Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drought Hits Rend Lake Water Levels

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is announced further temporary restrictions at Rend Lake today due to low water levels.

I ran into Matt Stroebel of SnS Guide Service at a convenience store on the way to work this morning. He knew of a number of fishermen who were getting boats and equipment damaged who were not used to how shallow the lake was getting in parts.

Today's announcement by the Corps deals with the closure of the Turnip Patch boat ramp on the west side of the lake in Jefferson County. Last week it was the temporary closure of the North Marcum boat ramp and restrictions on the use of the Gun Creek boat ramp to boats "which require less than one foot of draft when afloat".

Still, fishermen and boaters still have access to the remaining 15 boat ramps.

The following is from today's announcement.
Below normal rainfall during the summer season has left Rend Lake water levels near record low elevations. The pool elevation at Rend Lake is currently 403.97 NGVD (National Geodetic Vertical Datum), which is approximately 1 foot below October’s average pool elevation of 404.9 NGVD.

The all-time low pool elevation recorded for Rend Lake was reached in November of 1974 with a level of 402.95 NGVD. The lake reached recreation “normal” pool of 405.0 NGVD for the first time following its construction in the fall of 1973.

Low water levels can cause sand bars, stumps and other obstructions to surface in unexpected areas. As always, the Corps strongly encourages boaters to wear their life jacket and exercise extreme caution when on the waters of Rend Lake.

Additional information on current lake levels and low water restrictions by calling the 24-hour Recreation Information Network at 618-625-1828 or by contacting the Rend Lake Project Office at 618-724-2493 or by email at

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