BOONE LAKE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Valley Authority announced on Tuesday that they will begin gradually dropping water levels on Boone Lake starting after Labor Day weekend.
The TVA wants to remind the public it’s time to get back into a normal reservoir cycle, which means water will be gradually lowered throughout the fall and into the winter months. However, this won’t impact anything if you have plans on the lake this Labor Day weekend. According to TVA officials, the changes likely won’t be visible for a few weeks after the initial drain.
Since full summer pool levels were returned following seven years of lowered levels on the lake, people have been enjoying Boone Lake more than usual.
“It’s been a great experience, a lot of fun with a lot more places to go now with access to coves that we couldn’t get into before because of a lack of water,” said boater David Harrison.
James Everett, a Senior Manager with the Tennessee Valley Authority, said the draw-down won’t last forever.
“I know a lot of people enjoyed that, but what we want to do as we transition into the end of August and are getting towards Labor Day is remind people of the normal reservoir cycle, which allows for a full lake during most of the summer months. But once we get past Labor Day, we start to see lake levels come back down,” Everett said.
Cindy Light, the General Manager of Jay’s Boat Dock, said she hoped the levels would stay up a little longer but knew this was coming. For her staff, this will mean a little extra work from week to week.
“We all hoped, so many people, maybe they’ll leave the lake up longer this year since we’ve been without it for so long, and it would be nice,” said Light.” But I know they have reasons they can’t do that. The biggest thing for marina owners is loosening cables or tightening cables. We have cables that hold all of the docks, so you have to loosen them as the lake drops and that’s what keeps them in place.”
News Channel 11 found out exactly how much levels will change throughout this draw-down.
“1,382 to 1,362 is roughly 20 feet, so we’re typically going to see about 3 to 4 feet of drop a month,” said Everett.
While levels will be dropped until the spring, boaters say they’re glad it’s not for good.
“Boone Lake is a big part of this region, a big part of the economy and a big part of the recreation and the draw here, so definitely having those levels back is just a big boom for this area,” said Harrison.
Part of the reason for this regular drawdown is the TVA preparing for the winter flood season. By lowering the level of flood-storage reservoirs, they’re making room to hold the runoff produced by winter storms. The move will also help increase hydropower coming from Boone Dam.