For Release: 01/26/2022

Residents, public urged to use caution near dams as drawdowns begin

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

Drawdown details

WRPCO gradually draws down the reservoirs at its Castle Rock and Petenwell dams every winter. This controlled process allows each facility to manage higher spring river levels caused by melting snow in northern and central Wisconsin.

The Castle Rock reservoir drawdown will begin after Feb. 1, with the Petenwell drawdown starting by Feb. 10. During the drawdowns, reservoir levels may be reduced by as much as 5 feet at the Petenwell Dam and as much as 6 feet at the Castle Rock Dam.

Safety precautions

A drawdown can create unstable ice conditions. During the drawdowns, stay safe near each dam by:

  • Avoiding snowmobiling or driving vehicles on the ice.
  • Obeying all warning signs and heeding flashing lights, horns and sirens.
  • Being aware of rapidly changing water conditions.
  • Bringing a cell phone to contact 911 in an emergency.
  • Staying outside of buoy lines.
  • Having a safe escape route planned and evacuating at the first sign of danger.

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

WRPCO anticipates returning both reservoirs to their normal water levels by the end of April.

For More Information, Contact: