Lake McConaughy

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Lake McConaughy

Postby Coyote » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:42 am

Big Mac Approaches Record Low
Officials to review options

Lake McConaughy is in trouble. The big irrigation reservoir north of Ogallala is within six inches of its record low level of 1952.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission lake Superintendent Mitch Gerstenkorn says the record low might be hit this week.

He says the elevation of the lake as of Friday was 3,198.7 feet, which is five-tenths of a foot from the record low.

He said, "It's not sounding good at all."

The big lake last was full in 1999, the first year of what is now a five-year drought for western Nebraska.

Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District officials will meet Tuesday to make a decision that some say will decide the future of Lake McConaughy.

The Central board meets to decide what, if any, water allocations for irrigation can be made for next year.

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Postby DMRyan » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:51 am

It's lunchtime. Before I clicked on this thread I was about to make a scramble to McDonalds because I thought Big Mac's were on sale.

Wasn't this one of the larger recreation lakes in Nebraska too?
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Postby eomaha » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:15 pm

:)

McConaughy is the largest lake in Nebraska with over 100 miles of shoreline (when at capacity!). Kingsley Dam is among the largest earthen dams in the world.

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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:42 pm

Big Mac is bigger, thanks to rainfall

Omaha World Herald wrote:Timely summer rains kept Lake McConaughy from falling to a record low level this year, despite earlier projections that drought and irrigation demand would reduce Nebraska's largest reservoir to a historic low.

The reservoir's level increased more than seven inches since last week - to 21 percent of capacity - and was two feet higher Monday than the record low level set on Sept. 14, 2004.

Still, the lake remains more than five feet lower than a year ago and 65 feet below its maximum level.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:02 pm

Lake McConaughy water rises a foot in May

The Kearney Hub wrote:Releases last week helped increase Lake McConaughy inflows to 1,676 cubic feet per second, which is the highest daily inflow seen since 2001, according to irrigation district spokesman Jeff Buettner. That Thursday flow was 96 percent of the historic average and 165 percent of the daily median for May 29.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:05 pm

Rain helps N. Platte’s situation; S. Platte flow still low

Steinke said he expects Lake McConaughy to peak in the next few days at about elevation 3225.5 or a volume of 788,000 acre-feet. That’s 45.2 percent of capacity.
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Postby Brad » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:28 am

Coyote wrote:Rain helps N. Platte’s situation; S. Platte flow still low

Steinke said he expects Lake McConaughy to peak in the next few days at about elevation 3225.5 or a volume of 788,000 acre-feet. That’s 45.2 percent of capacity.


I figured it would be fuller than that.  I guess I didn't pay that close of attention to the snowfall in Montana and Wyoming, but someone told me that they were having record snows up there this year.  However looking at the Drought Monitor, we are fairly close to last year except up in northern North Dakota.

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Postby gisbuxfan » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:38 pm

If only there were some way to siphon water from Grand Island to the Big Mac....hmm.

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Postby Brad » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:34 pm

gisbuxfan wrote:If only there were some way to siphon water from Grand Island to the Big Mac....hmm.


Considering that you are getting nailed again as we speak!

How about you collect all the old fire hoses from all the fire stations across the state and start pumping... You could have that thing full by the year 2050.
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Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:04 pm

Climatologist: No end in sight for stormy weather

Lincoln Journal Star wrote:Reservoirs like Lake McConaughy northwest of Ogallala are benefiting, too. Dutcher said that reservoir and others used for irrigation are able to store water because farmers downstream won’t need it in June. And they will be able to use their irrigation allotments in a timely fashion later this summer. The rain also has recharged ground water in parts of the state that were hit hard by the recent long-term drought. Still, the Panhandle region still remains dry and in need of moisture.

The flood stage for the Missouri River at Brownville is 32 feet. Thursday, the water level was 36.7 feet and by Saturday it’s projected to rise to 38.7 feet, said Jeff Reese, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Valley. The Platte at Louisville on Thursday was at 8.4 feet, or slightly below its 9-foot flood stage. Upstream at Ashland, the river was 18.5 feet Thursday, also slightly below its flood stage of 20 feet.
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Postby gisbuxfan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:31 pm

Brad wrote:How about you collect all the old fire hoses from all the fire stations across the state and start pumping... You could have that thing full by the year 2050.


Over the last 48 hours I have pumped over 300 gallons of water out of my basement....I think this is a real possibility! Oh...and there is still more pumping to go.

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Postby Brad » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:20 am

More water on Platte, McConaughy

http://www.omaha.com/article/20090623/NEWS01/706239888

www.omaha.com wrote:OGALLALA, Neb. (AP) — This spring’s rains have helped make the South Platte River the deepest it has been in seven years, so more water will be available for irrigators and for Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska.

Nate Nielsen, the foreman of McConaughy’s dam, said farmers will be able to use water from the South Platte River longer before tapping into the lake, which is fed by the North Platte River.


www.omaha.com wrote:That should help replenish the lake, which is at 54 percent of capacity. The last time the lake was that full was in 2002, before drought struck the region.
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Postby nativeomahan » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:05 pm

Maybe this thread should be retitled.

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Postby Coyote » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:08 am

McConaughy near 8-year high

Lori Potter WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE wrote:Lake McConaughy may hold more than 1.3 million acre feet by late spring, if projections are correct in the latest draft of Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s 2010 operating plan. That mark still would be only 75 percent of a full reservoir, which is 1.7 million acre feet.
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Postby Coyote » Sat May 15, 2010 10:27 am

A Nebraska Park and Game Commission official was just on the radio saying that the lake is 15 ft higher than last year and boasted that there are over 400,000 legal length walleyes and 130,000 over 6 lbs.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:41 pm

Big Mac filling up

LORI POTTER WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE wrote:Wet weather and water releases from upstream reservoirs in the Platte Basin have helped Lake McConaughy exceed 75 percent full and helped keep it filling. Civil Engineer Cory Steinke told the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District Board of Directors Monday that the lake still could go up another two feet during June. As of Monday morning, McConaughy held 1.32 million acre-feet of water, or 422,000 more than at this time last year. It's also 18.8 feet higher.
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Postby Coyote » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:30 pm

Game & Parks to allow some alcohol in its state parks

Imperial Republican wrote:The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) commissioners voted 8-1 last Friday to lift the alcohol ban in state parks as of January, 2011. The attorney general and governor have not yet signed the proposed rule. The NGPC proposed rule allows the consumption of alcohol in all state parks, but prohibits one-gallon containers and consumption from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.


Commission Ends Alcohol Ban

NTV wrote:Some say Nebraska can't afford another summer of the 90's at Lake McConaughy. "We think that's it's just an invitation for more partying, more violence, and more injuries and potential deaths," said Tim Anderson, Public Relations Director at Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District. "We've worked for a long time here. Over 15 years to get families back to Lake Mcconaughy and I think this is just going to send people away," said Anderson.

But, that's exactly what the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is trying to avoid. With attendance on a slow and steady decline, Chairman Jerrod Burke says hopefully this will help. "We've had several park visitors from the state of Nebraska who have told us they leave the state to go to a park out of state to enjoy an alcoholic beverage of their choice and they would stay in the state if that was the case," said Burke.
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Postby Brad » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:11 am

About time!
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Postby omaproud » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:07 am

Governor Heineman hasn't signed off on it yet.  For some stupid reason he gets the final say.

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Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:05 pm

A full Lake McConaughy?

Lori Potter WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE wrote:The state's largest lake, a critical source of south-central Nebraska irrigation water, held 1.44 million acre-feet of water Wednesday. That means it's about 83 percent full. Central officials believe that by fall or winter, Lake McConaughy could rise 10.5 feet to reach capacity.
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Postby nativeomahan » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:54 pm

Proof that what goes around comes around.

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Postby Seth » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:49 pm

Headlines now read "Lake No Longer Dry."

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Postby Coyote » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:30 pm

Bellevue may lift ban on alcohol

Jason Glenn WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:Nebraska's decision to lift its ban on alcohol in state parks appears to be having a domino effect. The City of Bellevue is considering whether to allow alcohol in Haworth Park, in part to remain competitive with the state.
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Postby Coyote » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:18 am

Water in Big Mac continues to rise

Omaha World-Herald wrote:Officials say Lake McConaughy was at 91 of percent capacity as of Wednesday. That compares with 54 percent of capacity on the same date a year ago. The lake’s elevation has risen to 3,260 feet above sea level, 27 feet higher than a year ago.
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Postby Brad » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:19 pm

Big Mac just about full

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100908/N ... about-full

Lori Potter
WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE wrote:
People want civil engineer Cory Steinke to tell them if Nebraska’s largest reservoir has fully recovered from a drought early this decade that dropped the lake to around 20 percent of capacity. The result was limited hydropower production and lower allocations for irrigators for five years.

Steinke’s answer at Tuesday’s meeting of the district’s board was that Lake McConaughy soon will be as full as it’s allowed to be over the winter under the district’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license.

The lake now holds more than 1.55 million acre-feet of water and is just 40,000 acre-feet below the federal limit for Oct. 1-April 25. (An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.)


Lori Potter
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We’re going to run our hydros all winter as long and as hard as we can,” he said.

That still might not cause the lake to fall much below the maximum elevation allowed, 3,260 feet above sea level, because upstream federal Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs are nearly full and continuing to send water downstream.
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Postby thenewguy » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:46 am

when we went to colorado springs a couple weeks ago, we stayed in ogallala the first night and check out the lake.  I hadn't been there before, but there were areas of the lake that had small trees that had grown when levels were down & were about 20 feet from shore.
Go Cubs Go

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Postby Coyote » Sat May 21, 2011 5:31 pm

Big Mac can get a little bigger this spring, feds say

NPTelegraph wrote:Lake McConaughy was at 95.2 percent capacity Tuesday. The lake was at 89.9 percent capacity a month ago. A year ago, it was at 74.3 percent. To put it simply: Nebraska's largest lake is 13 feet higher than it was a year ago. That means fewer acres of the lake's famous white-sand beaches are available to campers and picnickers, but it ensures boaters will have easy access.

McConaughy's elevation typically is not permitted to exceed 3,260 above sea level until April 25, at which time it is allowed to gradually increase to a maximum elevation of 3,265 feet by May 21. The reservoir Tuesday was at an elevation of 3,257.3 feet.

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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Brad » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:46 am

While this story is mostly about Branched Oak, it has a nice back story on Lake McConaughy.

Stripers!

http://neblandvm.outdoornebraska.gov/2014/10/stripers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Brad » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:31 am

Officials: Lake McConaughy surpasses Omaha zoo as state’s top tourist attraction

http://www.theindependent.com/news/stat ... 12b2a.html

HOLDREGE — Lake McConaughy was Nebraska’s No. 1 tourist attraction in 2015, according to Tim Anderson, public relations adviser for the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irritation District, and Ogallala banker Chad Adams, treasurer of the Nebraska Water Center Foundation.

Anderson said high water throughout the year was the big draw that allowed Nebraska’s largest lake to pass other usual top attractions such as the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha and Mahoney State Park between Omaha and Lincoln.
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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Coyote » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:35 am

I had read that yesterday and almost couldn't believe it. Imagine if we flooded Ashland and created that Lake, what kind of numbers that rec place would get...
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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Coyote » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:32 pm

Rains, snowmelt could push Lake McConaughy to capacity in 7 days

David Hendee / World-Herald staff writer wrote:Inflows to Lake McConaughy were 7,200 cubic feet per second Monday, while releases were about 5,200 cfs. The reservoir's elevation was 1.4 feet below normal maximum. At the current rate, the reservoir would reach capacity in about seven days, Cory Steinke, a Central engineer, told the district's board Monday in Holdrege.

A year ago, the lake was lower (87.2 percent capacity) and inflows were lower (about 5,600 cfs). River flows at North Platte were nearly 3,200 cfs Monday, compared to 412 a year ago.
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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby skinzfan23 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:58 pm

Wow, good to see after record low levels a decade ago.

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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Brad » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:56 pm

skinzfan23 wrote:Wow, good to see after record low levels a decade ago.


Sure is. Makes me want to get back out there this summer!
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Re: Lake McConaughy

Postby Omaha1000 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:18 pm

My wife and I stopped there on our way back from a ski trip to Colorado in March. It was the first time I saw the lake since the early 90's and I was pretty amazed at how big is looks now. My wife commented that it looks like a sea.


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