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Follow these Lake Zumbro safety tips

With autumn nearing an end, Rochester Public Utilities is nearly ready to begin its seasonal draw-down of Lake Zumbro.

RPU plans to begin releasing water from the dam-controlled Lake Zumbro on Sunday to allow for planned maintenance and shoreline restoration work, according to a recent news release. Timing is subject to change depending on rainfall this week.

The draw-down will take the lake from an elevation of 914.5 feet to a target elevation of 911.5 feet. That target elevation would be maintained for one week, from Saturday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 14, the release stated.

After Nov. 14, lake refilling would begin and continue until a normal pool elevation is attained, an elevation of about 913 feet. The lake elevation is scheduled to be raised by no more than one half-foot per day while maintaining a minimum release of 70 cubic feet per second.

A normal winter pool elevation would be maintained from November through March next year.


Lake level information is available at rpu.org and additional Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility information is available by contacting Tony Benson at RPU by phone at 280-1534.

During winter months, RPU recommends these tips for ice safety:

• Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or walking on the frozen lake.

• Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

• Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly — be very cautious.

• Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

• Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

• Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

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