Contact Public Affairs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Public Affairs Office
332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752 


Corps of Engineers Red River of North reservoirs ready for spring

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 8, 2024
Updated: March 8, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, announced today, March 8, that its reservoirs along the Red River of the North are ready for any potential spring flooding.

Corps of Engineers officials are actively working with Tribal, federal, state and local partners and are prepared to make necessary adjustments based on the lack of snowpack within the basin. As a result of less than normal precipitation this winter, water managers reduced outflows from the reservoirs to begin the process of reaching the normal summer operating levels.

Liz Nelsen, St. Paul District water management section chief, said the reservoirs are ready for any spring snowmelt or rain event. “We are closely monitoring conditions within the basin and will make adjustments as necessary to reduce the flood risk, if necessary, while also balancing the need to refill the reservoirs,” she said.

The Red River of the North reservoirs include Homme Lake, located near Park River, North Dakota; Lake Ashtabula, located near Valley City, North Dakota; Red Lake, located in north central Minnesota; Orwell Lake, located near Fergus Falls, Minnesota; and Lake Traverse, located near Wheaton, Minnesota.  

  • Homme Lake is currently 4 feet below the normal summer operating level of 1,080 feet with no current water releases, or outflow, from the dam.
  • Lake Ashtabula is currently at its normal drawdown level of 1,262.63 feet, or ~3.4 feet below normal summer levels of 1,266.0 feet. There are currently no plans for additional drawdowns and releases from the dam are 55 cubic feet per second, or cfs.
  • Lake Traverse is also passing the water coming into the lake with releases ~ 55 cfs. The pool elevation is at the normal summer level of 976.6 - 977.0 feet.
  • Orwell Lake is at its summer operating level of 1,063.5 - 1,064.5 feet. There are no drawdowns planed and releases are ~ 440 cfs, which is equal to the amount of water coming into the lake.
  • Red Lake is at its normal summer operating level of 1,174.0 feet with outflows of ~300 cfs.  


Public Affairs

Release no. 24-011