KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Shallow points and normally submerged hazards are becoming a common sight as the Smithville Lake level continues to drop. Normal multipurpose pool is 864.2 feet above mean sea level. Currently the lake is at 861.67 msl.
The lake level continues to slowly drop due to evaporation, water supply and no additional inflow due to drought conditions within the Smithville Lake watershed counties of Clinton, Clay, and DeKalb. It's important for all visitors to understand the lake and risks associated with recreating in low water.
"Right now the lake is 2 feet 6 inches low," says Lora Vacca, Operations Manager for Smithville Lake. "We want all visitors to be vigilant and recognize low-water areas and pay attention to eroded shoreline and changes in water coloration. Obey buoys and understand they do not mark all low-water areas. Slow down. What may have been a fun, safe route for boating in the past years may not be now as low water levels present a danger for striking normally submerged hazards such as trees and rocks."
The Missouri State Highway Patrol stresses similar messages.
"Educate yourself. Boaters need to be familiar with the lake before they venture out," says Corporal Kimberly Davis. "Pay attention. Know the areas of the lake such as arms and bridges so that in the event help is needed, they can identify where they are."
Boaters should operate vessels in the open water or channel, avoid shorelines, stay alert and learn the lake. Boaters in need of assistance can dial *55. Lake maps are free and available at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jerry Litton Visitor Center, Clay County Park Office, park entrance booths and Smithville Lake's website at http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Smithville-Lake/.
Release no. 18-044