Ameren Missouri operates Bagnell Dam under an operating license granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). At present, the provisions of the operating license permit lake fluctuations down to 650 feet under normal conditions and to 645 feet under emergency conditions.
Ameren Missouri suggests that the Lake fluctuations mentioned above be factored into the design characteristics of docks. Designing a dock to withstand lake drawdown to 650 feet will prevent most damage due to drawdown. Designing it to withstand drawdowns to 645 feet will ensure a minimum amount of problems due to drawdowns.
Drawdowns of such magnitude are not typical. However, the Lake usually reaches its lowest point during the winter-early spring period. If you are not a year-round resident, consider arranging to have someone take care of your dock during winter absences.
Ameren Missouri uses the Osage Power Plant at Bagnell Dam to optimize system power generation. High customer demand, downstream navigation, weather, upstream releases, and equipment malfunction are all factors in determining plant usage. These variables account for year-to-year, as well as day-to-day, fluctuations in the Lake level. Such fluctuations should be expected. Also, these same variables make any forecasts concerning Lake levels questionable, except for very short periods.
We hope the foregoing information is of value. Please be assured that Ameren Missouri works hard to cooperate with Lake area residents.
For further information, please call Ameren Missouri’s Lake level information line at 573.365.9205.