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FOCA Notice - TSW Water Level Management Update

Monday January 16, 2023

Dear FOCA Member,
Please see the following high water advisory from Parks Canada / Trent Severn Waterway. Be aware ice conditions are variable and subject to change particularly during periods of high flow and precipitation.
Kirk Kuipers
Membership Coordinator

From: Trentsevern (PC)
Sent: January 13, 2023 7:51 AM
To: Trentsevern (PC)
Subject: Trent-Severn Waterway - Water Level Management Update – January 13, 2023

Trent-Severn Waterway - Water Level Management Update – January 13, 2023

Parks Canada's water management team continues to actively monitor water levels, flows, and weather forecasts across the Trent-Severn Waterway. These factors are used to determine dam operations on a daily basis for the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Parks Canada maintains the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet on the Trent-Severn Waterway website at

The InfoNet contains background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water levels of lakes along both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway. The information comes from hydrometric gauges located at key points along both waterways and is vetted by trained and experienced Parks Canada water management staff.

This information is intended as supplemental information only. Stakeholders should continue to refer to their respective Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the primary source for relevant flood forecasting information specific to their area. These are Kawartha Conservation, Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, Ganaraska Conservation Authority, Lower Trent Conservation Authority, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority or, in all other areas of the Trent and Severn Watersheds, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The 5-day forecast suggests 15-30 mm of mixed precipitation, with most of the precipitation falling mainly on Thursday night into Friday morning. Air temperatures are expected to drop significantly on Friday afternoon below 0°C across the entire Trent and Severn Watersheds.

Flows remain high after the series of recent events that amounted to over 100 mm of mixed precipitation and solid accumulation across the TSW watersheds. The current forecast indicates that water levels and outflows will continue to remain high at most locations. The fluctuations in levels vary and highly depend on the amount of snow remaining and any significant changes in temperature forecasts.

The Trent Severn Water Management team will be actively monitoring the changing conditions. Any watershed condition updates will be released by your Conservation Authority or local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources district.
Ice on Shorelines
The temperature variations around the freezing mark makes 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 over the next 36 hours with wind gusts as high as 55 km/hr.

Haliburton and Northern Areas
Most reservoirs have water levels above average for this time of year due to the recent warm up and rain on  snow event. The snow pack is present and is near the average for this time of year. Lake levels are monitored daily and assessed in relation to estimated runoff amounts. The flows on Gull and Burnt Rivers are above average and have peaked but are expected to remain elevated.

Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River
The Kawartha Lakes are above average. Levels on the Kawarthas will remain high after the forecasted event. Outflows from the Kawartha Lakes are maximised and as a result flows on the Otonabee River are significantly high for this time of the year and expected to remain elevated.
Rice Lake and the Lower Trent
Rice Lake water level is above average and has peaked. Flows on the Lower Trent River are above average. Flows and water levels are expected to remain high longer in this area as higher flows move down from the Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River.

Severn River
Lake Simcoe water levels are above average, above rule curve and increasing. Lake Simcoe outflows are maximized. Black River flows are above average but peaked and receding. Flows on the Severn River are above average and are expected to remain elevated as higher flows move down from Lake Simcoe and Black River. Operations for Lake St. John in preparation for increased flows on the Black River are complete.

General Inquiries Administrator
Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
Parks Canada / Government of Canada
P.O. Box 567, 2155 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough ON K9J 6Z6 /

Lieu historique national de la Voie-Navigable-Trent-Severn
Parcs Canada, Gouvenment du Canada
C.P. 567, 2155 promenade Ashburnham, Peterborough ON K9J 6Z6 /