Spring releases from reservoirs along the Souris-Mouse River system are beginning this week, as river managers start the process of moving water through river in advance of major spring snowmelt.
Releases from Lake Darling Dam north of Minot will be increased tomorrow, and again this weekend to start making room in Lake Darling for runoff from Canada.
Workers at Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge will make the actual adjustments to the dam controls.
Manager Tom Pabian says the releases will more-than double from the current 70 cubic feet per second to 150 cfs on Wednesday.
Then on Friday, the plan calls for the releases to rise to 250 cfs.
Pabian says the higher releases are coming in advance of higher releases from the Rafferty and Alameda Dams in Canada.
(Tom Pabian, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "It hasn't hit the border yet. Their plan are this week to start increasing flows out of Alameda and Rafferty and this will give us a few days jump start on the releases we'll be getting from them."
Pabian says communication between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Water Security Agency in Saskatchewan will be very frequent as the snow melt gets going - and through the spring.
(Tom Pabian, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "A lot of communication, a lot of phone calls, a lot of e-mails, we're always communicating back and forth getting new information weekly if not daily on the runoff forecast, talking with the folks up in Saskatchewan and the State Water Commission. It's a huge coordination event is what it is."
The higher releases come the same week that Saskatchewan officials released a forecast for the spring runoff showing near normal conditions in much of the Souris River basin in southeastern Saskatchewan, but much higher than normal levels in the northern reaches of the watershed.
Overall, the Water Security Agency in Saskatchewan predicts an above normal total runoff in the Souris River system north of the US border.