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WATER LEVELS IN THE ST. CROIX WATERSHED

The St. Croix watershed comprises numerous lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Here we provide information on water levels throughout the basin from numerous gauging stations operated by the United State Geological Survey (USGS) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Please note that stations operated by the USGS and ECCC use different measurement units.  

The St. Croix International Waterway Commission does not own or operate any dams and does not have control over water levels in the watershed.

East Grand Lake

Regulatory Requirements

 

Water levels in East Grand Lake must be maintained between 427.94 and 434.94 feet msl.

Minimum flow discharge is 75 CFS from the Forest City Dam.

Resource protection guidelines which limit water level fluctuations for smallmouth bass spawning, beaver and muskrat breeding, and loon nesting are in effect from mid-May to mid-July. Lake trout spawning protections which limit decreases in lake levels are in effect from mid-October to April.

Spednic Lake

Regulatory Requirements

Water levels in Spednic Lake must be maintained between 371.5 and 385.86 feet msl.

Resource protection guidelines which limit water level fluctuations for smallmouth bass spawning, beaver and muskrat breeding, and loon nesting are in effect from mid-May to mid-July.

Upper St. Croix River

Regulatory Requirements

Minimum flow discharge from the dam at Vanceboro is 200 CFS year round.

Recreational Access

Water levels between 500-1,200 CFS are considered ideal for paddling the upper St. Croix.

Water levels below 500 CFS are able to be paddled, however the trip will be slower, and rock-filled. Advanced paddlers will still be able to navigate the river at this level, however inexperienced paddlers may struggle. Levels below 400 CFS may involve dragging in some areas and portaging at Little Falls and Canoose Ledges may be required.

At water levels higher than 1,200 CFS, most rapids are "drowned out" and the pace of a canoe trip is much quicker, however large standing waves may form at some rapids which present difficulty.

Grand Falls Flowage

Gauging Stations

Water levels in Grand Falls Flowage are controlled by inflow from Grand Lake Stream, and the West Branch St. Croix (Big Lake, Long Lake, and Lewey Lake), and several rivers and streams, as well as inflow from the Upper St. Croix River (east branch), and are regulated by discharges from the dam and powerhouse located at Grand Falls.

Lower St. Croix River

Water levels in the lower St. Croix River are largely controlled by discharges from the Grand Falls and Woodland dams. The USGS gauge located at Baring, Maine provides data on water levels below the Woodland dam.

Grand Lake Stream

Regulatory Requirements

Minimum flow discharge from the dam at West Grand Lake is 100 CFS year round.

Water levels in Grand Lake Stream are directly controlled by the dam at West Grand Lake in the town of Grand Lake Stream.

 

Recreational Access

Wading the stream can be difficult above 500 CFS.

Gauging Stations

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