The Devils Lake Outlets
In response to Devils Lake’s record-breaking rise, the State of North Dakota began construction of an outlet from the West Bay of Devils Lake to the Sheyenne River in 2002, and completed it in 2005. The West Devils Lake Outlet began operating during the summer of 2005, was not operated due to permit constraints in 2006, and was operated again in 2007 and 2008. In 2010, construction increased the capacity of the West Devils Lake Outlet to a maximum of 250 cfs.
In 2012, in response to rapid increases in lake levels, the state built an additional outlet on the east side of Devils Lake, with a maximum capacity of 350 cfs. The combined operating capacity of both East and West outlets is 600 cfs.
To keep stakeholders informed about outlet operations, the Devils Lake Outlets Advisory Committee meets at least once per year.
Devils Lake Outlets Management Advisory Committee
The Devils Lake Outlets Management Advisory Committee advises the Governor and the State Water Commission regarding operations of all Devils Lake outlets. The committee may recommend criteria for operation of each outlet based on outflow volumes, water quality considerations, and the risk of an overflow of Devils Lake.
Tolna Coulee Control Structure
In addition to the outlets, the Corps of Engineers constructed a control structure at Tolna Coulee as an added level of protection from a natural uncontrolled overflow. The control structure was completed and ready for operation in May 2012. That structure is now owned and operated by the State of North Dakota.