Annual drawdown of MWCD lakes to begin in November

October 7, 2009

Winter “drawdown” of the reservoirs managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) will begin in November as usual.


As part of the flood-reduction operation of the system of reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will temporarily reduce the depth levels of the permanent reservoirs behind the dams during the upcoming winter months.


A report detailing the drawdown plan was presented for review to members of the MWCD Board of Directors during a recent meeting held on the campus of Kent State University-Tuscarawas at New Philadelphia.


The drawdown will begin Nov. 1 at several reservoirs and will range from reductions of 3 feet to 8 feet, said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer. A gradual return to normal summer depth levels will begin in February 2010 in time for the recreation season.


The depth reductions by reservoir, the amount of the reduction and the date the drawdown is expected to begin follows: 

  • Atwood Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 15
  • Charles Mill Lake – 3 feet – Dec. 1
  • Clendening Lake – 5 feet – Nov. 15
  • Leesville Lake – 5 feet – Nov. 1
  • Piedmont Lake – 5 feet – Nov. 15
  • Pleasant Hill Lake – 6 feet – Dec. 1
  • Seneca Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 1
  • Tappan Lake – 8 feet – Nov. 15

Slogar said the USACE annually reduces the depth levels of the reservoirs during the winter months.


 The USACE owns and operates the dams and handles management of the reservoir depth levels for flood reduction. The MWCD manages 54,000 acres of the water and land located behind the dams. The USACE and MWCD work together through a partnering agreement for management of the system of reservoirs and dams for flood reduction and water conservation.


In other business, the Board:


 Approved filing an application for grant funding for a shoreline stabilization project at Tappan Lake from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. The project cost estimate is $250,000 and a 25-percent local match is required. If approved, work would be scheduled for 2010 or 2011.


 Approved filing two grant applications to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for consideration. One application is for funding for the MWCD to host the 6th Annual North Central Ohio Safe Boating and Fishing Festival at Pleasant Hill Lake Park in June 2010. The other application is for the replacement or addition of navigational aides to be placed on MWCD lakes.


Passed a resolution of support for Issue 2 on the statewide ballot in the Nov. 3 general election for the creation of an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Jim Rowe, a dairy farmer in northern Tuscarawas County and a member of the MWCD’s Development Advisory Committee, presented information about the ballot issue to Board members.


Held an executive session to discuss personnel with no action taken.


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