Crab Orchard Lake Drawdown

Drawdown w boatramps

Above is an image of a satellite map of Crab Orchard Lake. There is a yellow outline of the current outline of the Lake. There is a blue outline estimating where there will be water after a drawdown of 4 feet. The red points are boat ramps.


On July 6th, 2021 we will begin the lowering of Crab Orchard Lake for the spillway repair. The lake will be lowered 4 feet, boaters and anglers should use caution at boat ramps and be more aware of shallow areas. The drawdown will be maintained until the repairs are completed in Spring 2022.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be performing repairs on the Crab Orchard Lake spillway at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. To facilitate these repairs, a partial drawdown of Crab Orchard Lake will be required. Safety inspections performed on Crab Orchard Lake Spillway discovered issues that must be remedied to ensure safety and proper functioning of this dam.

It has been recommended by the Service’s Dam Safety Office that water level of Crab Orchard Lake will need to be lowered approximately four feet below normal pool elevation. Depending on the summer water levels of Crab Orchard Lake, to get the water level down to the desired elevation of 401.00 feet the Service will begin lowering the lake as early as July 6, 2021. The four feet draw down will be maintained until the repairs are completed in the spring of 2022.

This drop in the water level will have some impact on recreation uses. Boaters and anglers should use more caution at boat ramps and be more aware of shallow areas which can be a hazard to an unwary boat operator.

For additional information contact us:
618-997-3344
Craborchard@fws.gov
or write to: Refuge Manager, 6987 Headquarters Rd, Marion IL 62959.