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Water Level Tracking

The water level of Rice Lake has been tracked by volunteers who live on the lake since 1973.  A measuring stick is placed in the water, at a specific GIS location, in front of the volunteer's property. The volunteer regularly records changes in the water level and reported the information to a Water Level Specialist at the Department of Natural Resources.  

A website link for river flow and levels of the North Fork Crow River located upstream from Rice Lake is also available below

DNR Website for River Flow and Level Data

To access the North Fork Crow River DNR website to obtain the water inlet flow to Rice Lake and the raw surface water foot level:
1.  Click on the link above.
2.  Scroll down to 
the "Time Series Graph" and you will see the flow rate of water entering Rice Lake (cubic feet per second).

To access the water surface level:
1.  Click on the discharge drop down button menu and then select "raw levels".
2.  Click on the update button and a new graph will appear showing the water levels over the last week.

Observations over the past 10 years:
1. Normal water levels are typically between 33 ft and 34 ft.
2. Water level trends of the river gauge closely match water levels of R
ice Lake.
3. If the flow rate of the river in cubic feet per second go up above 300 cfs the lake will start to rise, anything over 1000 cfs the lake will
be going up quickly.  During this year's (2023) flood event the flow rate peaked at 4,500 cfs and with a water level of 39.4 feet. 

For questions about this website or data contained within, please email

Rice - 73019600
Stearns County

Water Level Data

Period of record:  06/05/1973 to 05/04/2023
# of readings:  3521
Highest recorded:  1128.16 ft (06/24/1986) 
Lowest recorded:  1121.22 ft (09/09/1988)
Recorded range:  6.94 ft.

Last reading:  1124.86 ft (05/04/2023)

Ordinary High Water Level (OHW) elevation:  1125.1 ft

Datum:  NGVD 29 (ft)T

The following graph was provided by the DNR. DNR Website for Rice Lake can be found under: More details  - website for Rice Lake data
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