Within the past several months, Kerr Lake Park Watch has received several online messages, a few emails and even a phone call about whether the average full pool level of Kerr Lake is going to be upped by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The simple answer is “no.” Those who contacted Kerr Lake Park Watch suggested that such an increase was being discussed for raising the average full pool level from 300 feet above mean sea level to 302 feet or 303 feet.
The Corps’ Operations Project Manager for John H. Kerr Dam & Reservoir told Kerr Lake Park Watch, “There is currently no intent or discussion by the USACE to change the controlled flood pool or conservation pool at John H. Kerr Reservoir. Water Storage in Kerr Reservoir is comprised of a controlled flood pool (300-320) for storage of floodwaters and a conservation pool (268-300) that provides water for other project purposes to include: Hydroelectric power, Low flow augmentation, Fish and wildlife, Water Supply, and Recreation.”
The boundary between the conservation and controlled flood pools remains at elevation 300 ft; however, the operational guide curve (target lake levels) varies seasonally to better support all operational objectives of the project (See Below – Kerr Lake Guide Curve).
Kerr Lake Guide Curve – US Army Corps of Engineers
The operational guide curve varies seasonally to better support all operational objectives of the project. For instance, the guide curve in the winter drops into the conservation pool to elevation 295.5 ft to provide additional flood storage capacity, while still providing sufficient storage in the conservation pool to support minimum energy commitments during droughts. In the spring, the guide curve extends into the flood pool to elevation 302 ft to provide supplementary storage in the reservoir to be utilized to support striped bass spawning releases downstream of the project. During the summer, the guide curve drops to the normal summer pool elevation of 299.5 ft, which provides sufficient storage to support increased minimum energy commitments during the summer, while having the added benefit of optimizing recreational opportunities. The controlled flood storage and conservation pools, as well as the guide curve, are depicted in the attached.
Kerr Lake Park Watch was interested in finding out truth or rumor, frankly because some shoreline public facilities including some campsites would be impacted if such a rumor were true.
So, be informed, be accurate and whether it’s the work going on at Island Creek Dam or if some electric lines are being moved around Kerr Lake, it’s not because the normal elevation of Kerr Lake is going to be changed.