Vicksburg District to increase Eagle Lake drawdown rate

VICKSBURG, Miss. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District, in collaboration and agreement with its local, state and federal partners, plans to operate the Muddy Bayou Control Structure to lower the elevation of Eagle Lake, located approximately 10 miles north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, by as much as 0.5 feet per day beginning June 30.

The USACE Vicksburg District and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) have agreed to increase the gate openings at the Muddy Bayou Control Structure and lower the Eagle Lake water level by approximately 0.5 feet per day. Gate openings will be adjusted to maintain the desired rate of fall and a high water velocity through the gates to discourage the migration of Asian carp into Eagle Lake. Additional operational changes are anticipated as water levels recede.

This decision is based on standards established in the Eagle Lake Water Level Management Agreement, which was signed in 2000 by representatives of the Vicksburg District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), the Warren County Board of Supervisors and the Madison Parish Police Jury.

Fisheries biologists with the MDWFP do not anticipate any negative impacts on fish populations or aquatic vegetation as the lake level falls.

The Muddy Bayou Control Structure regulates water flowing into or out of Eagle Lake through Muddy Bayou, a tributary of Steele Bayou. The drainage structure, which was constructed as a fish and wildlife mitigation feature of the Yazoo Backwater Project, is used by USACE during periods of high water in the Yazoo Basin to reduce the risk of damage to the Muddy Bayou Control Structure and to prevent scour or further damage to roads and homes surrounding the lake.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation's toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

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