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St. Paul District
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St. Paul, MN 55101

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Corps finalizes Mississippi River Headwaters, Red Lake drawdowns

Published Nov. 29, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is on track to complete its annual reservoir drawdowns for the Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs and Red Lake.

The Corps began lowering its Headwaters sites, to include Gull Lake, near Brainerd, Minnesota; Cross Lake, near Crosslake, Minnesota; Big Sandy Lake, near McGregor, Minnesota; and Pokegama Lake, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Oct. 1. Corps engineers started lowering the reservoir levels at Leech Lake, near Federal Dam, Minnesota; and Lake Winnibigoshish, near Deer River, Minnesota, but these drawdowns will take longer to notice the change due to the slow release levels and size of the lakes.

The lakes are lowered slowly to reduce problems caused by the lake freezing while also ensuring that the necessary storage is available for the spring run-off.

Red Lake water levels were impacted by the drier summer and autumn. As a result, Corps water management officials are maintaining minimum outflow rates this winter. The releases will be reevaluated this coming spring and adjusted based on the moisture within the basin.  
The nearly 600 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the St. Paul District Fiscal Year 2016 $78 million budget, nearly 1,250 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $120 million to the national economy. For more information, see 


Public Affairs

Release no. 17-083