The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District announces that the water level of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin is currently near 3.30 feet Oshkosh Datum, after a significant rise due to snowmelt runoff. This level is roughly 1.5 feet above the level defined by the regulation strategy for this time year. The lake has risen 1.92 feet from the winter drawdown level of 1.4 feet which was the level to which we proactively lowered the lake due to the possibility of a significant water level rise. Given current conditions, the lake level is expected to slowly decline over the weekend as inflows from snowmelt begin to taper off.
Inflow to Lake Winnebago is currently estimated near 15,200 cubic feet per second (cfs) after averaging 18,500 cfs over the last two weeks. Most of the snowpack in the Fox and Wolf river basins has melted and flood waters are beginning to recede on the Wolf River at New London and Shiocton and the Fox River at Princeton and Berlin. Impacts from high flows are continuing to occur along the lower Fox River including, Little Lake Butte des Morts, Wrightstown, and De Pere/Green Bay areas.
The gates at the Neenah and Menasha Dams have remained open for the duration of the high flow event and current outflow to the lower Fox River is near 15,400 cfs. At this time, only two needle gates at the Neenah Dam remain closed. Opening these gates would cause immediate flooding impacts downstream of the dam while providing minimal reduction to the Lake Winnebago water level.
The high flow along 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 into flood waters.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, is closely monitoring ice cover, water levels, flows and weather conditions as well as coordinating closely with local communities and users in the Fox/Wolf River system.
Further updates will be provided as necessary. Water levels and flows 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 or Christopher Warren, Watershed Hydrology, at 313- 226-3398 or Christopher.J.Warren@usace.army.mil.