IKLBC Spring 2024 News Release


Following the release of the BC River Forecast Centre’s April 1 Snow and Water Supply bulletin, the International Kootenay Lake Board of Control (IKLBC) is able to provide an update on the late winter and early spring hydrological conditions in the Kootenay Lake watershed. Through the first three months of the 2024 calendar year, FortisBC remains in compliance with the IJC Order of Approval for Kootenay Lake and is prepared for the beginning of the spring freshet. 

The snowpack in the Kootenay Basin is below average this year. The BC River Forecast Center’s  reported the West and East Kootenay Snow Basin Indices to be 72% and 76% of the 30 year period of record normal, respectively. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is reporting similar percentages across the region, at 82% of the 30 year period of record normal in the Kootenai Basin. Maps produced by the NRCS are available here.

As of April 10, the Kootenay Lake elevation, measured at Queens Bay, is 1,739.32 feet (530.14 meters). It is near 60th percentile of the 1976-2023 period of record for today’s date (Figure 1).

figure 1 kootenay lake levels queens bay nelson spring 2024

Figure 1: 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 2024 (red). Credit: FortisBC (data) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (plot), 2024

Corra Linn Dam will be operated to hold the lake level at Queens Bay below 1739.32 feet (530.14 meters) until the commencement of spring rise has been declared by the Board, which corresponds with the beginning of the spring freshet. During the spring freshet, the maximum allowable level of Kootenay Lake is calculated based on the lowering formula defined in the Order until the lake returns to an elevation of 1743.32 feet as measured at Nelson, British Columbia. Reaching 1743.32 feet at Nelson will mark the end of the freshet period for the Kootenay Lake basin. 

In the spring when inflow is increasing and Kootenay Lake is rising, Grohman Narrows (not Corra Linn Dam) limits the maximum outflow from Kootenay Lake. Please investigate the web Visualization Tool to see how Corra Linn and the Grohman Narrows interact over the year

A follow up new release will be published once the Board declares the commencement of spring rise.

Quick Facts

  • The International Kootenay Lake Board of Control oversees the operation of Corra Linn Dam to manage water levels in Kootenay Lake.
  • This year’s board and public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday May 22, 2024. The public meeting will be held at 6:30-8pm 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 members of the public joining in-person and online. A recording of the public meeting is featured on the board website at ijc.org/en/klbc.  
  • 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 the bottom of the webpage here.
  • 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