CENTERVILLE, Iowa --
Conditions are unfavorable for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a fall release, also known as flushing flow releases, due to the current pool elevation of 903.4 feet at Rathbun Lake, which is more than half a foot below multipurpose level, as of September 19, 2023.
Inflows into the lake from May through August were significantly lower than average. For the months of May, June, July and August, inflow volume into the lake were 9%, 6%, 9%, and 27% of average inflow volume, respectively. The release has been set to the minimum release level of 11 cubic feet per second, a very low release rate, since March 30, 2023. At that time, the pool elevation was 904.65 feet, which allowed a buffer for evaporation as well as storage space available for the next rain event.
To provide a fall release for the benefit of state and privately managed conservation and recreational areas in the Chariton watershed downstream of Rathbun Lake, the pool elevation needs to be at 905.6 feet or above to have an adequate amount of water available to conduct the release. In addition, the weather forecast for the next seven days shows little to no precipitation.
If the Rathbun Lake pool elevation has not risen to 905.6 feet by early October, no fall water release will be conducted because the release would cause the lake to fall below multi-purpose pool, elevation 904.0 feet.
Questions and comments regarding this water release can be directed to the Rathbun Lake Project Operation Office Manager at 641-647-2464 or the Kansas City District Water Management office at 816-389-3545.
Release no. 23-029