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Souris River Flow Rates & Reservoir Levels

We’re working on bringing Souris river and reservoir levels directly to this page, but until then, here are the links that will take you to the latest data.

Souris River Data (basin overview)

Reservoir Levels

When viewing Canadian reservoir levels, scroll down past the links to view the reservoir level graph.

If you understand how these gauges affect Minot, You won’t need to rely on the City or any other news outlet to make your preparations.

Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS) or Thousands of Cubic Feet Per Second (KCFS)

Cubic Feet per Second is the way we measure the volume of water flowing in a river.  1 cubic foot is the volume of water that would fill a box 1 foot tall by 1 foot wide by 1 foot deep.  In many of the measurements, volume is abbreviated to KCFS which is short hand for thousands of cubic feet per second.

A gauge reading of 6.5 KCFS would equal 6,500 Cubic Feet per Second (6.5 x 1000)

Sherwood Gauge:

This gauge gives us an approximate rate of how much water is entering Lake Darling.  It is the first gauge on the U.S. side of the border.

Water flowing past the Sherwood Gauge is approximately 3 days from reaching Minot

Lake Darling:

Lake Darling is the last layer of Flood Control (besides localized dikes) in the Souris River basin above Minot.  When Lake Darling is full or at the spillway depth, the water flowing out of Lake Darling will flow uncontrolled towards Minot at a rate  equal to the water flowing into Lake Darling (approximated by flows at the Sherwood Gauge).

Water flowing out of Lake Darling is approximately 1.5-2 days from reaching Minot.

Foxholm Gauge (Souris River):

This Gauge gives us an approximate estimate of the flow coming out of Lake Darling.  The flow amount is controlled by the Corp of Engineers until the lake reaches spillway depth at which point it will flow at the amount coming into the lake from Canada estimated by flows at the Sherwood Gauge.

Foxholm Gauge (Des Lacs River):

The Des Lacs River is the wild card river in the whole equation.  It is an uncontrolled tributary which joins the Souris River at the town of Burlington.  It’s drainage basin extends to Kenmare and beyond.  With heavy rains it can fill quickly and contribute large volumes of water to the flow of the Souris River.

When full, the Des Lacs river it runs at a volume of 1000-2000 CFS or higher in extreme situations.  This amount will combine with flows from Lake Darling to comprise the majority of the flow amount heading towards Minot and towns downstream.

Water flowing in the Des Lacs past the Foxholm Gauge is approximately 1.5-2 days form reaching Minot.

Jct 17 Bridge (Boyscout Bridge):

This is the last gauge on the Souris River above Minot.  The flows here give an approximate measure of the combined flows from the Souris and Des Lacs Rivers.

Water flowing past the Jct 17 Bridge will reach Minot within hours.

Flow Times:

From the Corp of Engineers office in Minneapolis, here are the estimated flow times on the Souris River:

Boundary & Rafferty Reservoirs to Sherwood Gauge:  Approximately 1 Week.

Alameda Reservoir to Sherwood Gauge: Approximately 2-4 Days.

Sherwood to Lake Darling: Approximately 1 Day

Lake Darling to Minot/De Lacs at Foxholm to Minot: Approximately 1-2 days.

Army Corps of Engineers Daily Reservoir Bulletin