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Corps of Engineers plans Lake Traverse winter drawdown

Published Feb. 13, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will begin drawing down Lake Traverse, west of Wheaton, Minn., Feb 18, in preparation for the spring melt.

Corps officials will begin releasing approximately 400 cubic feet per second, or cfs, from the lake Feb. 18. The pool is currently at elevation 977.3 feet, which is 0.3 feet above the top of summer conservation level. The goal is to lower the reservoir level to elevation 976.6 feet by March 1. The water will flow through Mud Lake and White Rock Dam before entering the Bios de Sioux River.

Corps officials are encouraging caution to everyone near the river during this time because of the increased river flows. Ice conditions will deteriorate and become unsafe on the Bois de Sioux River as far downstream as Wahpeton, N.D., and Breckenridge, Minn.

The Corps plans to complete basin-wide snow surveys at the end of February. The survey results will help determine the target spring drawdown elevations for Lake Traverse; Orwell Reservoir, near Fergus Fall, Minn.; Lake Ashtabula, near Valley City, N.D.; and Homme Reservoir, near Park River, N.D.

The nearly 650 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 Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see



Public Affairs

Release no. 14-007