The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Bracebridge Minden Parry Sound District
is advising area residents that a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook Bulletin
is in effect in the district until Thursday, July 27, 2023.
This message will affect residents within the MNRF Bracebridge Minden Parry Sound District for portions of the District of Parry Sound, District of Muskoka, and County of Haliburton within the Magnetawan River, Muskoka River and Pickerel River Watersheds – other small watersheds within the region may also be experiencing higher than normal water levels and river flows for this time of year.
Water levels and river flows are significantly higher than normal for this time of year.
Lower-lying portions of known flood-prone areas and shoreline infrastructure such as
docks, boathouses, and beaches may be impacted to various degrees as lake and river
levels are anticipated to increase and remain high for the next several days.
Boaters are advised to be cautious if traveling on local waterways. Boat traffic during high
water conditions can cause damage to shorelines and to shoreline property with vessel
High water levels and fast river flows can be hazardous to boaters, swimmers or people on
or close to the water. The banks and shorelines adjacent to water bodies can be extremely
slippery and unstable. Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around
waterbodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets.
MNRF also advises extreme caution when using forest access roads for outdoor activities
as they may become inundated with water, are prone to washouts, and may become
impassible due to localized flooding.
Residents that have been affected by high water and flow conditions in the past should take
necessary action to protect/secure any vulnerable property in proximity to rivers and lakes
and closely monitor developing conditions and regularly check for updated messages.
The ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions.
Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Description of Weather System
Rainfall warnings have been issued by Environment Canada for areas within the
Magnetawan, Muskoka, and Pickerel River Watersheds. Rainfall totals for portions of these
areas could reach 50-70 mm on July 20, 2023.
Weather forecasts call for additional rainfall over the next seven days with a chance of
Lake water levels and river flows are generally above their normal ranges for this time of
year and significant rainfall as forecasted will cause them to rise further.
The watersheds are cascading systems – each waterbody feeds into the next downstream.
Runoff from rain cascades and compounds through the entire system affecting water levels
in each waterbody. It will take a number of days for the high flows to work through the entire system. Downstream water bodies may experience a delay in the full impact of the
MNRF is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further
updates will be issued as appropriate.DEFINITIONS
• WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high
flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters,
anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
• WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice
of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow
melt, high winds or other conditions
• SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that along
the Great Lakes shorelines high water, melting ice or other factors could be
dangerous but flooding is not expected.
• SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice
of the potential for flooding along the Great Lakes shorelines based on weather
and lake conditions, and water safety information.
• FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and
• FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses