Welcome To The Website of the
Upper French River Cottagers Association

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The Upper French River lies between Lake Nipissing and the Chaudiere Dams at Dokis First Nation. The French River then continues downstream to Georgian Bay. An historic First Nation and fur trade canoe route, the French River is now a Provincial Park, the home to citizens of Dokis First Nation, and the summer residence of hundreds of cottagers.

Contact the UFRCA at info@ufrca.com 

CURRENT NEWS

Lake Nipissing Benchmarks
This chart shows the significant benchmark levels for Lake Nipissing and tracks the rising water levels.
 

PSPC Report Issued at 8:46 a.m., May 21, 2019
Posted May 21, 2019

 
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Sand Bay. Photo taken May 19, 2019.


On May 21, the level on Lake Nipissing has increased to 196.49 m, rising approximately 1 cm since May 20. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.52 m. Compared to two days ago, levels there rose 6 cm higher. The gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.46 m. Since yesterday morning, the watershed received around 5 mm of rain. Strong sustained winds from the NW today will shift to E winds tomorrow.  Scattered showers are forecasted for most of the week.
 
Inflows have declined from yesterday, but were still high due to the effects from the rain. Inflows are forecasted to continue to decrease over the week; the Lake level may begin to decline again as the week progresses. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay have stabilized, but are still increasing down through Dry Pine Bay.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find the graph for May 21 at 6 am here.
 
 We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 am:
     
Sturgeon River:                   392 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                      508 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:             564 m3/s (188.44 m)
Dry Pine Bay Flow:              585 m3/s (182.98 m)
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:         619 m3/s
 
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
MNRF North Bay District:       705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 

PSPC Report issued at 8:09 p.m., May 20, 2019
Posted May 21, 2019

In the report below, note the times given for various measurements are different at different times of the day. Note that the outflow at the Chaudiere Dams is over 500 cubic metres per second (
m3/s). Just how much is that? Think of a standard swimming pool 32 ft. x 16 ft. with an average depth of 7 ft. That would be 10 m x 5 m x 2 m and a volume of 100 cubic metres (m3/s), which is also 100 tonnes of water. The outflow of 500 m3/s is equal to 5 swimming pools, 500 tonnes of water, every second.   

PSPC Report for May 20:


Good evening,
 
In the absence of the morning update, I will send out a longer evening update:
 
As of this morning, the level on Lake Nipissing increased to 196.48 m, rising approximately 3 cm. Although the rain had an effect on the Lake, much of this rise has to do with the shift in winds towards the North Bay area significantly increasing local levels there. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.50 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.45 m.
 
Since yesterday morning, the watershed received around 20-30 mm of rain. Strong sustained winds were blowing from the west today. Tomorrow the winds are forecasted to shift, coming from the north. Showers are forecasted for most of the week.
 
Inflows have spiked from the recent rainfall, raising the Lake. Levels are expected to rise another 0.5-1 cm by tomorrow but then begin to slowly decrease again. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley and Dry Pine Bays have increased slightly from the rain and are expected to slowly decrease over the next few days.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find the graph for May 20 here.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 am (May 20). Note other times given below.
     
Sturgeon River:                      377 m3/s         
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:            524 m3/s
Est. Dams Discharge:              505 m3/s
Dry Pine = 182.96 m (578 m3/s)
Wolseley = 188.43 m (560 m3/s)
 
Lake Nipissing at North Bay @ 6 pm = 196.50 m
at French River Outlet @ 5:30 pm     = 196.4 5m
           
Dry Pine @ 4 pm = 182.96 m (580 m3/s)
Wolseley @4:30 pm = 188.44 m (563 m3/s)
 
Lake Nipissing at North Bay @ 6 pm = 196.51 m
at French River Outlet @ 4:30 pm     = 196.47 m
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 
 
May 19 PSPC SNF Report
Posted May 20, 2019


Good morning,
 
Lake Nipissing levels remained stable, with an average water level today at 196.45 m. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.46 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.44 m. Strong sustained winds are coming from the east today; this will tend to cause a drop in water levels at North Bay but cause higher levels at the west end of the Lake.  Tomorrow the winds are forecasted to shift, coming from the south-west, which will cause an increase in local water levels around North Bay. Based on trends over the last two days, the inflows have shown a marked drop resulting in a slight decline in water levels.
 
Since yesterday morning, the watershed received around 1-3 mm of rain, less than forecasted. Today, most parts of the watershed will receive 10-25 mm of rain, with the bulk of it falling tonight. There is also a chance some localized areas could see upwards of 40 mm due to development of thunderstorms.
 
Inflows have begun to trend downward, vegetation (tree leaf-out) likely playing a large part in the absorption. There is still a significant amount of rain in the forecast and the reaction on the Lake and River will depend on the amount and where the rain falls in the watershed. Given the current Lake outflows, the Lake level is forecasted to remain relatively stable over the next several days, and then may begin to slowly decline again. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley and Dry Pine Bays are very high but have stabilized.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find the graph for May 19 here.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM (May 19):
     
Sturgeon River:                     379 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                        504 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:               555 m3/s
Level:         188.42m
Dry Pine Bay Flow:                569 m3/s
Level:         182.92m
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:           450 m3/s
 
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
 MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
 MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP


Lake Nipissing Drops Slightly (before forecasted heavy rain)
Posted May 18, 2019

The average level of Lake Nipissing is approximately 196.46 m. The level at the French River (Chaudiere) dam is 196.44 m, while at North Bay it is 196.48 m. Heavy rain is in the forecast starting Saturday afternoon and extending through the holiday weekend.


PSPC Report for Lake Nipissing May 17, 2019
Posted May 17, 2019


As of May 17th, 2019, the water level of Lake Nipissing was 196.47 metres. Rainfall amounts of 15-30 mm are forecasted starting Saturday night through to Monday over the entire watershed. This rain in the forecast is likely going to increase inflows for a day or two, resulting in further rise to the Lake level. Over the last 5 days, the average Lake level has risen approximately 0.5 cm per day. The Lake level is expected to continue to rise until at least next week; strong winds can have a drastic effect on local water levels.


PSPC Report for Lake Nipissing May 16, 2019

Posted May 16, 2019

Good morning,

 

Lake Nipissing levels remained stable, with an average water level today at 196.47 m. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.49 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.44 m. The rate of rise on the Lake was just over 0.5 cm per day over the last five days.

 

Yesterday, there was a band of rain that brought 2-4 mm mainly on the east and north ends of Lake Nipissing. There is a further 2-5 mm of rain in the forecast today for most of the watershed. Another system is forecasted to bring rain again starting Saturday night then turn to showers Sunday, and then more rain Monday; total amounts ranging from 15-25 mm. By Monday, there is a stronger SW wind in the forecast that may pose issues for the North Bay area of the Lake.

 

Inflows have stabilized, likely due to the rain received yesterday and the limited sunshine. Depending on actual rain amounts received over the next few days, the inflows will likely remain stable or possibly rise slightly for a day or two. Given the current Lake outflows, the Lake level is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, by approximately 0.5 cm per day. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley and Dry Pine Bays have stabilized.

 

Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  

 

You will find today’s graph for May 16 here. We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.

 

Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM:

     

Sturgeon River:                404 m3/s         

Dam outflow:                   505 m3/s       

Wolseley Bay Flow:         559 m3/s

Level:         188.43m

Dry Pine Bay Flow:           568 m3/s

Level:         182.92m

Last 3 Day avg Inflow:     549 m3/s

 

If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.

MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877

MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529

 

 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.

Thank you,

Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP

 

 





West Nipissing Closes Municipal Boat Launches
Posted May 15, 2019

West Nipissing has closed all municipal boat launches due to high water levels on the Sturgeon River and Lake Nipissing. See the North Bay Nugget article here. Anyone using these waterways should use exteme caution not to create a wake that can further damage the shoreline or structures at the shore. OPP have been instructing private boat launch operators, such as marinas, to close their boat launch areas (which are difficult to access anyway). We will post any official news regarding closure of waterways such as the Sturgeon River and the Upper French. A complete ban on all boating has been imposed on a 400 km stretch of the Ottawa River from the Otto Holden dam at Mattawa to Ottawa.







PSPC Update - May 15, 2019
Posted May 15, 2019


Good morning,
 
Lake Nipissing levels remained stable, with an average water level today at 196.46 m. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.49 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.43 m.
 
The forecasted precipitation has been reduced from yesterday, with amounts now forecasted in the range of 2-5 mm. In the long range forecast, the 7-day precipitation totals are forecasted at 15-30 mm as another system may set up over the region next week. 
 
Our observations show a continued slow drop in inflows; depending on actual rain amounts received, the inflows will stabilize or possibly rise slightly for a day or two. Given the current Lake outflows, the Lake level is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, of approximately 1 cm per day. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay will begin to stabilize whereas on Dry Pine Bay flows will continue to increase as the water level adjusts to the increase in dam discharge. The flows have exceeded the flood limit on Wolseley Bay and at Dry Pine Bay.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find today’s graph for May 15 here.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00AM:
     
Sturgeon River:                 414 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                    503 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:           553 m3/s*
Level:         188.41m
Dry Pine Bay Flow:            564 m3/s
Level:         182.90m
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:       581 m3/s
 
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
 MNRF North Bay District:      705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 


PSPC Update - May 14, 2019
Posted May 14, 2019

 
Good morning,
 
As of today, Lake Nipissing reached an average water level of 196.46 m, rising nearly 1 cm from yesterday. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.49 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.42 m.
 
Over the past 24 hours, the region received between 1-4 mm of rain.  From Wednesday through Friday, the region is forecast to receive another 5-10 mm of rain. Temperatures are forecasted to warm as the week progresses.
 
With the rain in the forecast, inflows are expected to at least remain stable, if not increase slightly depending on the amount and extent of the rainfall. Given the current Lake outflows, the Lake level is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, of approximately 1 cm per day. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay will begin to stabilize whereas on Dry Pine Bay flows will continue to increasing as the water levels adjust to the increase in dam discharge. The flows have exceeded the flood limit on Wolseley Bay and at Dry Pine Bay.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find today’s updated graph for May 14 here. We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM:
     
Sturgeon River:               420 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                  503 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:         551 m3/s*
Level:         188.41m
Dry Pine Bay Flow:          554 m3/s
Level:         182.87m
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:     590 m3/s
 
*The Wolseley Bay gauge has been re-calibrated
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario
MNRF Sudbury District:         705-564-7877
MNRF North Bay District:       705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 

North Bay Nugget May 13, 2019 - Water Rising at Jocko Point
Posted May 13, 2019

PSPC Update - May 13, 2019
Posted May 13, 2019

 
Good morning,
 
As of today, Lake Nipissing reached an average water level of 196.45 m, rising 2 cm from yesterday. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.48 m, whereas the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.42 m.
 
Rain is in the forecast today between 1-5 mm in the southern part of the watershed. More rain is forecasted to fall over the entire watershed on Wednesday, although models do not converge, there is a chance of between 5-10 mm. Temperatures are forecasted to warm as the week progresses, with possibility of 20C+ by next week.
 
With the rain in the forecast, inflows are expected to at least remain stable, if not increase slightly. The Lake is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, by approximately 1-2 cm per day. Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay will begin to stabilize whereas on Dry Pine Bay flows will continue to increase as the water levels adjust to the increase in dam discharge. The flows have exceeded the flood limit on Wolseley Bay and at Dry Pine they are forecasted to reach or exceed them today.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find today’s updated graph for May 13 here.

We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM:
     
Sturgeon River:                459 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                   481 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:          538 m3/s*
        Level:         188.36m
Dry Pine Bay Flow:           541 m3/s
        Level:         182.82m
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:      625 m3/s
 
*Wolseley Bay flows have exceeded the calibrated flow tables, therefore this figure is purely an estimate based on extrapolating the stage-discharge curve, therefore levels have been provided.
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529
 
 
We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 

PSPC Report – May 12, 2019
Posted May 12, 2019, 10:00 p.m.


Distributed May 12, 2019, 2:00 p.m. DST

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 Photo from Starlite Marina, Sturgeon River, May 10, 2019.

Lake Nipissing remained relatively stable at an average water level of 196.43m. In the North Bay area, the gauge read 196.45 m, the gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.41m. Rain is expected to start tonight and continue into tomorrow, with forecasted amounts of 1-3 mm. There is another system on Wednesday with 3-5 mm in the forecast. Temperatures will remain seasonal or slightly cooler over the next few days.
 
Based on recent observations, the Lake is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, of approximately 1-2 cm per day. As per yesterday’s request by the Sturgeon-Nipissing-French River municipal representatives and emergency services stakeholders, the French River Dams have increased total discharge by another 20 cubic metres per second yesterday.  Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay and Dry Pine Bay are increasing, as the water levels adjust to the increase in dam discharge. The flows have exceeded the flood limit on Wolseley Bay and at Dry Pine they are forecasted to reach or exceed them in the next day or two.
 
Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find today’s updated graph here.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00AM:
     
Sturgeon River:                438 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                   477 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:          525 m3/s*
Level:         188.32m
Dry Pine Bay Flow:            524 m3/s
Level:         182.76m
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:      740 m3/s
 
*Wolseley Bay flows have exceeded the calibrated flow tables, therefore this figure is purely an estimate based on extrapolating the stage-discharge curve, therefore levels have been provided.
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
 MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
 MNRF North Bay District:        705-475-5529
 
 We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,

Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 

Heavy Rain Ended - Lake Level Rising
Posted May 10, 2019

Yesterday's heavy rain has ended and the storm has pushed into Quebec adding to the flooding situation on the Ottawa River and at Ottawa and Montreal. Lake Nipissing has now risen to 196.40 m

Here is the PSPC report for May 10:


Today, the average Lake Nipissing water level is 196.40 m, raising 6 cm since yesterday. In the North Bay area, the levels increased nearly 10 cm largely due to the shift in wind direction; the gauge at North Bay this morning read 196.42 m. The gauge at the French River outlet on the Lake read 196.39 m.
 
The Lake is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days, especially since the effect of the recent precipitation has not been fully felt yet. The rate of rise will be dependent on the weather, with precipitation being the main driver.  Downstream on the French River, flows at Wolseley Bay and Dry Pine Bay are increasing, due to an increase in local inflows. At Wolseley Bay, the flows are very close to reaching the current flood limit and may be exceeded today.
 
The French River Dams will be discharging an additional 50 cubic metres per second  today, as requested by the Sturgeon-Nipissing-French River municipal representatives and emergency services stakeholders. Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the Lake and River and as agreed to by committee.  
 
You will find today’s updated graph attached to this email.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00AM:
     
Sturgeon River:                               405 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                                  418 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:                         470 m3/s
Dry Pine Bay Flow:                          499 m3/s
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:                     616 m3/s
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
 
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
 
MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529
  
We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 

Lake Nipissing Declared Ice Free May 8
Posted May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019 North Bay Nugget: Lake Nipissing Ice Free



State of Emergency Declared
Posted May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019 North Bay Nugget: West Nipissing Declares State of Emergency



WARNING:  Lake Levels About to Spike up to 20 cm
Posted May 9, 2019

 

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For the past few days, Lake Nipissing water levels have been rising more slowly and yesterday they didn’t rise at all. But that’s about to change quickly and not in a good way. Over the next two days, the area will be hit with 30 to 50 mm of rain (that’s 1.2 to 2 inches), which will cause Lake levels to spike quickly by up to 20 centimetres, or just under 8 inches.  That would put docks such as these at Sand Bay completely under water.

 

Even though it might be “only” 30 to 50 mm of rain, the impact on the Lake is much larger because that amount of rain will be falling over the entire watershed, a huge area extending from the NE corner of Algonquin Park to north of Lake Temagami.  Almost all of the rainfall will find its way into Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River, and very quickly, because the ground is already fully saturated and can’t absorb any more water.

 

As of Wednesday May 8, the Lake level was 196.33 m.  That’s 63.5 cm or 25 inches above where it was on April 24, which was 70 cm or 27.5 inches above where it was the week before that. 

 

An additional 20 cm (8 inches) would take the Lake to 196.53 m – just 3 cm or 1.2 inches below the 50-year flood level of 196.59 m.  

 

And that’s not going to be the end of it – yesterday’s North Bay Nugget reported that according to the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority, the peak Lake level is likely still two weeks away. 

 

How high and how fast depend, as always, on the weather.  In the meantime, communities around the Lake are taking extraordinary emergency measures, including North Bay, which is trying to minimize the damage that will be caused when floodwaters reach the wastewater plant build near the lakeshore in the 60’s.  

 
See also:

North Bay Nugget May 9: West Nipissing residents warned to prepare for potential evacuations
North Bay Nugget May 9: North Bay takes waste water precautions

 

Report from PSPC May 7, 2019
Posted May 7, 2019


Good Morning,
 
Today, the average Lake Nipissing water level reached 196.34 m, rising approximately 2 cm since yesterday. The gauge at North Bay reads 196.36 m while the gauge at the French River outlet reads 196.32 m. The Lake is forecasted to continue to rise over the next several days. The rate of rise will be dependent on the weather, with precipitation being the main driver.
 
The rain forecasted for this Thursday & Friday has been augmented to 30-50 mm in the south and 15-20 mm in the northern parts. This rainfall forecast is expected to result in significant runoff into watercourses and sudden spikes in water levels. There is also a chance of snow overnight Thursday for some areas.
 
Total discharge through the dams will be adjusted based on local inflows along the French River, in the attempt to maintain the current flows.
 
You will find today’s updated graph
here.
 
We are continuing to monitor flows very closely down the River as well as the rate of rise of the Lake.
 
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM:   
Sturgeon River:                      314 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                         410 m3/s       
Wolseley Bay Flow:                465 m3/s
Dry Pine Bay Flow:                 490 m3/s
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:            602 m3/s
 
If you think that your property may be at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality. For all other questions pertaining to watershed conditions please contact your local conservation authority or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario.
MNRF Sudbury District:          705-564-7877
MNRF North Bay District:         705-475-5529

We will continue to send daily updates until we indicate otherwise.
 
Thank you,
 
 
Kyle Jansson, P.Eng., PMP
 
Ingénieur des barrages, Barrages et Gestion Hydrique
Gestion des biens d’infrastructure
Services Publics et Approvisionnement Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Kyle.Jansson@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca / Tél.: 343-548-3491
 
Dams Engineer, Dams and Water Management
Infrastructure Asset Management
Public Services and Procurement Canada / Government of Canada
Kyle.Jansson@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca / Tel: 343-548-3491
 



PSPC Report for May 6, 2019 - Lake Level Expected to Rise
Posted May 6, 2019

Lake Nipissing - CAUTION: HIGH AND RISING LAKE LEVELS
As of May 6th, 2019, the water level of Lake Nipissing (and the Upper French) was 196.32 metres. The region is expected to receive 1-5 mm of rain today. Another weather system is forecasted for Thursday and Friday, with rain amounts between 10-25 mm of rain. Temperatures are forecasted to remain slightly below average for the week. The Lake level is expected to continue to rise.

The North Bay Nugget reports that ice remains on the lake.

Lake Level May Be Stabilizing
Posted May 5, 2019, 8:25 a.m.

The lake level has reached approximately 196.32 metres above sea level and may be levelling out.


When will the ice be out?
Posted May 3, 2019

The annual guessing game has begun. Todd Thomas from Sandy Haven (located on the south side of Sandy Island) is predicting Lake Nipissing will be "crossable" on Monday according to today's North Bay Nugget article. The UFRCA is predicting the lake will be officially declared "ice-free" on or about May 8.

Level Rising
Posted May 2, 2019

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 The level of Lake Nipissing has reached 196.22 metres above sea level. See the PSPC Report May 2. Thanks to Val for the photos (May 3, 2019). The photo at left shows the water at dock level on the far side of the narrow channel at Riverview Cottages. Click photos to enlarge.
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Lake Continuing to Rise –
Damaging Flooding Still Quite Possible
Posted May 2, 5:23 p.m.

 
The risk of flooding that could cause serious damage is still very real on Lake Nipissing. 
 
Back on April 24th, the Lake reached 195.72 m.  That took us pretty close to the bottom of the summer operating range.  For those of you with good memories, that’s about where the Lake was on last year’s August long weekend. 
 
Today it reached 196.22 m – which is about 50 cm or 20 inches above that. This is the benchmark referred to as "flood level``, as above this, shoreline damage starts to become a greater possibility – although PSPC advises that we have exceeded this level at times in the past without significant damage. 
 
Just to put it in perspective:  The water is up to but not over the top of the dock that runs in front of the store at Riverview.  The long dock with the gazebo across the bay from there is underwater by a few inches in places.
 
PSPC is comfortable saying that it should continue to rise at this rate (3-4 cm per day) for at least the next week.  That should take us to about 196.46 m.  That’s another 24.5 cm or about 9.5 inches above today’s level – so, again, picture that at the Riverview store.
 
And that level – 196.46 – is just 14 cm/6 inches below the “50-year” flood level of 196.59.  That’s the level where serious shoreline damage becomes much more certain.
 
PSPC had expected to reach 196.22 m sometime next week – so this is definitely a bit early. 
 
The good news is that inflows to the Lake are slowing – 3 to 4 cm per day (around 1.5 inches), instead of 10 or 11 cm (about 4 inches) per day.
 
The bad news is that it’s still rising. 
 
All of these predictions, of course, still depend on the weather, including melting ice and snow, and especially on rainfall.  The rainfall predictions for next week are relatively modest but as we all know, the predictions aren’t quite what they used to be.
 
And finally, the River is apparently open and navigable (with chunks of ice flowing downriver) up to Burnt Island – both the main and back channels.  The Lake should be clear in the next 4-5 days. Maybe.
 
We’ll keep watching this closely – check for regular updates and look for future emails.

 
Update on Lake Nipissing and Upper French Water Level
Posted May 1, 2019
The inflow to Lake Nipissing appears to be lessening slightly. Having reached a peak of about 196.17 metres above sea level (masl), the lake level has dropped to 196.15 masl. The prediction for reaching 196.22 masl and higher is still in place.
For the full report from PSPC for April 30, click here.
For the detailed chart for Lake Nipissing up to April 30, click here.
Chart details: The vertical axis on the left side, in dark red, shows the Lake Nipissing level in metres above sea level. The solid red line on the chart is the lake level to April 30. The summer range is shown by the two parallel black lines.
The Environment Canada Water Office web site is continuously updated.



Latest on High Water Levels

Posted April 29, 2019

 

Here’s the latest on high water levels on Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River.

 

The lake level continues to rise. As of this morning at 6:00 a.m., the lake had reached 196.10 metres above sea level, – compared to 195.72 masl on April 24 – which is an increase of 40 cm or over 15 inches.

 

PSPC reported this morning that daily inflows to the lake are slowing and are likely to continue to do so throughout the week; however, those inflows are still quite high (approximately 1,000 m3/s each day.  This is mainly because of colder temperatures, which are slowing down the snow melting process in parts of the watershed, and less rainfall. 

 

Here’s what to expect in the next few days. The lake should continue to rise, although hopefully a bit more slowly than in the past week or so. We should expect to see it hit the benchmark flood level of 196.22 m later this week – another 12 cm or 4.7” above this morning’s level. (Last week, PSPC was expecting it to hit this level around the second week of May – so this would be a bit earlier than previously anticipated.)

 

PSCP says it may rise above 196.22 m but that remains to be seen.  We will keep you posted.


ALERT:  High Water and Risk of Flood on the Way
Posted April 25, 2019

Updated April 26, 2019
This article from baytoday.ca has photos of Lake Nipissing ice becoming very gray and thinning. Flood warnings have now been issued for Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River.
Updated April 28, 2019 at 12:35 p.m.
The lake level is presently 196.06 metres above sea level, 11 cm (over 4") above the summer operating range, and rising steadily. The Environment Canada Water Office web site is continuously updated.

 
The spring thaw is underway with a vengeance and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC – formerly PWGSC – which manages lake/river water levels in partnership with MNRF and OPG) has issued a warning that we could see very high-water levels on Lake Nipissing and the Upper French River this spring.
 
As of yesterday (April 24), the Lake had reached 195.72 metres above sea level (masl) – an increase of 70 cm so far this week alone.  That brings us very close to the bottom of the summer seasonal operating range (195.75 to 195.95 masl).
 
And the most recent prediction is that the Lake will very likely exceed 196.22 m by the second week of May. 
 
To give you an idea of what that means: last year, around the time of the May long weekend, the Lake hit last year’s high-water mark at 195.92 m, which was very close to the top of the summer operating range. 
 
The prediction of 196.22 m is about a foot above that.
 
That’s not good news, but it’s also not likely to be this year’s high-water mark.
 
How much higher it will go is impossible to say right now.  We had quite a bit more snow than usual this year.  We’ve also had a fair bit of rain, which means that nothing is absorbed and everything becomes runoff very quickly.
 
But basically, none of this is “normal” or fits with long-term models.
 
According to PSPC, it’s not uncommon at the peak of the spring thaw to get two or three days in a row where inflows to the Lake are over 1,000 cubic metres per second (
m3/s) each day.  So far this year, we have had 7 days in a row with inflows of 1,100 m3/s each. 
 
So what’s the worst it could be?  If it starts going above 196.59 m (which would be over 2 feet above where it was last May 23), there is a much greater risk of severe shoreline damage, including damage to docks. 
 
By way of background, 196.59 m is the “50-year” flood level.  A “100-year” flood level would be 197.25 m, which would be more than 2 feet above that.
 
The good news is we have a ways to go before that happens.  Through PSPC, UFRCA will be monitoring the situation closely and will send out update emails and post new information on the website as it becomes available.
 
In the meantime, if you already have barrels on your dock you have probably done all that can be done for now. If you don’t, you may wish to consider talking with whomever you retain to do your maintenance to see what can be done once the Lake or River are navigable.  Typically, the River is ice free some time before the Lake is, and people who watch this closely (including that seer of seers and prognosticator-of-prognosticators, our very own Dave Minden) suggest that the Lake might be ice free sometime near the end of the first week of May.

 

High Water Levels
Posted April 24, 2019

Widespread rain coupled with rapid snow melt is causing high water levels throughout Ontario. Lake Nipissing remains ice-covered and high lake levels may cause shoreline disturbance. Lake Nipissing, as of today, has risen to 195.75 metres above sea level, which is at the summer operating range.

April 23 report regarding Lake Nipissing:

The following is the water level forecast for Lake Nipissing and the French River as of Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019, as provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada. The precipitation at the French River Dams station for the month of April was at 99.7% of the total monthly historical average. As of April 23rd, 2019, the water level of Lake Nipissing was 195.62 metres. Rain is in the forecast today through tonight amounting to an average of 10-15 mm, with even more in the northern section of the watershed potentially amounting to up to 50 mm, by the end of Wednesday. The rest of the week shows another system by the end of the week with rain forecasted around 5mm. The rain combined with warmer temperatures continues to melt the snow resulting in very high inflows and rapid rising in the Lake level.

Spring Notes to UFRCA Members
Posted April 21, 2019
We know you may be anxious to send in your membership renewal for 2019-20, but please hold on for a few weeks. The new 2019-20 Membership Form will be posted and distributed in May. Please note that the Interac e-transfer and credit card/PayPal payment systems are temporarily not in service. Until notified, please do not register on-line or attempt to pay your membership fee using those services. The spring newsletter is slated for May 15. Newsletters are distributed directly by e-mail to members, and new members are always welcome.
 
New Web Site Look
Posted April 21, 2019
You are seeing a new look on the web site. The Members Menu is being discontinued and members no longer need to “log in” with a user name and password. All pages previously in the Members Menu have been either discontinued or revised to be in public view and moved to the Main Menu.



Spring Freshet Underway
Posted April 15, 2019

The spring freshet is underway, and in the last few weeks, Lake Nipissing – although still ice covered – has risen to about 1 metre below the summer range. Creeks are running, and small ponds are starting to open up. After record breaking snow levels during the winter, there is still much snow in the bush. Rain, with temperatures well above zero predicted for later this week, will move us quickly into spring mode. To observe the opening of waterways, check the NASA EOSDIS Worldview web site.  Adjust the date and scroll to find a clear day when Lake Nipissing and other areas of interest are visible. The long term average date for Lake Nipissing to be ice free is April 28. Last year, the official ice-free date was May 14.


MNRF and Nipissing First Nation Extend Walleye Fishery Agreement
Posted March 12, 2019

See the North Bay Nugget article here.

West Nipissing (Finally) Approves Switch To OPP
Posted Feb. 25, 2019

After months of controversy, delays and deliberations, West Nipissing has finally decided to switch from its West Nipissing Police Service to the Ontario Provincial Police. For Upper French River cottagers, the result will be much simpler: If you need the police, call the OPP. See the Nugget article here. See the Security/Police page for a record of previous postings. The transition is slated for June, 2019.

Susan Lembke (1940-2019)
Posted Feb. 25, 2019

The UFRCA extends its condolences to the family of Susan Lembke, long time cottager on the French, who died recently. For the obituary submitted by niece Amy Watkins, click here.

Have Your Say – Cormorant Hunting in Ontario
Posted December 14, 2018

See the Environment Page: Flora and Fauna

Fall Newsletter
Posted December 9, 2018

While still officially fall, It's very wintry in the North Bay, Lake Nipissing and French River area. Here is the "Fall" UFRCA newsletter.


UFRCA has a new mailing address!

For years, our address has been c/o Kennedy Insurance in North Bay.  As a result of changes on our Board of Directors, our new address is:

Upper French River Cottagers Association

1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801

Toronto, Ontario  M5E 1W7

The address is a “virtual mailbox”. The service has been in place for quite a few years in Ontario and is easy to administer because it all done online.  Mail sent to this address will be forwarded automatically to the Board member designated each year to receive it, and this year (2018-19), it’s our Treasurer, Jayne-Ann Steele.  In the future, our mailing address won’t change even if our Board members do. If you are sending something to us through the mail, please use the new address.

 

Election Results
Posted October 23, 2018

Joanne Savage returns as Mayor of West Nipissing, and Denis Senecal is the new Ward 8 councillor, replacing Guy Fortier.
North Bay Nugget Oct. 23, 2018 Savage Returns as Mayor
See Messages from Mayoralty and Councillor Candidates


 

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Posted July 15, 2016
Updated March 19, 2019
Note: This article and the linked document are current. When policing in West Nipissing Municipality changes to the OPP in June, 2019, there will be some modifications to this policy.

As a follow-up to our recent bulletin on Emergency Services on the Upper French River, UFRCA received some inquiries about specific phone numbers that people can call in the event of medical, police, and fire emergencies. In response, we put together the attached document which provides additional detail and phone numbers. The first page of the attachment is for residents of the Municipality of West Nipissing (Bertram Township).  The second page is for residents of the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound (the south side of the river in Hardy and Patterson Townships). 

A key distinction between the two areas is that in the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound there is no 911 service on land lines.  In a medical emergency, cottagers in the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound would need to call EMS directly and we have provided 1-800 numbers for this purpose. In a policing emergency, you would need to call the OPP directly and their central dispatch number is provided as well. 

Just a few more very important points that EMS officials asked us to stress:
- Always make sure you know or have on hand your cottage GPS coordinates and, for those in West Nipissing,  your municipal address (that's the little blue sign – for example “WB212-1”)  
- Keep them by the phone and make sure everyone (family and guests) knows where they are. 
- Educate family and guests on what to do in an emergency and where the closest land access/marina is. 
- If you are not at your cottage when you make an emergency call (for example – a cell phone from a boat) you should try to have some way to determine your GPS coordinates. 

To view the document, click Users Summary July 2016.pdf