Clinton Lake levels worry Lawrence officials - KCTV5

Clinton Lake levels worry Lawrence officials

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Clinton Lake (Jamie Oberg/KCTV5) Clinton Lake (Jamie Oberg/KCTV5)
DOUGLAS COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

Clinton Lake levels are at their lowest ever, and city of Lawrence officials hope the federal government will do something about it.

The lake levels are falling at the Douglas County lake because of the drought. They are at their lowest level since the lake was filled in 1980. The lake is 4 1/2 feet low.

The city of Lawrence has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to refrain from increasing the out take flow over the course of the spring and summer until water levels rise.

Megan Hiebert of the Clinton Marina said the levels could be dangerous for unsuspecting boaters, and she and others want to get the word out.

"There's less water for boats to get in and out," said Sue Gehrt, operations program manager for the Corps. "You start getting some lower shallow areas where boats might hit the bottom of the lake."

The Corps releases water for use by the city of Lawrence, and to keep the Wakarusa River flowing. The Corps normally increases the out take levels on April 1.

"We can control the water coming out of the lake. But right now we're at the minimum release as we are. It's as low as it can go," Gehrt said.

Hiebert is hoping for rain, make that lots of rain, before the busy boating season this summer.

"We need some water bad. That's the only way to fix it. We just need some rain," she said. "We're excited about a good summer and everybody's ready for it."

Of the marina's nearly 400 slips, only four are too shallow to use.

The lake normally covers 7,200 acres, but right now it's dropped to 6,271 acres.

The lake needs 3 inches of rain. If the lake loses 5 more feet of water then boaters may face really dangerous conditions.

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