2024 Kootenay Lake Spring Rise Declaration


The International Kootenay Lake Board of Control, after consultation with FortisBC, has determined that “the commencement of the spring rise,” for purposes defined in the 1938 International Joint Commission Order on Kootenay Lake, occurred at 00:00 PDT on April 16, 2024. 

The maximum allowable level of Kootenay Lake will now be calculated based on the lowering formula defined in the Order until the lake returns to an elevation of 1,743.32 feet as measured at Nelson, British Columbia, on the recession limb of the snowmelt hydrograph (sometime in the summer). Reaching this threshold will mark the end of the freshet period for the Kootenay Lake basin. 

Information on the IJC 1938 Order of Approval for Kootenay Lake can be found here; the lowering formula is referenced on page 4 in item 2, part 6.

The declaration comes earlier than the past seven years, and two weeks earlier than the 2023 declaration. There have been sustained higher temperatures at higher elevations, and high temperatures are expected again in the medium-term forecast. The local snowpack has shown signs of melting and a recent increase in Kootenay River flow has been observed.

At the time of declaration, the level of Kootenay Lake at Queens Bay, British Columbia, was 1739.29 feet (530.14 meters). Kootenay Lake inflow was 22,800 cubic feet per second and is forecast to continue increasing for the next month. For reference, Kootenay Lake at Queens Bay reached its minimum daily average elevation of 1,739.22 feet (530.11 meters) for the year on April 13-14, 2024 (Figure 1).

revised figure 1 2024 spring rise kootenay lake

Figure 1: 2024 Kootenay Lake levels at Queens Bay (green) and Nelson (orange), lake outflow control by Corra Linn (pink) or Grohman Narrows (purple), and the International Joint Commission 1938 Order of Approval Rule Curve for 2022 (red).

Please monitor the board website for further hydrologic updates. 

Information on hydrological conditions preceding the freshet is available in an April 15, 2024, spring news release.  A follow-up news release detailing freshet conditions will be posted in coming months once the freshet peak has been recorded. Real-time Kootenay Lake levels can be found at the FortisBC website.  

Quick Facts

  • The International Kootenay Lake Board of Control oversees the operation of Corra Linn Dam to manage water levels in Kootenay Lake; Fortis BC is the dam’s owner/operator.
  • This year’s board and public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, 2024. The public meeting will be held at 6:30-8 p.m. (PDT) in Bonners Ferry, Idaho with a virtual option. Virtual registration can be found here.  
  • Last year’s board and public meetings were held on September 19, 2023. The public meeting was well-attended, with more than 30 people joining in-person and online. A recording of the public meeting is available on Vimeo, while meeting minutes can be found on the board website.
  • The web-based Kootenay Lake Visualization tool is available for the public to investigate Kootenay Lake conditions in dry, normal and wet years. The link is here.
  • To contact the board by email, click “Contact” under “Contact Us” at top right of the board website.
  • Stay in touch and subscribe to receive email news updates from the Kootenay board.


Sonja Michelsen, U.S. Secretary

Martin Suchy, Canadian Secretary

International Kootenay Lake Board of Control