ijcThe IJC Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board is setting its sights on updating Objectives and Alert Levels for water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in our watershed.  The existing international Objectives and Aert Levels are outdated and not aligned to current priority issues.

Phase 1 of the project started in November and will engage experts and stakeholders to refine priorities and propose needs, options and potential metrics or indicators.  

Turner640A vocal, engaged and committed crowd of 200 citizens concerned about toxic and nuisance algae in Lake of the Woods gathered at the Clarion Hotel in Kenora, Aug. 15, 2018 to learn what is being done to address the problem.

Many attendees, led by former Prime Minister John Turner, voiced strongly a demand for Canada to “get on with it” and take action immediately to combat algae blooms jointly with Minnesota, in its plan to cut phosphorus by 18.4%.


Following a presentation from the International Rainy – Lake of the Woods Watershed Board in Washington D.C., the International Joint Commission endorsed and submitted the Board’s recommendations for immediate interim phosphorus reductions in Lake of the Woods to the Governments of Canada and the United States. 

Read the full June 13, 2018 IJC Press Release on "Immediate Interim Phosphorus Targets Recommended for Lake of the Woods"

Background Document:  IJC Letter to Governments

water samplerThe science team from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) was back on the lake in September for their fall intensive sampling, rounding out their work for the entire summer.  The ECCC science program aims to develop a framework to assess and predict the ecological response of the lake (e.g., algae blooms) to potential nutrient load reductions.

Ongoing water quality and other data were collected from 30 stations across the lake.  Issue-specific work was also undertaken to better characterize: nutrients coming from the lake bottom, algae types and toxins.