(HOLDREGE, Neb.) – The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District is issuing a reminder to the public — and particularly ice fishermen — to exercise caution if venturing onto Johnson Lake over the next several weeks.
The reservoir is being lowered in preparation for a maintenance outage at the Johnson No. 1 Hydroplant immediately below the lake. If colder temperatures cause an ice cap to form on the lake, changing water levels can affect the thickness and integrity of the ice and result in unsafe conditions.
The draw-down began Dec. 19 and will continue gradually until about Jan. 22 when the maintenance project is scheduled to begin. The reservoir will decline to approximately elevation 2,608 feet — about eight feet lower than its current elevation — by that date and then begin to return to normal wintertime levels while maintenance is underway.
The public should be aware that the schedule for raising and lowering the lake level could change by a few days, depending upon the presence or absence of ice in the Platte River and Central’s Supply Canal.