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Bull Shoals Lake Level Almost 10 Feet Below Normal as 2006 Starts
January 2006

Harrison Daily Times Jan. 4, 2006

Bull Shoals Lake normally covers between 50,000 and 70,000 acres, depending upon the lake level. The lake level is almost 10 feet below normal pool as 2006 starts, drained by a drought that stretched from late spring into winter and high demand for hydroelectricity.

In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is alerting boat dock owners and lake visitors to be aware of potential hazards from falling water levels. Currently Bull Shoals is 9 foot below normal pool of 645.0.

"There is plenty of water for boating and other activities," according to a press release, "however, officials urge extra precautions. Dock owners should monitor their docks closely and move them as needed to prevent them from being grounded."

For boaters, some launch ramps may be impaired, the Corps warned. "Stay in main river channels and give the shoreline a wide berth. Some areas may harbor obstacles just below the surface such as land points or rock formations that are usually deep under water."

As always, the Corps advises boaters to:

  • Slow down, wear life jackets and use depth finders;
  • Check with local marinas about trouble spots;
  • Be especially careful at night;
  • Stay on the side of a lake with bluffs since water is usually deeper.

The Corps notes that gradually sloping shorelines can indicate shallow water depth. A change in water color can indicate a change in depth, as lighter color often indicates shallower water.

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