Monday, July 11, 2011

Carlyle Lake Status

 Carlyle Lake – As of 8:00 a.m., Thursday, July 7, 2011, the pool elevation of Carlyle Lake is 454.01 feet NGVD, with a release of approximately 4,670 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Yesterday’s inflow was 2,940 cfs.  A series of gate changes will be made today to decrease releases to approximately 3,770 cfs. The target pool elevation is 445.0 feet NGVD.     

   The St. Louis District Water Control Operations has made the decision to reduce releases to allow fields to dry and be planted by July 15th.  The lake had been operated under an approved deviation from mid-to-late May.  After reaching 447.0 NGVD, heavy rains began and caused the lake to rise to 454.77 NGVD.  If this deviation had not been approved, the lake would currently be at a much higher pool elevation.  With the current release plan, Carlyle Lake is expected to reach 450.0 NGVD by mid to late August.

   Due to the elevated pool, recreation opportunities at the lake are impacted. Dam West, Boulder, McNair and Dam East Spillway Campgrounds are open; however, the entire Coles Creek Recreation Area remains closed. As the pool level continues to recede, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to reopen facilities as quickly as possible.  In addition, several private campgrounds around the lake remain open.  Hazlet State Park is open and has numerous campsites available.  The Dam West, Apache and Boulder High Water Boat Ramps are open along with Horseshoe Island, Keyesport, General Dean and the City of Carlyle Boat Ramps.
   Other areas closed due to the elevated pool include several township roads around the lake, the Lakeview fishing pier, and Dam West, McNair and Coles Creek Beaches.  

   Due to the water level, many breakwaters and other facilities have been overtopped by water and caution should be used when boating near these and other submerged structures.  Boaters should become familiar with the location of these structures before launching and must stay clear of all inundated recreation areas and beaches.  Boaters should also watch for floating logs and other debris.

At pool levels above 450.0 feet NGVD, flowage easement lands surrounding the lake are used for flood storage.  These lands are private property and are not open to public recreation.  The surface area of Carlyle Lake at the normal summer pool elevation of 445.0 feet NGVD is 24,583 acres.  The current surface area of Carlyle Lake is approximately 39,597 acres. 

   The pool elevation at Lake Shelbyville, situated north of Carlyle Lake is 607.56 feet NGVD, with a release of approximately 630 cfs.  The campgrounds at Lake Shelbyville remain open. 

   The Corps is closely working with their partners, the Carlyle Lake Association, Mid-Kaskaskia River Association and Okaw River Basin Coalition.  For further information, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at 801 Lake Road, Carlyle, Illinois 62231, call (618) 594-2484 or email at

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