2014 Spring Ice

  • aaron
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts: 124

    It looks like Xcel dropped the lake about 10FT. This can not be good for the spring spawners that use the shallow water to do their thing. Shallow water weed growth will also be affected by this, I am sure. I bet the DNR would not let this happen on MN lakes!

    Posts: 1552

    The press release says they lowered it 5 feet. I understand your concern as it can’t be good for the spawning fish. The good news is that the press release says this will be the last year of the draw downs.

    Xcel Press Release

    Posts: 6259

    It was my understanding that they were not allowed to play with the water levels by more than a few feet anymore…

    Jason Sullivan
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts: 1383

    I wasn’t able to find a recent press release, but here is one dated back in 2001.


    Xcel Energy announces drawdown of Lake Wissota
    March 8, 2001
    EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – The water level of Lake Wissota in Chippewa County will be lowered a total of five feet beginning Monday, March 12. The water level will be lowered approximately one-half foot per day through operation of Xcel Energy’s Wissota hydroelectric plant until a five-foot drawdown is reached. The lake will begin refilling as soon as runoff from snowmelt and spring rains arrives with the date of complete refill dependent upon weather and river inflows.
    Lake Wissota is lowered in late winter or early spring to provide extra storage for melting snow and heavy spring rains. This also allows for extra time for flood preparedness by Xcel Energy and downstream communities.
    This will be the last year that a major drawdown of Lake Wissota will occur. As part of the recently signed Lower Chippewa River Settlement Agreement, Xcel Energy has agreed to reduce the depth and duration of the drawdown. In future years, the lake will not be drawn down more than three feet and for no longer than a seven-day period, except for rarely-required dam maintenance projects or emergencies. Lakeshore owners are encouraged to complete any shoreline projects this year as the depth of the drawdowns in the future will be significantly reduced.
    Recreational users are warned that the ice is likely to be unstable during the drawdown and through the remainder of the winter.
    The Wissota Hydroelectric Project is owned by Xcel Energy, which operates it under a license granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Xcel Energy owns and operates five other hydro projects on the Chippewa River and a total of 19 hydro projects in northwestern Wisconsin.

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