Parks Canada Rideau Canal Water Level Management Update – January 13, 2023

Parks Canada’s water management team continues to actively monitor water levels, flows, and weather forecasts across the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada. These factors are used to determine dam operations on a daily basis for the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada.

Parks Canada maintains the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet on the Rideau Canal website at www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/info/infonet

The InfoNet contains background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water levels of lakes along both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway. The information comes from hydrometric gauges located at key points along both waterways and is vetted by trained and experienced Parks Canada water management staff.

This information is intended as supplemental information only. Stakeholders should continue to refer to their respective Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the primary source for relevant flood forecasting information specific to their area. These are Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the Cataraqui Conservation Authority

Weather

The 5 day forecast suggests 25-30 mm of mixed precipitation, with most of the precipitation falling mainly on Thursday night into Friday morning. Air temperatures are expected to drop significantly on Friday afternoon below 0°C across the entire Rideau and Cataraqui Watersheds.

Outlook 

Flows remain high after the series of recent events that amounted to 50- 100 mm of mixed precipitation and snowmelt across the watersheds. The current forecast indicates that water levels and outflows will continue to remain high at most locations. The fluctuations in levels vary and highly depend on the amount of snow remaining and any significant changes in temperature forecasts. The snowpack is present and is below average.

The Rideau Water Management team will be actively monitoring the changing conditions. Any watershed condition updates will be released by your Conservation Authority. 

Cataraqui River

Most lakes are above-average water levels for this time of year and are levelling off. Colonel By Lake water level is on average for this time of the year.  

Tay River

Bobs Lake will see continued rising water levels, as will Christie Lake.   The levels on both lakes will continue to be monitored, and the balancing of the high water will continue. Tay River appears to have peaked. Flows and levels through Perth will continue to remain elevated.

Rideau River

Wolfe Lake, Upper Rideau and Big Rideau are above average but have peaked. Outflow from Big Rideau has been maximized.  Rideau River has peaked and is receding.