Drawdown to repair dam will effect Cross Timbers State Park visitors
TORONTO — Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) staff at Cross Timbers State Park have alerted the public that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) plans to begin lowering Toronto Reservoir on Friday, Aug. 6. The drawdown will continue through Aug. 13, when the lake will be 2 feet below conservation pool. The drawdown will allow work to repair damage to the dam, and the project could take a year or more, according to park ranger Josh DeHoux.

"Boaters will have to use extreme caution during this time," DeHoux said. "This is a relatively shallow lake, and any lowering brings submerged structure closer to the surface. Trees, old farm silos, a railroad trestle, and other hazards could be dangerously close to the surface for boaters."

Boating access will be limited. Park visitors may have difficulty using boat ramps and docks as early as the weekend of Aug. 7-8, and by the time the drawdown is complete, only the Toronto Point East boat ramp will be useable. Other lake access will be limited, as well. One boat dock will be completely on the ground, and others may not be usable. The swimming beach will be 80 percent unusable.

"We have so much debris in the lake — rock and flooded timber — that putting in temporary boat ramps and docks is not feasible," DeHoux added.

For detailed information on the lake level, visitors to Cross Timbers State Park and Toronto Reservoir should go to the KDWP website,, then click "Fishing/Where to Fish in Kansas/Fishing Locations - Public Waters/Region 5/Toronto Reservoir." From there, click "Current Lake Level" to be taken to the COE website that monitors the lake level.

For more information, phone Cross Timbers State Park at 620-583-6783 or the Corps of Engineers office at 620-658-4445.