Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs winter drawdown continues
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, continues to lower water elevations within its six Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs in anticipation of spring snow melt.
The Corps completed the winter drawdown of Gull Lake located near Brainerd; Cross Lake near Crosslake; and Big Sandy Lake near McGregor.
Gull Lake, is currently at an elevation of 1,193.13 feet, and outflow is at 224 cubic feet per second.
Cross Lake is currently at 1,227.37 feet and outflow is at 276 cubic feet per second.
Big Sandy Lake is at 1,214.38 feet and outflow is at 164 cubic feet per second.
The pool elevation at Pokegama Lake, near Grand Rapids is about 1,272.09 feet and outflow is at 2,400 cubic feet per second. The gates at this dam are open, however, obstruction by ice or something similar has been slowing the process down. The drawdown target elevation is 1,270.42 feet before the spring melt.
Leech Lake, near Federal Dam, is currently 1,294.25 feet, with the reservoir drawdown 0.45 feet below normal summer range. Outflow is at 1,040 cubic feet per second, which is as high as it can go without downstream impacts. The drawdown target elevation is 1293.80 feet before the spring melt.
Lake Winnibigoshish, near Deer River, is currently 1,297.42 feet, with the reservoir drawdown 0.76 feet below summer range. The drawdown target elevation is 1,296.94 feet before the spring melt. Outflow is at 1,100 cubic feet per second.
Late winter snow surveys show an extensive snow pack, with more than enough water content to fill volume created by the winter drawdowns. Property (docks, boat lifts, etc.) at or near the normal summer lake level should be moved to higher elevations to be safe from rising reservoir levels this spring.