Both Fall River and Cross Timbers State Park visitors affected

TORONTO — Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) staff at Cross Timbers and Fall River state parks have alerted the public that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) has lowered both Fall River and Toronto reservoirs for repair of the lakes’ dams. Both lakes are currently 2 feet below conservation pool, making most boating facilities inaccessible.

The drawdowns will allow work to repair damage to the dams. Work on the Fall River dam is expected to be complete by November, after which the lake will be allowed to fill back to conservation pool. Work on the Toronto Reservoir dam will continue through March, according to the COE website,

At Toronto, only the Toronto Point East boat ramp is not barricaded, but those who choose to boat must use extreme caution. Toronto is a relatively shallow lake, so a drawdown of this nature brings submerged structure such as trees, old farm silos, a railroad trestle, and other hazards dangerously close to the surface for boaters. Other lake access is limited, as well. One boat dock is completely on the ground, and others may not be usable. The swimming beach is 80 percent unusable. And because there is so much debris in the lake — rock and flooded timber — putting in temporary boat ramps and docks is not feasible.

For information on the lake levels’ impact on park facilities, go to the KDWP website, Click on “State Parks,” then “Locations,” and select Cross Timbers or Fall River. You can get current conditions for each park by clicking on the “News” icon in the upper menu. Click on the Fish icon, and you’ll find a link to the COE website for current lake levels.

For more information, phone Cross Timbers State Park at 620-637-2213 or the Corps of Engineers office at 620-658-4445.