International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board Water Levels Committee Announces Initial Spring Regulation Plan for Rainy and Namakan Lakes


International Falls (MN) / Fort Frances (Ontario) 


The International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board (IRLWWB)’s Water Levels Committee (WLC) established an initial spring regulation plan for Rainy and Namakan Lakes on March 10, 2024. This plan is issued in accordance with a Temporary Supplementary Order issued by the International Joint Commission (IJC) which combines the previous high flood risk and standard rule curves for Rainy Lake. 


In accordance with the WLC spring regulation plan, the March 24th target water level for Rainy Lake will be the top quarter of the rule curve (75-100% band) and for Namakan Lake between lake elevation 339.6 meters and the top of the rule curve (approximately the top third of the rule curve). The WLC will monitor conditions and precipitation forecasts over the coming weeks and provide further direction for lake level regulation prior to March 24, as needed.


The March 24th targets were established based on an evaluation of current conditions and concerns over drought, including the following factors: 

  • Conditions are drier than normal.
  • Below-normal snow water equivalent in the entire basin.
  • Seasonal forecasts (April through June) indicate warmer than normal temperatures and equal chances of above or below normal precipitation.
  • Concerns over Rainy River fish spawning and potential low water conditions across the basin. 

A virtual public information session was held on February 29, 2024 and a public meeting was held in International Falls, MN on March 5, 2024. Both provided a summary of basin conditions and seasonal forecast information and gave residents in the basin the opportunity to share observations and concerns. 


For up-to-date information on water levels decisions and other updates from the IRLWWB, you can sign up for notifications right to your inbox with the Board’s new notification system. To sign-up visit the website address:

Associated Links 


Elizabeth Jamieson (Engineering Advisor, Canada)

Abby Moore (Engineering Advisor, United States)

International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board