Ameren Missouri advises dock owners to stay abreast of Lake of the Ozarks and Osage River water level fluctuations as winter approaches.
Ameren Missouri advises dock owners to stay abreast of Lake of the Ozarks and Osage River water level fluctuations as winter approaches. Property owners are encouraged to take appropriate measures to protect their docks from lower water levels, ice and other winter conditions that routinely occur at this time of year.
"Winter conditions and ice can pose risks for dock owners both above and below Bagnell Dam," said Jeff Green, Ameren’s shoreline management supervisor. "We record the lake level phone message each weekday. It's a dock owner's best source of up-to-date information on Lake water levels and river flows."
Lake and river level fluctuations occur for several reasons. At Lake of the Ozarks, Ameren generally lowers the water level during wintertime to about 654 feet above sea level — or six feet below the full reservoir level of 660 feet — to reduce the possibility of flooding during spring rains. The Osage River level may fluctuate when Ameren's Bagnell Dam releases water to meet increased electricity demand.
Ameren offers the following tips to help both lake and Osage River dock owners minimize the effects of lower lake levels and other winter conditions:
•Below the dam, remove docks from the Osage River before cold weather hits.
•Ensure that hinges, pins and other connections linking any remaining docks to seawalls or piers have the flexibility to follow water level fluctuations.
•Lengthen cables to allow docks to drop as the Lake or river levels drop.
•Use a dock deicer to help protect docks from ice damage, though a deicer may not provide protection from large ice sheets and blocks.
•Ask neighbors to keep an eye on the dock or retain a local dock builder or similar contractor to care for the property when the site is unoccupied.
Ameren also reminds the public that Bagnell Dam water releases may occur at any time and may result in swift currents and rapidly rising water levels in the Osage River. The dam sounds a warning siren before starting and stopping generators.
Please call (573)365-9205 to hear Ameren Missouri's daily report on Lake of the Ozarks water levels. Hourly information about Lake water levels is available at http://www.ameren.com/missouri/lake-of-the-ozarks by clicking on the "Lake Level & Operations" link in the right-hand column.