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Unstable Ice Conditions on Saylorville Lake

Posted January 06, 2014 in Web Exclusives

The extreme cold conditions have not only added ice, but have reduced the inflows into Saylorville Lake.  These lower inflows and the required minimum release from Saylorville Dam means the lake level below the ice will drop.  Air-pockets form under the ice increasing the risk that the ice will crack or break.  As the ice shelf begins to drop, it can also cause a dangerous slope at the shore which makes it hard to climb back off the ice.  Fishermen, snowmobilers, skaters, skiers and pedestrians need to be aware of potential dangers involving Saylorville’s lake ice. All wheeled vehicles should stay off the ice.  Remember there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice, especially on large reservoirs that fluctuate in height.

The current lake level is at 836.01 feet above sea level and the lake level may drop as much as much as an inch or two per day if the river inflows continue to drop.

If you have any questions contact the Saylorville Lake Administration Office at (515) 276-4656 or for more information on lake levels, outflows and inflows visit

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