Entergy to fill Lakes Hamilton, Catherine | Environment
Entergy to Fill Lakes Hamilton and Catherine
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Lakes Hamilton and Catherine will begin to return to normal summertime levels March 3. In November both lakes were drawn down 5 feet in accordance with Entergy’s drawdown plan approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Both lakes will rise approximately 7 inches per day beginning March 3 and ending March 11, when both lakes will be at their normal springtime levels.
Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are drawn down each winter to facilitate shoreline maintenance and inspection and to help control nuisance aquatic vegetation. It is important to have the lakes back to normal summertime levels before fish spawning activity begin, which is normally around mid-March. In addition, having the refill slightly earlier in March helps the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission collect walleye in Lake Catherine below Carpenter Dam as part of a program to breed and stock walleye in Arkansas. Commission biologists predict that walleye eggs will be ready for harvest during this time..
Lakefront property owners should take precautions, as always, when the lakes begin to rise. Precautions include removing construction debris or leaf piles in the lakebed to higher ground, securing boats to withstand higher water and returning floating docks to their permitted locations.
When the lakes refill this spring, a natural increase in the amount of floating debris in the lakes is to be expected. This occurs from a combination of two things. First, heavier rainfall during the springtime washes trees, limbs, leaves and litter into the lakes. Second, the debris that rested on the exposed shoreline during the drawdown will dry out and float as the lake level rises.
This will create floating obstacles in the water and eyesores on the lake that may be present until late spring. The debris tends to travel in large “mats” that move wherever the winds and currents take them. Normally such floating debris eventually sinks, disperses or floats downstream. Disposing of yard debris properly and not in the lake or on dry lake bed will reduce the amount of floating debris.
“As a measure of goodwill, lakefront property owners who are unable to remove large logs can contact Entergy Arkansas, Inc. for assistance,” said Bobby Pharr, process superintendent of Entergy hydro operations.
To receive assistance, a log must be more than 10 inches in diameter and longer than 25 feet. The log must be located at a boat ramp or where it can be reached with equipment from shoreline that is accessible by Entergy Arkansas.
Lake Catherine is formed by Remmel Dam, and Lake Hamilton is formed by Carpenter Dam, both of which Entergy built more than 60 years ago for hydroelectric generation. Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are part of Project 271, a hydroelectric project licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The reservoirs, project lands and associated Remmel and Carpenter dams are operated under a license granted by the FERC.
The FERC license requires and authorizes Entergy to control certain activities that affect the lake’s environmental, safety and recreational values. Permits must be obtained from Entergy for any construction activity on the lake or shoreline including: boat docks, piers, walkways, swim docks, personal water craft ramps, decks, landings, embankments, bulkheads, seawalls, and dredging and filling operations. Relocation, replacement, enlargement or significant alteration of existing facilities also requires a new permit from Entergy. Applications for new shoreline facilities or activities are only accepted between March 15 and Nov. 30 of each year.
For more information concerning the annual drawdown, information on vegetation management strategies or to obtain a booklet on the permitting of docks and seawalls, visit www.entergy.com/hydro or call Entergy’s hydro operations office at (501) 844-2148.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.6 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 14,500 employees.