The Red Lake Watershed District will close the Schirrick Dam gates on the Black River at 1:00 p.m. on April 3, 2020. This is being done as a measure to reduce flood flows and stages downstream on the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North. Owners of property within the reservoir are advised that water levels will be increasing and personal property within the reservoir may be inundated.
The dam is being closed in response to predicted stages in Crookston and Grand Forks. The National Weather Service has advised the District that river stages are predicted to crest in Grand Forks in the early morning of Monday, April 6, 2020.
Opening of the gates to begin release of the water will begin once the existing and projected river stages are below 44 feet at Grand Forks and 22 feet in Crookston.
The Black River is a tributary of the Red Lake River. The dam is located in Section 35 of Wylie Township, Red Lake County. An area of 108 square miles drains to the dam. The dam is a 38-foot high earthen embankment, with a reinforced concrete spillway. The reservoir will store 4800-acre feet of water, which is approximately equivalent to one inch of runoff from the area which drains to the dam. The dam was constructed in 1988.
Operation of the dam is planned to reduce peak flows and stages during critical floods in Crookston, Grand Forks, and other areas downstream.
For more information contact Myron Jesme or Nick Olson at the Red Lake Watershed District at 218-681-5800.