thumb LOW 1W1P 640The local governments within the Minnesota portion of the Lake of the Woods Watershed are collaborating together on a watershed-based plan known as the One Watershed, One Plan. Those governments include Lake of the Woods County, Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Warroad River Watershed District, Roseau County and Roseau SWCD.  The ultimate goal of the planning effort is to implement water management activities on a watershed basis, spanning jurisdictional boundaries.

thumb stormdrain stencillingOnly Rain Down the Drain!  That’s the message behind a binational storm drain stenciling project this past summer.  Our Foundation's Watershed Coordination Program engaged youth and the communities of Fort Frances and Kenora, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota to paint messages beside storm drains next to Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.  The messages are reminders to take care of what goes into those storm drains. These drains lead directly to the river and lake, without treatment.  Soap used for car washing, oils, gas and greases, fertilizers on lawns and other contaminants can get washed down into these drains with overland flow.

thumb 8ijcboardAlgae blooms during late summer and fall on Lake of the Woods remain a concern that was highlighted by the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board at it's meetings with IJC Commissioners in Ottawa, October 25, 2017.

The view from space is compelling with blue green algae blooms widespread across the southern basin  - "the Big Traverse" beginning in early summer.  By fall, blooms covered most of the lake including in the middle channel and north central basin around Kenora.  Blooms persisted well into late October.

The IJC Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board released its annual report on water quality and aquatic ecosystem health, covering the period of 2015-2016. The primary focus is on inputs of the nutrient phosphorus to the Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River as a priority issue of concern. Other indicators of aquatic ecosystem health are covered for many of the major boundary water lakes in the watershed.

zebra musselsZebra mussels have not made it into Lake of the Woods or the Rainy River, yet.  But they have invaded several headwaters upstream in the watershed. On October 30, 2017 Minnesota DNR confirmed that zebra mussels in Dora Lake and the upper reaches of the Big Fork River, downstream of Sand Lake MN where zebra mussels were first confirmed in our watershed in 2013. 

ECCC public info session KenoraOn August 14th, 2017 Environment and Climate change Canada (ECCC) scientists and staff hosted a day-long public information session in Kenora. The event showcased the science underway to better understand the issue of toxic and nuisance algae in the Lake of the Woods and what actions are needed to ensure a healthy lake now and into the future. 

A series of posters displays were presented, summarizing the research project underway: pdf ECCC Science Info Session Posters - August 4, 2017 Kenora (7.85 MB)

March 7-8, 2018:  Rainy River Community College, International Falls, Minnesota

Overview: Symposium for researchers and resource managers working in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed.

Themes: Climate change, nutrients & algae, invasive species, paleolimnology, fisheries, and new techniques — advances in monitoring, remote sensing, modeling, data management and visualization.

Abstract Deadline: January 12, 2018.  Submisssion details, please see www.lowwsf.com/abstract-submission

More Info:  at the Foundation's website www.lowwsf.com/watershed-forum.

thumb LoW Science SessionEnvironment and Climate Change Canada in associaton with the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation will be holding a public information session in Kenora on the science underway to address toxic and nuicance algae blooms on Lake of the Woods.

The session will include a series of posters on the program and ECCC scientists and staff will be present to answer questions. The session will also include information and staff from our partners at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and as well as information from our partners at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Please join us Monday August 14, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Clarion Lakeside Inn, Kenora Ontario.