Corps Finalizes Mississippi River Headwaters, Red Lake Drawdowns
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is on track to complete its annual reservoir drawdowns for the Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs and Red Lake.
The Corps began lowering its Headwaters sites, to include Gull Lake, near Brainerd, Minnesota; Cross Lake, near Crosslake, Minnesota; Big Sandy Lake, near McGregor, Minnesota; and Pokegama Lake, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Oct. 1. Corps engineers started lowering the reservoir levels at Leech Lake, near Federal Dam, Minnesota; and Lake Winnibigoshish, near Deer River, Minnesota, but these drawdowns will take longer to notice the change due to the slow release levels and size of the lakes.
The lakes are lowered slowly to reduce problems caused by the lake freezing while also ensuring that the necessary storage is available for the spring run-off.
The drier summer and autumn impacted Red Lake water levels. As a result, Corps water management officials are maintaining minimum outflow rates this winter. The releases will be reevaluated this coming spring and adjusted based on the moisture within the basin.