For Release: 01/22/2018

Residents, outdoor enthusiasts reminded of drawdowns at WRPCO dams

Wisconsin River Power Company (WRPCO) is reminding residents and outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution around its Petenwell and Castle Rock hydroelectric dams as the annual drawdown of each facility’s reservoir begins.

A drawdown is a process in which the reservoir located upstream of a dam is lowered. WRPCO performs a drawdown each year at its hydroelectric dams to prepare for spring water runoff caused by melting snow in northern and central Wisconsin. A gradual drawdown of the Petenwell reservoir will begin on Monday, Jan. 22, while the drawdown of the Castle Rock reservoir will start on Feb. 1.

WRPCO advises ice fishermen and others who take part in winter activities on or around the reservoirs that a drawdown can create unstable ice conditions. Water levels may be reduced by more than 5 feet at the Petenwell Dam and more than 6 feet at the Castle Rock Dam. Current reservoir elevation and river flow information can be found via the "Hydroelectric Project Data" tab at

Both drawdowns are anticipated to finish by mid-March. This year's drawdown at the Petenwell Dam is beginning earlier than normal to assist with maintenance of the shoreline around the reservoir, which is scheduled to take place in late winter and spring.

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