Gate Test at Rainy Lake


Water levels at Boise Powerhouse have nearly reached a critical elevation. If the tailwater elevation increases the generators would have to be shut down. Currently the tailwater is stabilized, however, rain is forecast for later this week. The Water Levels Committee met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation. It was determined that attempting to manage the tailwater elevation was the preferred alternative to potentially losing the generators for the summer while water levels remain high. Therefore, two gates at Rainy Lake Dam will be closed for two hours Tuesday afternoon in order to test how closing gates affects the tailwater at Boise Powerhouse. If closing the gates lowers the tailwater, then the Water Level Committee will determine a plan in case future rainfall raises the tailwater to critical levels.

Rainy River water levels are the highest observed in 85 years, compounding the high inflows to the basin both upstream and downstream of the Rainy Lake outlet. The high water levels on the Rainy River and Little Fork River have backed up to the dam and are impacting the Fort Frances and Boise Powerhouses. Fort Frances generators are currently online.

Rainy Lake and Namakan Lake Dams remain fully open and passing maximum flows.

The Water Levels Committee is regularly monitoring conditions in the watershed and will post updates as conditions warrant. The Committee is keeping the International Joint Commission informed of the situation.

The latest information lake levels, dam settings, and basin flows can be found online at For further information, please call (800) 661-5922 ex 3