The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District plans to lower water levels at Jeffrey and Johnson lakes this fall for maintenance projects at hydroelectric plants downstream of the reservoirs.The water level at Jeffrey Lake south of Brady will begin to decline on Sept. 11 to about 7 feet below normal operating levels, Central spokesman Jeff Buettner said. The public boat ramp at Jeffrey Lake will be out of service. The reservoir will be down for several weeks and back to normal by Oct. 31.
At Johnson Lake, water levels will begin to drop on Oct. 1 to around 2,610 feet above sea level -- eight feet below current levels -- and be back to normal by Oct. 31.
In addition, a smaller decline in Johnson Lake levels is planned for early December before the lake returns to normal winter operating levels around Dec. 10.
The maintenance projects will include upgrades to protection and control equipment at the Jeffrey, Johnson No. 1 and Johnson No. 2 hydroplants.
Also, Buettner said levels at Plum Creek Canyon Lake and Midway Lake will be somewhat lower than normal because of the reduced flow through the supply canal system, but those two lakes will not decline as much as Johnson and Jeffrey lakes.
While the lakes are lower, cabin-owners who want to do shoreline maintenance are reminded to contact Central to obtain permits prior to such projects.