Lake of the Woods and Rainy River

The watershed forms the international boundary between Minnesota and Ontario, where waters flows some 600 km (372 miles) from Great Lakes basin divide, west through the chain lakes to Namakan Lake, Rainy Lake, and the Rainy River through Lake of the Woods, where at Kenora it enters the Lake Winnipeg basin ultimately flowing into Hudson’s Bay. Water Levels on the Lake of the Woods are controlled by the Canadian Lake of the Woods Board, except during times of extremely low and high water levels in which case authority lies with the International Lake of the Woods Board. The IJC’s International Joint Commission formed the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board to assist with binational coordination of water quality efforts for the entire boundary watershed and to coordinate the management of the water levels and flows on Rainy and Namakan lakes and the Rainy River.

Rainy Lake and the Lake of the Woods basin map