NWT Water Monitoring Bulletin – Cabin-Owners Be Aware: High Water Levels and Flow Rates on the Peel and Arctic Red Means Potential Risk of Impacted Cabins, Camps

News Type: 
Water monitoring bulletin

MAY 5, 2023 — With higher than normal water levels and flow rates, along with a delayed ice break up downstream on the Peel and Arctic Red Rivers, cabins and camps in the area may be affected.

This bulletin is precautionary based on conditions observed – there have been no reports of cabins or camps being affected and no public safety notices have been issued.

Reason for concern

Provisional water level and flow rate data for these rivers show that values have been near or above maximum previously recorded values since Fall 2022. 

The Sahtu and Beaufort Delta regions received about 150% more rain than normal from July to October 2022. Snow surveys in the Peel River basin this year showed that snow depths were 125% more than normal.

The onset of spring in the Peel and Arctic Red River basins has been delayed by cooler than normal temperatures. Water levels at break up will be highly dependent on weather conditions over the coming weeks, but a later melt increases the chances of high water.

It is difficult to accurately predict the streamflow response during snowmelt as much is dependent on weather conditions during snowmelt and break up.

As is the case every year, several NWT communities and cabins are at risk of ice jam floods, regardless of preceding conditions.

What you can do

  • Priority one: be aware of the conditions of ice in the area and prioritize safety. Never access your cabins or camps if navigation relies on ice and you are uncertain about ice conditions.
    • If it is safe, consider these tips for preparing for floods
  • Stay up to date on current conditions and follow any instructions from officials
  • Take normal precautions recommended by public safety officials ahead of any spring break-up season:

Supports for recovering traditional activities

Should floodwaters affect cabins or camps used for traditional harvesting, there may be funding available to assist in getting back to traditional activities. 

Learn more about the Hunters and Trappers Disaster Compensation program:

Contact your regional Environment and Climate Change office (Wildlife and Forestry section) with questions. 

More information


For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Environment and Climate Change

Government of the Northwest Territories