Again this year, water releases will continue at the Lake Darling Dam -- keeping the level of the reservoir in check, but also making ice conditions on the Mouse River dangerous.
The releases will be minor -- scheduled to go from 20 now to just 65 cubic feet per second soon -- but that will keep the river moving, and make it tougher for ice to form.
The reason for the continued releases is to keep Lake Darling from rising above 1596 feet.
That is the prescribed level according to the international agreement that governs the system that runs through both the US and Canada.
The releases are scheduled to be small, but even that, according to Tom Pabian with the Upper Souris Wildlife Refuge, can lead to some treacherous conditions downstream.
(Tom Pabian - Upper Souris Wildlife Refuge) "There will be reduced ice thickness beneath the dam in our fishing area below there and also points downstream. Bridges, low head dams through Minot. So folks who are venturing out on this ice this winter for fishing or cross country skiing or whatever, just take extra caution and be aware that the ice may not be as thick in those areas as it normally is."
The releases of 65 cubic feet per second are expected to last until mid January, but could change should conditions warrant.