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MWCD Winter Drawdown Schedule and Reservoir Projects Released

September 28, 2017

As part of the flood risk management operation of the reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conducts annual temporary drawdown of the normal pool elevation of the lake levels. The drawdown allows for additional flood storage capacity needed during the winter thaw and spring rains. Drawdown will begin in early November and the return to normal pool elevation will initiate in February. Normal pool elevations will be obtained in time for the summer recreation season.

The temporary 2017-2018 drawdown dates and lake levels are as follows:
Reservoir Normal Pool Winter Level Total Drawdown (feet) Begin 2017
Suggested intermediate refill schedule by
March 15, 2018
Atwood 928.00 923.00 5.0 November 15 35 926.00
Charles Mill 997.00 992.00 5.0 November 1 30 995.00
Clendening 898.00 893.00 5.0 November 15 35 896.00
Leesville 963.00 958.00 5.0 November 1 35 961.00
Piedmont 913.00 908.00 5.0 November 15 35 911.00
Pleasant Hill 1020.00 1014.00 6.0 November 15 42 1018.00
Seneca 832.20 824.20 8.0 November 1 35 830.20
Tappan 899.30 891.30 8.0 November 1 35 897.30
*Recharge typically initiates on February 1. Charles Mill, Seneca and Tappan will initiate recharge on February 15 depending on weather conditions, progress on construction projects and other factors.
The drawdown provides flood storage capacity for the spring rains while also providing the opportunity to complete maintenance improvements in and around the reservoirs. Over $750,000 of shoreline construction projects will be completed during the 2017-2018 drawdown at the following MWCD lakes:
  • Charles Mill – completion of the boat launch ramp replacement initiated in the 2016-2017 drawdown season
  • Seneca Lake – 4 shoreline stabilization projects at Hickory Grove and Cadillac Lane areas
  • Tappan Lake – 2 shoreline stabilization projects located at the Tappan Highlands area
MWCD manages over 300 miles of shoreline throughout the 10 MWCD lakes located in central and eastern Ohio. Over 7.6 miles of MWCD shoreline has been stabilized at a cost of $8.4 million since 2009.  Funding for shoreline projects is from several sources including the MWCD maintenance assessment, grants from Clean Ohio and revenue from oil and gas. The ten MWCD owned lakes include Atwood, Leesville, Tappan, Clendening, Piedmont, Seneca, Charles Mill, Pleasant Hill, Wills Creek and Beach City.

An interactive map depicting all MWCD lakes with completed and future shoreline projects is found on the internet on the MWD website at
About the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in the State of Ohio. The District includes 18 counties and covers 8,000 square miles which is 20% of the state. The District’s 16 reservoirs and dams have been credited for saving an estimated $11.9 billion of potential property damage from flooding, per the federal government. In addition, over 5.5 million customers a year use the District’s recreational facilities throughout Eastern Ohio which bolsters the region’s economy and augments the quality of life for Ohio’s residents.
The mission of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is, “Responsible stewards dedicated to providing the benefits of flood reduction, conservation and recreation in the Muskingum River Watershed.”
For more information about the MWCD visit

Barbara Bennett, Director of Administrative Services
(330) 343-6647