Voyageurs National Park: Water-level regulation and effects on water quality and aquatic biology

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Abstract

Following dam installations in the remote Rainy Lake Basin during the early 1900s, water-level fluctuations were considered extreme (1914–1949) compared to more natural conditions. In 1949, the International Joint Commission (IJC), which sets rules governing dam operation on waters shared by the United States and Canada, established the first rule curves to regulate water levels on these waterbodies. However, rule curves established prior to 2000 were determined to be detrimental to the ecosystem. Therefore, the IJC implemented an order in 2000 to change rule curves and to restore a more natural water regime. After 2000, measured chlorophyll-a concentrations in the two most eutrophic water bodies decreased whereas concentrations in oligotrophic lakes did not show significant water-quality differences. Fish mercury data were inconclusive, due to the variation in water levels and fish mercury concentrations, but can be used by the IJC as part of a long term data set.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Voyageurs National Park: Water-level regulation and effects on water quality and aquatic biology
DOI 10.1061/9780784481394.017
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher ASCE
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2018
Conference Title World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2018
Conference Location Minneapolis, MN
Conference Date June 3-7, 2018
Country United States
State Minnesota
Other Geospatial Voyageurs