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Ameren Missouri Advises Lake of the Ozarks Dock Owners to Prepare for Low Winter/Spring Lake Levels as Drought Continues

Ameren Missouri advises dock owners at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to stay informed of Lake levels as winter approaches. Property owners are urged to take appropriate measures to protect their docks from the lower water levels and other winter conditions that routinely occur this time of year.

Lowering the water level at the Lake of the Ozarks by several feet during the winter months is an annual process and is necessary to provide increased water storage capacity for flood control during the spring rainy season. In light of the ongoing drought, Ameren Missouri is carefully managing the Lake by mostly limiting discharges through Bagnell Dam to meet minimum flows – as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, unless significant rainfall occurs, the Lake level will continue to fall slightly each week.

Ameren Missouri believes that the Lake will likely reach the normal seasonal low of about 654 feet (above sea level) by late winter or early spring, according to Phil Thompson, superintendent of the Osage Energy Center. However, Thompson says Lake elevations down to 651 feet – nine feet below full reservoir – are possible during the winter season, depending on weather conditions and electrical needs.

Ameren Missouri provides daily (Monday through Friday) information about Lake levels at 573.365.9205. In addition, hourly information is available at AmerenMissouri.com/Lake (click on Lake Levels & Operations).

To minimize the effects of lower water levels and other winter conditions, Ameren Missouri offers the following tips for dock owners:

  • Disconnect hinges linking docks and seawalls or piers to allow the entire structure to follow the water level down.
  • Lengthen cables to permit docks to drop as the Lake level drops.
  • During any absences from the property, ask nearby neighbors to watch the dock or retain a local marina or dock builder to care for the property during the winter season.
  • Use “bubblers” or other anti-icing devices to help protect docks from ice damage.

Ameren Missouri also reminds the public that water releases from Bagnell Dam into the Osage River can occur at any time. These releases can result in swift currents and rapidly rising water levels in the river. Prior to releases starting, a warning siren is sounded at the dam.


Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.