Muskoka Parry Sound Freshet Water Conditions Update May 15, 2019

Posted On Wednesday May 15, 2019

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

 

Bracebridge Field Office Parry Sound District 1350 High Falls Rd.

Bracebridge Ontario, P1L 1W9

  

Muskoka Parry Sound Freshet Water Conditions Update May 15, 2019

MNRF Parry Sound District updated flood messaging on May 9, 2019.

 

  • Flood Warning is in effect for the Muskoka River, French River and Lower Pickerel River Watersheds
  • Flood Outlook is in effect for the remainder of the MNRF Parry Sound District

 

Weather Forecast and Implications

Lake levels and river flows are continuing their downward trends.  MNRF has continued to put stoplogs in at dams to help reduce flows to flood impacted areas. Areas that are experiencing flooding should continue to see levels recede as the effects of logging in the upper watersheds continue to take effect in the downstream watersheds.

Due to recent precipitation in the North Bay area, Lake Nipissing is continuing to rise and is expected to rise more in the coming days. Residents along the French River and lower Pickerel River watersheds may see a rise in water levels over the next week as a result from increased stormwater runoff or as a result of increased discharge from Lake Nipissing.

Daytime highs over the next week to range from 10°C to 18°C, and night time lows to range from 1°C to 11°C, depending on the weather service. Precipitation over the next 7 days has ~20mm of rain in the forecast scattered through the week.

The MNRF’s primary role for flood preparation is flood forecasting and warning as early as possible. For flood emergencies the local Municipality is responsible for flood preparedness and response. Once a local emergency is declared, MNRF will work directly with the municipality and provide support in accordance with the MNRF District Emergency Response Operations Plan.

MNRF dams are managed in accordance with Water Management Plans or dam operating manuals and will continue to be operated for optimal discharge just prior to the onset of the spring snow melt. More information about how lakes in the area are managed can be found at http://www.muskokawaterweb.ca/water-101/water-quantity/mrwmp.

Lake water levels and river flows are monitored on a daily basis and MNRF dams and other water control structures are operated when required throughout the spring as runoff from snow melt and rainfall pass through river systems and lakes.

MNRF dams are not designed as flood control structures therefore cannot prevent a flood event from occurring. Spring flooding is a natural event that occurs periodically and is caused by an extraordinary amount of runoff into a river system due to a rapid melt of the snow pack and/or any significant amount of rainfall. If our analysis of the watershed and weather conditions indicates there is a possibility of high water or flood conditions, MNRF will issue appropriate notifications such as a Flood Watch or Flood Warning. At this time of year, MNRF urges all residents to take precautionary steps to protect or secure any property in low lying flood prone areas. 

Current status of water levels

 

 

Waterbody

 

Municipality/Area

AverageSummer Level(MASL)

CurrentWater Level(MASL)

Difference toSummerlevel (m)

Start of HighWater Zone

Approximaterate of rise(cm/24h)

Tea Lake

Algonquin Park

417.7

418

0.3

418.2

0

Kawagama  Lake

Algonquin  Highlands

355.6

355.57

-0.03

356.07

-1

Lake of Bays

Lake of Bays

315.2

315.4

0.2

315.5

-1

Wood Lake

Bracebridge

301.05

301.16

0.11

301.67

0

Tasso Lake

Lake of Bays

399.4

399.56

0.16

399.85

+1

Fox Lake

Huntsville

294.4

294.58

0.18

296

4

Huntsville Lakes

Huntsville

283.8

283.92

0.12

284.3

-2

Mary Lake

Huntsville

280.75

281.03

0.28

281.15

-2

Lake  Rosseau/Joseph

Muskoka Lakes

226.05

na

#VALUE!

226.37

-2

Lake Muskoka

Bracebridge/Gravenhurst/Muskoka   Lakes

225.4

225.82

0.42

226

-6

Go Home Lake

Georgian Bay

185.18

185.02

-0.16

185.45

+2

Perry Lake

Township  of Perry

335.15

335.37

0.22

335.9

0

Doe Lake

Armour Township

293.95

294.57

0.62

295.9

-8

Bernard Lake

Sundridge/Strong  Township

329.4

329.61

0.21

329.55

-2

Cecebe Lake

Municipality  of Magnetawan

282.7

282.74

0.04

283.36

-2

Ahmic Lake

Municipality  of Magnetawan

279.4

279.6

0.2

280.1

-4

Forest Lake

South River

349.7

349.67

-0.03

350.4

-2

Dollars Lake

Unorganized

205.5

205.6

0.1

NA

0

Crane Lake

Archipelago

198.48

198.52

0.04

NA

+3

Otter Lake

Seguin Township

207.19

207.2

0.01

NA

+1

Oastler Lake

Seguin Township

204.51

204.58

0.07

NA

+4

 

Current water flows

 

 

River

 

Municipality/Area

 

Current Flow(cms)

EarlyFloodWatch Flow(cms)

ApproximateRise over last24h(cms)

Big East

Huntsville

20

50

-1

North Muskoka

Huntsville/Bracebridge

72

75

0

South Muskoka (HH)

Lake of Bays/Bracebridge

62

50

-1

Oxtongue

Lake of Bays

27

NA

-4

Black

Bracebridge

12

35

+1

North Magnetawan near Burks Falls

Armour, Ryerson & Village of Burk's Falls

12

NA

-1

South Magnetawan near Emsdale

Perry/Armour, Ryerson & Village of Burk's Falls

15

NA

0

Magnetawan near Britt

Unorganized

125

NA

-7

Moon River at Highway 400

Muskoka Lakes/Georgian Bay /  Archipelago

223

NA

-23

Musquash River at Highway 400

Muskoka Lakes/Georgian Bay /  Archipelago

75

NA

0

Shawanaga River

Shawanaga FN

2

9

0

 

Risks and Considerations

 

Ice Jams – have historically been preceded by rapid changes in weather and by colder than average winters. The Ministry of Natural Resources Ice Management Manual can be found on the Surface Water Monitoring Extranet site publications section or can be forwarded by one of the MNRF contacts at the end of this sheet. A One-key account is required to access the SWMC extranet site and can be requested at the following link: https://www.iaa.gov.on.ca/iaalogin/IAALogin.jsp

 

Debris – accumulation of debris, natural and human made, can accumulate in rivers and streams at points of lower flow velocities or eddies or where natural and manmade obstacles or “choke-points” exist (bridge abutments, river constrictions etc.). MNRF monitors MNRF dams to ensure a significant amount of debris does not accumulate potentially causing upstream impacts.  Municipalities are responsible for ensuring their infrastructure is not causing upstream impacts due to accumulation of debris.

 

Slippery and unstable banks – please keep in mind saturated areas adjacent to still and moving water can be unstable and /or slippery any time but most especially during the spring. Please continue to encourage residents to stay clear of these hazardous areas.

 

Changing and volatile weather

 

As forecasts change, MNRF monitoring and operational approaches for water management will be reviewed and may change as well. A weather forecast for significant precipitation and/or above normal temperatures may prompt local watershed/flood messages from the MNRF Parry Sound District.

 

High Water and Floods

 

High water and floods can occur any time but spring presents the highest risk. Significant precipitation and rapid melting of the snow pack can result in a flood event. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry uses snow pack, weather, water level and flow information to determine the type and timing of local flood messages.