ST. PAUL, Minn. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is lowering its reservoir elevations within the Red River of the North basin in anticipation of the spring snow melt.
The Corps is lowering the elevation of Lake Ashtabula, near Valley City, N.D. The lake's elevation is 1,260 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29) and will be brought down to as low as 1,255 feet NGVD 29. The measurement of NGVD 29 is similar to the average sea level.
Elevation at the Homme Dam, near Park River, N.D., could be brought down from 1,077 feet NGVD 29 to 1,064 feet NGVD 29, or more. Releases will be delayed until the weather warms to limit ice jamming.
The pool elevation at Orwell Lake, near Fergus Falls, Minn., is 1,063.9 feet MSL (mean sea level) 1912 feet. The pool will be lowered to 1,055 feet. The Lac Qui Parle Reservoir pool will be lowered from 934 feet to 933 feet during the period of March 1 to March 15 to prepare for spring runoff.
Drawdown releases may degrade river ice downstream of the reservoirs. Spring drawdowns are done in concurrence with snow surveys, which are nearing completion. Surveys help determine how much water is contained within snow to help determine drawdown levels.