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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Single digit temps may have come at perfect time

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The lake and falls over the dam at Mammoth Spring State Park are usually overflowing with crystal clear cold water. This year the park scheduled another draw-down of the lake that coincided with the single digit temperatures in late January and early February making conditions almost perfect for killing out the lake weeds. The lake will be refilled in early March. Photo by Erma Harris
Visitors stopping at the Mammoth Spring State Park to see the beautiful lake and falls over the dam will have to wait a few weeks.

The park, of course, is open and there's still plenty to see, but as happens every other year or so, the lake has been drained in an effort to kill the lake weeds.

According to Dave Jackson, superintendent of the Mammoth Spring State Park, this year may have been the perfect year for the draw-down. The single digit temperatures experienced in late January and early February is exactly what is needed to kill the lake weeds.

The Spring Lake at Mammoth Spring State Park.
Jackson said it takes about two days for the lake to drain and a little over a day to refill it using the gates on the dam.

Draining the lake doesn't really affect the fishing on the Spring River, he said. "For the first few days there's a lot of silt in the river but the lake doesn't contain any sports fish," Jackson said.

The silt at the bottom of the lake is estimated to be about 15 feet. Someday, Jackson said, the silt will need to be removed but it will be a major undertaking and a major cost.

"We tried removing some of the silt at one end of the lake several years ago," Jackson said. "The silt was so deep, we almost had a bulldozer in the lake permanetly. It took a lot of work to pull it out."

Jackson said when the lake is drawn-down, remains from the 1970s train wreck can still be seen. But the debris from the two train wrecks a couple of years ago have been cleaned out.

Removing the silt from the lake will be a treasure hunter's dream.

"It's no telling what all we would find. We've already found lots of old bottles and an old Frisco sign through the years," Jackson said.

Plans call for the lake to be refilled the first week in March and should be back to its natural beauty in time for spring visitors.

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