Reservoir Water Levels Update

Two dry months have led to lower than normal reservoir levels and river flows.

CEWF has received communications from residents asking about the current low water conditions on many lakes and river sections.

At the present time several reservoirs are below their normal levels for this time of year and connecting rivers are experiencing lower than normal flows. This is the result of a lack of precipitation over the last two months and very limited inflows to the system.

As is the normal practice TSW water management staff adjusted reservoir dams to their normal winter set log adjustments in early October with the goal of achieving minimum levels by mid October. This is intended to ensure that after the lake trout spawn levels will not decline significantly over winter which could cause the spawn to dry out or freeze.

The following table summarizes the precipitation totals for Haliburton from January to November 8. It illustrates how variable the rainfall patterns have been in 2022.  In particular we have seen a dry fall such that the watershed is dry and inflows to our lakes are very limited. Although lake levels have stabilized in response to winter log set in our dams, in several cases the level is below normal by up to 10 or 15 cms. As a result the flows to connecting rivers is also below normal.

TSW has very limited scope to adjust levels and flows because of the fisheries considerations. However they are monitoring levels and flows constantly in the hope that rainfall events will allow levels and flows to increase to normal levels. Ideally before freeze up, late fall rainfall events will allow the watershed to increase water storage resulting in more normal inflows to the system and gradual adjustment to levels and river flows.