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Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs winter drawdown update

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Feb. 2, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. –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.

All elevations are given using National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1,929. Final drawdown for Gull, Cross, Leech, and Winnibigoshish is dependent on the snow water equivalent.

Gull Lake, near Brainerd, Minnesota, is currently at an elevation of 1,193.27 feet, and outflow is at 110 cubic feet per second, or cfs.

Cross Lake, near Crosslake, Minnesota, is currently at 1,227.95 feet and outflow is at 285 cfs.

Big Sandy Lake, near McGregor, Minnesota, is at 1,214.85 feet and outflow is at 140 cfs. Normal drawdown is two feet.

The pool elevation at Pokegama Lake, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is approximately 1,270.89 feet and outflow is at 990 cfs. The drawdown target elevation is 1,270.42 feet before the spring melt.

Lake Winnibigoshish, near Deer River, Minnesota, is currently 1,297.43 feet, with the reservoir drawn down 0.76 feet below summer range. Outflow is at 470 cfs.

Leech Lake, located near Federal Dam, Minnesota, is currently 1,294.12 feet, with the reservoir drawn down 0.58 feet below normal summer range. Outflow is at 385 cfs with no downstream impacts.

Basin-wide snow surveys will be obtained in late February to early March. The final drawdown level will be evaluated from the data collected during the snow surveys.

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Release no. 21-011