DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, advises that the water level of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin is currently above the target level and asks individuals to exercise caution.
Water levels are currently measuring 3.54 feet Oshkosh Datum, well above the typical late August target level of 3.0 feet. Heavy rain over the past few days impacted the region and the lake is expected to remain elevated through the Labor Day weekend and into next week. Inflow is also expected to continue to rise as runoff from the recent storms makes its way into the system.
Inflow has risen to 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), and the average inflow for late August is approximately 2,800 cfs. The water level of Lake Winnebago on August 25 was 2.93 feet, or within target operating band of the regulation strategy. Much of the Lake Winnebago/Fox/Wolf basin received four to eight inches of rain since August 26, including six inches falling directly over the lake.
As of August 29, all available tainter gates at both the Menasha and Neenah Dams have been opened. The nine needle gates at the Neenah Dam are temporarily inoperable due to an ongoing construction project. Outflow through the dams into the lower Fox River is near 11,500 cfs. With local inflow adding another 1,000 cfs, the river flow measured at Appleton will approach 12,500 cfs. The average flow at Appleton for this time of year is near 2,750 cfs. Given current conditions, the lake level will likely remain above 3.5 feet for several days and high flows in the lower Fox River will continue.
With the elevated level of Lake Winnebago, minor flooding to boat docks and yards may occur and water may approach homes during periods of strong onshore winds. The high flow in the lower Fox River from Neenah/Menasha to Green Bay, Wisconsin may create hazardous conditions and all users are asked to exercise extreme caution when on or near the river and especially near the dams. Localized flooding is also possible near the river. Never drive or wade into flood waters.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, is closely monitoring water levels, flows and weather conditions as well as coordinating closely with local communities and users on the Fox River system.
Further updates will be provided as necessary. Water levels, flows and current condition summaries are updated regularly on the Detroit District website: http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Lake-Winnebago/
For additional questions, please contact Chadwick Shaw, Chief, Fox River Operations, at (920) 380-7106 or Chadwick.D.Shaw@usace.army.mil.