For Release: 01/27/2021

WRPCO advises residents, public to use safety steps as drawdowns begin

Necedah — Wisconsin River Power Company (WRPCO) urges residents and outdoor enthusiasts to follow important safety precautions as it begins drawing down the reservoirs at its Castle Rock and Petenwell hydroelectric dams in Adams and Juneau counties next week.

The drawdowns are an annual step WRPCO takes to gradually lower the reservoirs and prepare for increased spring river flows caused by melting snow in northern and central Wisconsin. The drawdown of the Castle Rock reservoir will begin Feb. 1, with the Petenwell drawdown starting Feb. 10.

Reservoir levels may be reduced by up to 5 feet at the Petenwell Dam and up to 6 feet at the Castle Rock Dam during the drawdowns.

Safety precautions

A drawdown can create unstable ice conditions. To remain safe, residents and outdoor enthusiasts should:

  • Avoid snowmobiling or driving vehicles on the ice.
  • Obey all warning signs. Heed flashing lights, horns and sirens.
  • Be aware of rapidly changing water conditions.
  • Bring a cell phone and contact 911 in an emergency.
  • Stay outside of buoy lines.
  • Have a safe escape route planned and evacuate at the first sign of danger.

Current reservoir levels and river flow information can be found at under 'Hydroelectric Project Data.'

Both drawdowns are anticipated to finish by the end of March.

For More Information, Contact: