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  • Kansas Outdoor News

    Location: Kansas

    TORONTO Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) staff at Cross Timbers State Park have alerted the public that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) plans to begin lowering Toronto Reservoir on Friday, Aug. 6. The drawdown will continue through Aug. 13, when the lake will be 2 feet below conservation pool. The drawdown will allow work to repair damage to the dam, and the project could take a year or more, according to park ranger Josh DeHoux.

    "Boaters will have to use extreme caution during this time," DeHoux said. "This is a relatively shallow lake, and any lowering brings submerged structure closer to the surface. Trees, old farm silos, a railroad trestle, and other hazards could be dangerously close to the surface for boaters."

    Boating access will be limited. Park visitors may have difficulty using boat ramps and docks as early as the weekend of Aug. 7-8, and by the time the drawdown is complete, only the Toronto Point East boat ramp will be useable. Other lake access will be limited, as well. One boat dock will be completely on the ground, and others may not be usable. The swimming beach will be 80 percent unusable.

    "We have so much debris in the lake rock and flooded timber that putting in temporary boat ramps and docks is not feasible," DeHoux added.

    For detailed information on the lake level, visitors to Cross Timbers State Park and Toronto Reservoir should go to the KDWP website,, then click "Fishing/Where to Fish in Kansas/Fishing Locations - Public Waters/Region 5/Toronto Reservoir." From there, click "Current Lake Level" to be taken to the COE website that monitors the lake level.

    For more information, phone Cross Timbers State Park at 620-583-6783 or the Corps of Engineers office at 620-658-4445.


    MANKATO The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is continuing to advise the public to avoid contact with water in Lovewell Reservoir in Jewell County.

    On July 16, KDHE issued a public health advisory after confirming a toxic blue-green algae bloom in the reservoir. Concentrations of algae in the reservoir exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use. Elevated levels of toxins from the algae were also confirmed.

    KDHE sampled the reservoir earlier this week. Sample results continue to exceed the recommended levels. Reservoir samples will be taken again next week and KDHE may revise or lift the public health advisory based on future test results. At the present time, the public health advisory does remain in effect. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced the reservoir will remain closed until further notice. However, Lovewell State Park is open.

    KDHE continues to recommend the following precautions be taken at Lovewell Reservoir:

    avoid ingesting reservoir water; avoid swimming or wading in reservoir water; avoid consuming any fish or shellfish from the reservoir until further notice because fish and shellfish may absorb toxins from the bloom; and keep pets from having contact with the water. Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Ingestion or inhaling aerosols (such as from personal watercraft or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. If you develop similar symptoms after contact with the reservoir water, seek medical care from your healthcare provider.

    Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill as a result of coming into contact with, or ingesting the water. If your pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, contact your veterinarian right away.

    KDHE and KDWP will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this advisory as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 785-296-6603.

    Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found at:

    News Source: Kansas DWR - Aug. 08, 2010

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