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Lake of the Ozarks and Osage River Dock Owners Advised to Prepare for Winter Conditions
Winter will bring lower Lake levels and possible ice

Ameren Missouri advises dock owners to stay abreast of Lake of the Ozarks and Osage River water level fluctuations as winter approaches. Property owners are encouraged to take appropriate measures to protect their docks from lower water levels, ice and other winter conditions that routinely occur at this time of year.

Please call 1.573.365.9205 to hear Ameren Missouri's daily report on Lake of the Ozarks water levels. Hourly information about Lake water levels is available at http://www.ameren.com/missouri/lake-of-the-ozarks by clicking on the "Lake Level & Operations" link in the right-hand column.

"Winter conditions and ice can pose risks for dock owners both above and below Bagnell Dam," said Jeff Green, Ameren Missouri’s shoreline management supervisor. "We record the Lake level phone message each weekday. It's a dock owner's best source of up-to-date information on Lake water levels and river flows."

Lake and river level fluctuations occur for several reasons. At Lake of the Ozarks, Ameren Missouri generally lowers the water level during wintertime to about 654 feet above sea level—or six feet below the full reservoir level of 660 feet—to reduce the possibility of flooding during spring rains. The Osage River level may fluctuate when Ameren Missouri's Bagnell Dam releases water to meet increased electricity demand.

Ameren Missouri offers the following tips to help both Lake and Osage River dock owners minimize the effects of lower Lake levels and other winter conditions:

  • Below the dam, remove docks from the Osage River before cold weather hits.
  • Ensure that hinges, pins and other connections linking any remaining docks to seawalls or piers have the flexibility to follow water level fluctuations.
  • Lengthen cables to allow docks to drop as the Lake or river levels drop.
  • Use a dock deicer to help protect docks from ice damage, though a deicer may not provide protection from large ice sheets and blocks.
  • Ask neighbors to keep an eye on the dock or retain a local dock builder or similar contractor to care for the property when the site is unoccupied.


Ameren Missouri also reminds the public that Bagnell Dam water releases may occur at any time and may result in swift currents and rapidly rising water levels in the Osage River. The dam sounds a warning siren before starting and stopping generators.


Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities including the greater St. Louis area. For more information please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow Ameren Missouri on Facebook or Twitter.