Water levels are a key consideration, as we get into summer. Matt De Wolfe is the head engineer at the Lake of the Woods Control Board, and he says this year's spring weather is very different from last year's. De Wolfe says it's some of the driest weather in 30 years.

"Conditions across the basin -- certainly in Lake of the Wood and upstream areas -- are dry right now. April was one of the driest years in recent memory, probably the driest since the late 80s, and we've been seeing very low flows into the lake over that period," he said.

Still, he says there's time for the watershed to fill up, before summer.

"If we start getting normal rainfall through the rest of May and into June -- and there is some rain in the forecast for this week -- the lake should start to come up towards normal levels. Hopefully, towards the end of June, but it's very dependent on the rainfall at this point" he said.

He says they're consulting closely with the province about the impacts on habitats.

"For spawning conditions, certainly on the river, we're in touch with the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) about conditions there, and that's a key consideration heading into June, about any further flow changes that happen out of Lake of the Woods," De Wolfe noted.

He added the low water levels may actually be a good thing, when it comes to wild rice.

"Generally, lower levels are preferable for wild rice and not too dramatic a change," he said, noting normal rainfall through the end of June will help this year's crop.

For those rebuilding docks and boathouses,  the control board staff can offer more information on water levels and construction tips for your area.

"The board does have resources and technical staff that can discuss the appropriate level to build docks at with folks, and they can find that information at our web site," De Wolfe noted.

For more information:
Basin Data
Before you build
Balancing the interests