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Yearly discharges begin from Devils Lake

West End Outlet on Devils Lake
North Dakota Department of Water Resources
West End Outlet on Devils Lake

The West End Outlet is currently running at 200 cubic feet per second.

Annual releases from Devils Lake have begun.

The West End Outlet was turned on yesterday, discharging at 200 cubic feet per second or CFS. Director of the North Dakota Department of Water Resources, Andrea Travnicek says the East End Outlet could be turned on as early as next week.

Each outlet has a release capacity of 300 CFS, for a combined release capacity of 600 CFS. Travnicek says DWR manages operation of the outlets, closely monitoring conditions throughout the basin to determine how much water can be released.

"We've got to be aware of any freezing conditions before we start the outlets, because we want to be sure that we're not impacting the infrastructure. And we're always looking at the flows along the Sheyenne, seeing how high the CFS is along the Sheyenne and then of course, looking at the sulfates as well within the Sheyenne as we're determining that. So with the flows along the Sheyenne being lower, that 600 CFS in some areas, it felt okay to get that West End Outlet up and running."

The current lake elevation at Devils Lake is 1449.4, with its historical highest elevation recorded at 1454.3 in 2011. It has risen roughly 30 feet since 1993.