Search Results for: lakes

Algae blooms affect lakes statewide

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, has issued public health advisories for Kansas lakes, including two in Osage County.

Warnings include:

  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County (unchanged)
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County (unchanged)
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County (unchanged)
  • Gathering Pond near Milford (Hatchery Supply Pond), Geary County (unchanged)
  • South Lake, Johnson County (unchanged)
  • Lebo Kids’ Pond, Coffee County (unchanged))
  • Westlake in Gage Park, Shawnee County (upgrade from 7/25)
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County (new)
  • Melvern Swim Pond, Osage County (new)

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

Corps plans public meeting on high water conditions at Pomona and Melvern lakes

LYNDON, Kan. – Due to above average water levels being held in Melvern Lake and Pomona Lake, both in Osage County, Kan., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District and lake project personnel will hold a public meeting 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2019, at Lyndon High School auditorium, 421 E. Sixth St., Lyndon, Kan.

District personnel will present a brief summary of current conditions, a description of how the Corps manages the system, the impacts on recreation and stakeholders, expected releases and overall outlook. Attendees will be invited to ask questions.

High water closes campgrounds and roads at area lakes

LYNDON, Kan. – Campers at Osage County lakes this weekend are facing high waters, closed campgrounds and a chance of more rain.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is urging campers and lake visitors to use caution around flood waters and high lake elevations after a round of nightly storms have saturated the area this week. At Melvern and Pomona lakes, officials have announced several campgrounds are closed due to retained water causing high lake elevations.

At Melvern Lake, campsites closed due to increased lake elevation include Turkey Point, Sites 1 through 26 and site 30; Coeur d’Alene, Sites 11 through 32; Arrow Rock, Sites 6 through 10, 12 through 15, and 35 through 45. Outlet Park is currently not affected. The lake level continues to rise.

At Pomona Lake, the Coon Creek Causeway between Michigan Valley Park and the Quarry area is closed due to high lake elevation. Access to Wolf Creek Park from Michigan Valley is closed. All sites in Michigan Valley A Loop, C Loop, G Loop, and Wigger Group Camp have now been closed due to high lake elevation. As of Wednesday, the pool elevation continued to rise at Pomona Lake.

The campsites are closed through Wednesday, May 15, 2019, although closure extensions are likely. Officials advised that anyone who has rented a campsite that is closed will receive a full refund. The Corps is no longer charging fees at boat ramps at these lakes and several Corps docks have been pulled out of the water.

Blue-green algae warnings lifted for all Osage County lakes

TOPEKA – All lakes in Osage County that were previously under watch or warning status for blue-green algae have been cleared by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

The two agencies lifted the warning and watch for Melvern Outlet Pond and Carbondale West Lake this week; they were the two remaining lakes in Osage County under the algae alert.

In northeast Kansas, the agencies have issued a public health warning for Frazier Lake in Grant County for the upcoming weekend and week, and South Lake Park, Johnson County, remains under a watch status.

Several lakes in Osage County experienced blue-green algae blooms over the summer, including Carbondale West Lake, Melvern Outlet Pond, Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Overbrook City Lake, Overbrook City Kids Pond, and Pomona Lake.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water, such as wading, skiing and swimming, is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

Two area lakes remain under health warning for blue-green algae

TOPEKA, Kan. – All except two Osage County lakes that were previously under a blue-green algae warning or watch have now been released from the public health advisories. Carbondale West Lake and Melvern Outlet Pond remain under a warning status for the algae, with activities at those lakes still restricted.

Toward the end of the summer, several area lakes were under either warning or watch status for blue-green algae. The warning or watch status has now been lifted for Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Overbrook City Lake, Overbrook City Kids Pond, and Pomona Lake.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism issue the public health warnings for Kansas lakes.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water, such as wading, skiing and swimming, is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

Lakes under a warning are not closed. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning but contact with the water should be avoided. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Overbrook City Lake no longer under algae warning; enjoy fall at local lakes

Summer might be over, but with fair weather, Overbrook City Lake and Friesen Fishing Lake continue to offer residents and visitors peaceful spots for reflection, walking or fishing. Benches installed in 2015 have been placed on the fishing dock, with one honoring the late Max Friesen for his many years of service. Photo thanks to city of Overbrook.

The city of Overbrook was notified that results of testing for blue-green algae from the week of Sept. 11, 2017, has allowed the Overbrook City Lake to be downgraded from warning to watch status by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The lake was put under warning for blue green algae the week of Sept. 1. The lake was not closed, but officials recommended avoiding contact with the water, and rinsing any fish caught with clean water.

Despite the lake’s former-warning status, the city’s lakes were still open for fishing and other activities. According to Overbrook City Clerk Jim Koger, 100 children participated in the Steve Cross Memorial Children’s Fishing Derby Saturday at the Children’s Fishing Pond, at Jones Park. He noted that due to great support from the community and national sponsors, each of the children were given a new fishing rod and reel.

Two other lakes in Osage County remain under warning for blue-green algae, Melvern Outlet River Pond and Melvern Outlet Swim Pond.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water, such as wading, skiing and swimming, is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

Five Kansas lakes under public health warning due to blue-green algae

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism, has issued a public health warning for five lakes due to a harmful algal bloom.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water, such as wading, skiing and swimming, is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. The lakes currently under a watch or warning status are:

  • Warning: Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Norton County
  • Warning: Kirwin Lake, Phillips County
  • Warning: Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Warning: Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Warning: Sam’s Pond, Syracuse, Hamilton County
  • Watch: Webster Lake, Rooks County

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning, but contact with the water should be avoided. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed, and all other parts should be discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.

Zebra mussels continue infestation of Kansas lakes

Two more lakes found to have invasive mollusks

050814-zebraTOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Wellington Lake in Sumner County earlier this month. Wellington city staff discovered the invasive, sharp-shelled mollusks as they replaced buoy lines. KDWPT staff subsequently found well-established populations of zebra mussels of various ages in the old and new parts of the lake.

In May, KDWPT confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Paola City Lake, or Lake Miola, in Miami County. On May 23, an angler snagged an old fishing rod near the boat ramp with live adult zebra mussels attached and reported it to the local KDWPT game warden. KDWPT aquatic nuisance species staff subsequently found more zebra mussels of various ages in several parts of the lake. The population appears to be well-established.

Wellington Lake covers approximately 675 surface acres, and is managed by the city of Wellington. Lake Miola covers approximately 220 acres and is managed by the city of Paola.

KDWPT manages both lakes’ fisheries as part of the department’s Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP).

Both lakes offer outdoor activities such as boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, camping and hiking. Jessica Howell, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator, reminds lake visitors that everyone using the lakes plays a key role in stemming the spread of mussels to uninfested lakes.

“This situation shows how important it is for boaters, anglers, swimmers and skiers to be aware of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” Howell said.  

Anglers encouraged to use caution on ice covered lakes

Warmer temperatures will begin causing weak spots on frozen waters 

PRATT – A recent cold-spell had many Kansas lakes covered in thick ice, creating ideal conditions for ice fishing, but even with very cold temperatures, ice anglers must be vigilant. Now that temperatures are warming, extreme caution must be used in avoiding weak spots on lakes and reservoirs.

If you have an itch to drop a line this winter, keep these following common-sense ice safety rules in mind:

Spring rains fill local ponds and lakes

As pond-filling rains ended Tuesday afternoon, Dragoon Creek at U.S. 75 looked more like the Dragoon River, with rapid flow pouring into Pomona Lake. Rain gauges showed 2 to 4 inches fell across Osage County Monday and Tuesday. With another inch or so added overnight Wednesday, Pomona Lake’s elevation was 977.62 feet Thursday; normal pool elevation is 974.

Outdoors: Frozen lakes require extreme caution

PRATT – After nighttime temperatures in the single-digits and daytime highs in the teens and twenties, most Kansas water bodies are covered with a sheet of ice. While beautiful and perhaps alluring to anglers and explorers, a frozen lake can be deadly and deserves respect and caution.

Corps urges waterfowl hunters to be safe on area lakes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges hunters to be safe and take precautions this winter when hunting at any of the district’s 18 lakes throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Most waterfowl hunters do not think of themselves as “boaters.” The boat is just a mode of transportation to reach their favorite hunting spot; as a consequence, they do not consider the safety precautions that are important for a safe and enjoyable hunting trip. Packing boats beyond capacity with decoys, guns, dogs, gear, and their buddies creates a very dangerous safety hazard. 

Corps to reopen area lakes’ operations

Pomona, Melvern lakes’ federal facilities to be open by Friday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District is reopening operations following the shutdown of the federal government for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation which began on October 1. This includes visitor centers, boat ramps and similar facilities that are typically open this time of year at all 18 of the district’s lake projects. The following camping areas will be reopened by Friday, October 18:

Pomona Lake, Kan. – Outlet, 110 Mile, Cedar, and Wolf Creek Group Camp; Melvern Lake, Kan. – Outlet and Sundance parks;

Federal recreation areas closed at Melvern and Pomona lakes

KANSAS CITY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District has closed USACE-operated campgrounds and day-use parks due to the shutdown of the federal government for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation. The closure includes federal facilities at Melvern and Pomona lakes.

Affected recreation areas will remain closed until after the shutdown is lifted. This includes all visitor facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and similar facilities at all 18 lake projects in the Kansas City District.

Zebra mussels found in two more Kansas lakes

Glen Elder Reservoir and Lake Wabaunsee have the invasive species

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake), in Mitchell County, and Lake Wabaunsee, in Wabaunsee County. Zebra mussels are bean-sized mollusks with striped, sharp-edged, two-part shells. Twenty-one Kansas lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels.

“These latest discoveries show how important it is for the public to be aware of the dangers of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator.

Corps waives day use fees at recreation areas on Veterans Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2019.

The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities, such as group picnic shelters, and events. Other agencies that manage recreation areas on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in the areas that they manage.

USACE began the Veterans Day fee waiver in 2006 as a way to honor the men and women who have served our nation and the armed forces.

Pamela Rose Wideman, 62, Carbondale: June 29, 1957 – Oct. 6, 2019

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Pamela Rose Wideman, 62, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. She was born Saturday, June 29, 1957, to Florence (Disney) and Edward Ferry, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka.

Pam grew up in Topeka with her mom and younger brother Charlie. She enjoyed growing up very close to her Grandma Disney and extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins, especially her Aunt Sarah who was only 12 years older than her. She attended Highland Park Schools until the fall of 1973. Pam attended Shawnee Heights in 11th and 12th grade and graduated in May 1975.

Blooming algae closes Melvern Outlet Park River Pond and swim beach

MELVERN, KS – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District announced Thursday a hazardous algae bloom at the Outlet Park River Pond and Outlet Park swim beach downstream of Melvern Lake. Kansas Department of Environment and Health has confirmed that cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae with low levels of the toxin microcystin, have been identified in the two ponds below Melvern Dam.

Hot and sunny weather conditions combined with high nutrient levels create ideal conditions for harmful algae bloom growth. Swimming is not allowed in the Outlet Park River Pond and all wading and contact with algae is discouraged. The Outlet Park Swim Beach is currently closed to all public use.  The primary risks for this scenario are for pets that may come in contact with the algae accumulated near shore and floating on the water surface.

Blue-green algae blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float or drift around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid all water contact and keep pets away.

Pet owners need to be particularly mindful of the presence of blue-green algae. Dogs are highly susceptible to algae toxins and frequently ingest concentrated toxins from shoreline areas. Pets that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom, or eat dried algae along the shore, may become seriously ill or even die.

The present algae bloom is isolated to the Outlet Park River Pond and Outlet Park Swim Beach located below Melvern Lake Dam. Boat ramps and lake activities are not affected. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe under current conditions. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Consume only the fillet portion and discard all other parts. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Kansas invites all to test their luck during annual free fishing days this weekend

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has announced that anglers can fish without a Kansas fishing license at public waters during the state’s “Free Fishing Days”, June 1 and 2, 2019.

Each year, KDWPT designates one weekend when everyone can fish without a Kansas fishing license. All you need is a pole and a place to go! Free Fishing Days celebrates National Fishing and Boating Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the importance of recreational boating and fishing.

Flooding at some lakes and state parks shouldn’t derail fishing plans. There are still many great opportunities to fish at lakes large and small. Many more Kansas state parks are open for business than are closed. Fisheries biologists report that high water gives fish more habitat to exploit, so fishing may be better when the water is higher. As always, exercise caution around high water and respect barricades.

Rains and flooding bog down local state parks and Corps campgrounds

Earlier this week, Corps staff closed the main road just south of the Wolf Creek Park entrance, at Pomona Lake, and asked visitors to not drive around the barricade. USACE photo.

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has reported that recent frequent heavy rains are impacting some state parks in eastern Kansas. High water levels at area Corps reservoirs have flooded campgrounds, overtopped roads, closed boat ramps and beaches and dampened visitors’ enthusiasm for any outdoor activities.

In Osage County, campgrounds have been impacted at Pomona Lake and Melvern Lake due to high levels of retained water at those lakes. (See related story: Corps plans public meeting on high water conditions at Pomona and Melvern lakes) Recent rains have also affected the trail conditions on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake remains open as of May 22, 2019. The lake is 16.01 feet above conservation level, and outflow is 20 cubic feet per second minimum. The lake is projected to be 18.8 feet above conservation level by May 30. Park staff is shutting down all the electrical connections in Blackjack and Abilene campgrounds. Almost all primitive sites are underwater, and the beach and beach restroom are closed.

Corps of Engineers campgrounds closed at Melvern Lake include:

  • Arrow Rock: Sites 8-10, 12-15, 19 and 35-45 are closed through June 30, 2019; sites 6 and 7 are closed through June 20.
  • Coeur d’Alene: Sites 9-32 are closed through June 30.
  • Turkey Point: Sites 1-8 and 23 are closed through May 30; sites 9-22 are closed through June 30; site 30 is closed through May 28 (closure extension to come); Group Camp closed through June 30. More closures are expected in the Turkey Point Campground to come in the following days. Arrow Rock and Coeur d’Alene closure extensions possible. Should these sites come out from under water and be cleaned up before their closure end date, they will be opened up for reservations.
  • Outlet Park remains unaffected by this flood event.
  • All boat ramps have stopped charging fees and the courtesy docks have been pulled.

At Pomona Lake, Pomona State Park is open. The lake is 23.26 ft above conservation level, and outflow is 15 cfs minimum. The lake is about 9 feet from going over the spillway. The lake is projected to 26 feet above conservation level by May 31. The marina started moving all houseboats off the water as of Wednesday, and also shut down all electrical service to the marina area.

Big Bear Campground is closed. The Kansa shower building is closed. Staff is closing six sites on the marina side of Kansa Campground and all Kansa primitive sites. The park road to east side of the park is closed; the back gate is open on the county road.

Corps campgrounds closed at Pomona Lake include:

  • Wolf Creek Park – All sites remain closed and will be through the weekend. All reservations for Memorial weekend have been cancelled and fully refunded.
  • Michigan Valley Park – Loops A, B, C, D, E, F and G are closed, and will remain closed through the weekend.
  • Adams Grove and Cedar Park remain closed. Coon Creek crossing is still closed and will likely be through the weekend. All Corps boat ramps remain closed.

The Flint Hills Trail remains open with the surface firm in most locations.

How would you like that cooked? Auto show well done in downtown Osage City

Vintage and classic cars lined Market Street April 13, 2019, as the Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show cooked up a good time in downtown Osage City. Photo by Sam Gomez.

Approximately 270 entrants participated in the 15th Annual Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto Show, Saturday, April 13, 2019, in downtown Osage City. Results of the show, hosted by the Twin Lakes Cruisers, are as follows:

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas