Water levels slowly starting to rise

I have been following very closely the water levels on Rainy Lake this year. The amount of water that flows from Rainy Lake affects the water levels of the Rainy River and then Lake of the Woods.
As a boater, just after ice-out, I had trouble getting to and from my dock at the landing.
My fish graph at the end of April showed less than 18 inches of water below the boat. And between my dock and open water, a boulder rose six-eight inches above the mud to strike fear into me.
During the Emo Walleye Classic in late May, anglers discovered just how low the Rainy River had gotten as they picked their way through the shallows of the river.
At my cottage, the dock I normally pulled up to was out of water on the first trip of the year. By the first weekend in May, the water had risen so that with a floating dock in place, I could tie up.
The floating dock had been floated to a safe position for winter safety and had to be moved over a great deal of beach to float.
Each week I have checked the water levels posted in the paper and compared them to the previous week. Each week, the water level has come up—though sometimes only an inch.
Last week in the paper, it was recorded the water had risen four inches from the previous week.
This week, the lake has risen a full nine inches and for the first time, Rainy Lake came back into the International Joint Commission’s rule curve, but only by an inch.
Earlier this year, the IJC had issued an order restricting the flow of water from Rainy Lake to 65 cubic meters per second until it reaches its proper level.
Lake of the Woods, which was suffering from the same low water levels, also has come back into the rule curve this week, but those levels still remain much below normal conditions.
East of Fort Frances, Namakan Lake is at its peak, but the inflow and outflow is extremely restricted. To the south, Lac La Croix, which feeds into Namakan, remains at a very low level, having not received much of the rain that we have.
This past weekend, I finally was able to tie up at my dock at the cabin. It still is a climb out to the top of the dock, but the water now has risen almost 16 inches since that first trip up the lake.
I can now feel safer travelling my traditional routes. The rocks I pass over or around are now covered with much more water.
The rains that came are making a difference.
The drought that ran for so long across the district appears to be ending. The fields are soggy in the west end of the district, and the swamps and streams are filling up.
A climatologist has suggested we need an extra inch of rain each month to the end of the year to recoup the amount of moisture the land needs to recover from the drought.
We are known as Rainy River District, and droughts don’t go on forever.

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