 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.41
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.55 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1398.47 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Nov. 19, 2017

With growing ice cover, we are starting to get a good read on lake levels. Lake Manitoba is registering 812.27 feet this morning, below the top end of its operating range of 812.5 feet. Upstream on Lake Winnipegosis the level is unchanged from last week at 832.51 feet. This level is roughly 2 feet above its average level for this time of year and continuing high water on Lake Winnipegosis keeps the level of Lake Manitoba high. Ice is currently affecting the gauges on the Waterhen River. Fairford flows remain high currently registering 8,193 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin is up this week to 801.36 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River is a trickle at 31 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,134 cfs at Holland. Flow at Headingly (1324 cfs) jumped in the last few days in a manner suggesting that the gauge is ice affected. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to drop and is now 1,398.72 feet.

River update
Time: 8:30 AM November 19, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,134 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,324 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 31 cfs
Fairford: 8,193 cfs

Lake update
Time: 08:30 AM November 19, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.31 ft
Westbourne: 812.24 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.27 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.36
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.51 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1398.72 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Nov. 12, 2017

Winter is coming and ice is forming. The gauges on the lakes are starting to stabilize and we will soon have a good read on the lake levels. Lake Manitoba is registering 812.30 feet this morning, which is below the top end of its operating range of 812.50 feet. We will need to see a gauge calibration before we can be confident of the lake level. Flows on the Fairford River (8.652 cfs) which go up and down with the level of the lake suggest that the real level of the lake is slightly higher at about 812.40 feet. Upstream on Lake Winnipegosis the level is 832.51 feet, which is roughly 2 feet above its average level for this time of year, but 1.1 feet below where it was at the same time last year when it reached a record high. Continuing high water on Lake Winnipegosis is keeping the level of Lake Manitoba high. Ice is currently affecting the gauge on the Waterhen River. The level of Lake St. Martin is 801.31 feet, still well above the top end of its operating range of 800.0 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River is a trickle at 35 cfs. The Assiniboine flows are now 1,165 cfs at Holland and 646 cfs at Headingly. The Shellmouth Reservoir continues to fall and is now 1,399.02 feet.

River update
Time: 7:30 AM November 12, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 1,165 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 646 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 35 cfs
Fairford: 8,652 cfs

Lake update
Time: 07:30 AM November 12, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.27 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.30 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.31 ft
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 832.51 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1399.02 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Nov. 5, 2017

Shifting winds and ice are playing havoc with nearly all the gauges on rivers and lakes today: until we get solid ice cover, the readings are all subject to considerable error, more than usual. The current estimate of the level of Lake Manitoba is 812.53 feet, but there are some odd wind effects that leave me with little confidence in this number. Fairford flows dropped sharply to just 5,615 cfs in the last couple of days: this too appears to be the result of strong winds that were driving water away from the river. Wind is this morning driving the south end of Lake Winnipegosis higher (833.33 feet) and that is keeping Waterhen flows high (7,381 cfs). Lake St. Martin is currently 801.64 feet. The gauge at Holland has jumped sharply in the last day, likely due to ice effects. The gauge at Headingly is showing 1,006 cfs which is probably close to the truth.

River update
Time: 9:30 AM November 5, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: ice affected
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,006 cfs
Waterhen: 7,381 cfs
Whitemud: 25 cfs
Fairford: 5,615 cfs

Lake update
Time: 09:30 AM November 5, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.24 ft
Westbourne: 812.83 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.53 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.64
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 833.33 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1399.38 ft

Lake Manitoba update: Oct. 29, 2017

Strong northwest winds are pushing water south and east on the lakes this morning. The mean level of Lake Manitoba is right at the top end of the operating range of 812.50 feet. The lake is remaining stubbornly high with high water levels upstream on Lake Winnipegosis keeping Waterhen River flows high which in turn keeps Lake Manitoba high. The long-range outlook for the lake will be conditional on what the province does with the Fairford Water Control Structure over winter. If it is left wide open, the lake should fall reducing the risk of flooding next spring. If Fairford flows are reduced to prevent frazil ice formation on the Dauphin River, as is customary, the lake will remain high and near the top end of the operating range over winter. The average rise of the lake during the spring freshet is 6” to 18” and the top end of the operating range is just 18” below the flood level of 814.0 feet. This leaves little margin for error. Damage to property along the lake rises sharply at lake levels over 813.0 feet. If the lake remains at the top end of the operating range at the end of winter, we are likely to see lake levels over 813.0 feet next spring and summer.

Fairford flows are affected by the winds and are currently 7,769 cfs. Waterhen flows are also affected by the wind and roughly the same at 7,769 cfs. The current northwest winds drive Waterhen flows up and Fairford flows down. Lake Winnipegosis remains high, though the exact level is unclear also being affected by the strong winds: the current gauge reading is 833.01 feet. That level is 2.6 feet higher than the average level for this time of year of 830.4 feet. The level of Lake St. Martin is currently 801.67 feet. Flow on the Whitemud River is down to 60 cfs. Flow on the Assiniboine is 929 cfs at Holland and 1148 cfs at Headingly.

River update
Time: 11:00 AM October 29, 2017
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 929 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 1,148 cfs
Waterhen: 7,734 cfs
Whitemud: 60 cfs
Fairford: 7,769 cfs

Lake update
Time: 11:00 AM October 29, 2017
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.66 ft
Mean level Lake Manitoba: 812.50 ft
Lake Manitoba desired operating range: 810.5 to 812.5 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.67
Lake St. Martin desired operating range: 797.0 to 800.0 ft
Lake Winnipegosis: 833.01 ft
Shellmouth Reservoir: 1399.77 ft