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Kanopolis Lake drawdown will begin end of December

Kanopolis Lake during a dam inspection on Oct. 6, 2022.

Posted on December 19, 2022

A 3-foot drawdown of reservoir levels at Kanopolis Lake, near Kanopolis, Kansas, will begin starting the week of Dec. 19, 2022, as conditions allow, in preparation for the Kanopolis Riprap Overlay Project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing this project to provide placement of necessary riprap that will protect the dam from wind and wave erosion. To safely and accurately complete the required riprap placements, the pool elevation will be drawn down 3 feet through outflows less than 500 cubic feet per second to achieve a target pool elevation of 1,460.0 feet.

The drawdown is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete, after which releases will be set to maintain the target pool elevation and provide low-flow water quality support of 20cfs second at the Smoky Hill River at Mentor, Kansas. Considering the current drought conditions in the basin the drawdown was reduced to the minimum amount acceptable to complete the required work.

Construction will begin in early January. Riprap and bedding placement is projected to be completed within 60 days, but weather delays are possible.

During construction, in the event the pool rises above elevation 1,461.0 feet, releases will be scheduled to reduce the pool elevation back to the target 1,460.0 feet. Additionally, the management of the pool elevation for the benefit of riprap placement will last no later than April 1, 2023. After this time, the lake management will begin to refill to target spring pool elevation of 1,467.5 feet.

Questions and comments regarding this water release can be directed to the Kanopolis Lake Project Operation Office Manager at 785-546-2294. Current lake data can be found at Forecast pool elevations and releases for three days into the future can be found at


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