Tuttle Creek Lake prepares for winter: Outflow increases, lake drops

Published Dec. 22, 2020
Photo showing beautiful Tuttle Creek lake and dam in the winter

Photo showing beautiful Tuttle Creek lake and dam in the winter

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Beginning Dec. 23, 2020 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake will increase outflows to drop lake levels in order to facilitate ongoing construction projects.

This seasonal adjustment minimizes ice damage, provides additional storage capacity for spring rains and favorable habitat for fish spawning in the spring. Operations to lower the lake water level will not delay ongoing construction activities at the stilling basin (locally known as the “tubes”) nor cause excessive flow for ongoing construction downstream in the Kansas River.

The target peak release is expected to be in the 2,000-3,000 cubic feet per second range and will begin on or around Wednesday, Dec. 23 and continue until lake elevation drops approximately three feet. Winter pool elevation of 1072 feet above mean sea level is expected to be reached on or near Dec. 31, 2020 when outflows will then be decreased to minimum outflow requirements to accommodate ongoing construction.

Scheduled operations are based on typical seasonal forecasts and are subject to change resulting from rainfall fluctuations throughout the Tuttle Creek and downstream watersheds. For current lake levels and forecast information visit https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/Water-Management/.

Lower lake levels influence underwater conditions. Visitors should be watchful of submerged obstacles and always wear a lifejacket while on the water. Also, the operation of motorized vehicles off public roadways on public property is not allowed while the lake is drawn down. The only areas where off road operations are allowed are the Spillway Cycle Area and Tuttle Creek Off Road Vehicle parks.

The Kansas City District is a team of dedicated professionals with a strong heritage and proven results who, in collaboration with our partners, proudly serve the Heartland providing leadership, technical excellence, and innovative solutions to the nation’s most complex problems.


Public Affairs Office
Tuttle Creek Lake

Release no. 20-138