IDNR to Host Public Meeting on Stratton Lock and Dam Winter Drawdown Operations
MCHENRY, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a public meeting on Thursday, October 20 to discuss the winter drawdown operation of the William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry. The public meeting will be held on October 20 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Conference Center at McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14 in Crystal Lake.
Each year on November 1, the IDNR begins a winter drawdown at Stratton Lock and Dam – a reduction in the water surface elevation of the Chain O’Lakes. The Chain O’Lakes is lowered from normal summer pool, a river stage at Fox Lake of 4.0 feet, to winter pool stage, which is a river stage of 2.5 feet. December 1 is the target date to reach winter pool stage. The drop in river stage allows an additional 12,600 acre-feet of flood storage in the Chain O’Lakes – additional storage that is utilized for the spring snow melt flood event and to manage flows during potential ice jams on the Fox River.
The IDNR Office of Water Resources has received several requests from citizens to change the winter drawdown. The requests range from eliminating the winter drawdown to increasing the winter drawdown to a river stage at Fox Lake of 2.0 feet. A request has also been received for delaying the winter drawdown until December 1. The IDNR has completed a study looking at the impacts of these suggested modifications to the winter drawdown operating plan and will review the study findings at the public meeting, with the presentation beginning at 6 p.m. on October 20.
For more information on the public meeting, contact the IDNR Office of Water Resources at 217/524-2387.