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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Tuttle Creek Lake Prepares For Winter: Outflow Increases, Lake Level Drops

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Beginning Dec. 23, 2020 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake will increase outflows to drop lake levels in order to facilitate ongoing construction projects.

This seasonal adjustment minimizes ice damage, provides additional storage capacity for spring rains and favorable habitat for fish spawning in the spring. Operations to lower the lake water level will not delay ongoing construction activities at the stilling basin (locally known as the “tubes”) nor cause excessive flow for ongoing construction downstream in the Kansas River.

The target peak release is expected to be in the 2,000-3,000 cubic feet per second range and will begin on or around Wednesday, Dec. 23 and continue until lake elevation drops approximately three feet. Winter pool elevation of 1072 feet above mean sea level is expected to be reached on or near Dec. 31, 2020 when outflows will then be decreased to minimum outflow requirements to accommodate ongoing construction.

Scheduled operations are based on typical seasonal forecasts and are subject to change resulting from rainfall fluctuations throughout the Tuttle Creek and downstream watersheds. For current lake levels and forecast information visit https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/Water-Management/.

Lower lake levels influence underwater conditions. Visitors should be watchful of submerged obstacles and always wear a lifejacket while on the water. Also, the operation of motorized vehicles off public roadways on public property is not allowed while the lake is drawn down. The only areas where off road operations are allowed are the Spillway Cycle Area and Tuttle Creek Off Road Vehicle parks.

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