Trent-Severn Waterway – Water Level Management Update – March 30, 2023
The five-day weather forecast is predicting a widespread precipitation event with totals as high as 23-48 mm of mixed precipitation (snow and rain). Air temperatures are expected to reach up to 10°C in the Haliburton area and remain above zero overnight.
With the onset of the snowmelt and the significant forecasted amount of rain, coupled with warm temperatures, flows and water levels are expected to increase at all locations as the rain and melting snow work their way through the system.
The Trent-Severn Water Management Team will be active, and the changing conditions will be closely monitored. Any watershed conditions updates will be released by your Conservation Authority or local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources district.
Ice on Shorelines
The temperature variations above the freezing mark make ice weak along the shoreline, which is then easily broken and moved by windy conditions. The areas subject to the greatest impact are those facing the primary wind direction. In the event of strong wind conditions, the public should be aware of possible onshore ice movement leading to shoreline damage. The current forecast winds are moderate but may reach up to 58 km/ hr gusts. With the warmer temperatures persisting into next week, ice-out should continue.
Haliburton and Northern Areas
With the onset of the snowmelt, water levels and flows are expected to rise rapidly in the northern areas. Snow amounts remain above average for this time of the year in the most northern areas of the Gull River system. Most lakes on the Gull River and Burnt River systems remain below average but are rising due to the onset of the melt. Lake levels are monitored daily and assessed in relation to estimated runoff amounts. Most Central Lakes are rising due to the onset of snowmelt but remain below average for this time of the year due to late snowmelt timing. The flows on Gull River and Burnt River are below average but are anticipated to increase with increased runoff from the forecasted precipitation.
Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River
All Kawartha Lakes lake levels are below average. Lake Scugog levels are above full and above average due to ongoing snowmelt. Levels on the Kawarthas are expected to rise due to sustained and high inflows from the Haliburton area and the forecasted amounts of rainfall. Flows on the Otonabee River are above average for this time of year and will continue to increase.
Rice Lake and the Lower Trent
Water levels on Rice Lake and the Lower Trent are anticipated to increase due to increased inflows from local creeks, the Otonabee River, the Crowe River and the forecasted rainfall.
Lake Simcoe water levels are near average and are slowly increasing. Black River flows are below average and are expected to increase. Operations for Lake St. John, in preparation for increased flows on the Black River, are complete. Water levels and flows are expected to increase everywhere on the Severn River.