Posted: Wednesday, May 23rd 2012 at 7:33am
New Corps plans help stabilize Lanier level
By Marc Eggers Staff
MOBILE – Downstream water demands and the resultant effect on the level of Lake Lanier should be minimal, that according to an announcement made yesterday by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Mobile District office.
"The changes being implemented may result in lower reservoir levels by mere inches," said Public Affairs Officer E. Patrick Robbins.
The Corps announced Tuesday that they have implemented changes to the Revised Interim Operations Plan (RIOP) for Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam which addresses water management operations at the dam and releases into the Apalachicola River.
The Woodruff Dam straddles the Georgia-Florida state line and impounds Lake Seminole just below the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, creating the Apalachicola River.
These changes were made after more than a year of formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on operations to protect listed threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat in the Apalachicola River.
"We reinitiated consultation with USFWS on the RIOP in November 2010 because of new information that became available regarding the distribution and mortality of certain mussel species that was not available during our previous consultations," Robbins said.
"During our previous consultations we did not expect mussels to re-populate in locations above the minimum 5,000 cubic feet per second flow. In September 2010, we learned this in fact did occur and that mussels were exposed and died as the river stage declined," Robbins explained
"Therefore, our latest consultation focused on identifying additional avoidance and minimization measures when river stages and flows are between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second at Jim Woodruff. The changes being implemented under this consultation are very minor."
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