Faulkton Lake Dam Maintenance Planned for Mid-August

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) –The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Thursday announced a drawdown will take place at Faulkton Lake to allow for a project to be completed on the spillway wingwall.

“Significant maintenance was completed at Faulkton Lake, Redfield Lake, and Jones Lake dams last fall,” stated Jason Jungwirth, Aquatic Habitat Biologist. “The Faulkton Lake dam wingwall replacement was also scheduled for this timeline but was unable to be completed due to the early and heavy snowfalls, which is why it will now be completed this fall.”

The dam maintenance has been made possible through aquatic habitat stamp funds.

“These projects have allowed us to address the deferred maintenance to bring our dams back to where they need to be,” continued Jungwirth. “The Faulkton Lake dam is a priority, as it was a high-hazard dam.”

To complete this work, individuals can expect to see short-term changes with the lake.

“Due to the recent rains, the lake will need to be drawn approximately 2-3 feet below the elevation of the primary spillway,” explained Willy Collignon, Northeast Regional Park Supervisor. “This will have impacts on the ability to utilize the boat ramp and the fishing dock.”

This draw-down would bring the lake to approximately the levels it was in 2022, which is approximately two feet lower than the spillway elevation. The greatest impact to recreation on the lake would be seen at the boat ramp.

“There will be approximately 2-2 ½ feet of water over the last plank of the boat ramp,” continued Collignon. “Smaller boats may still be able to safely launch, but larger boats are encouraged to avoid launching at this time.”

Boaters are reminded to plan ahead and use caution when launching, loading, and navigating the waterbody during this time.

The contractor plans to begin the dewatering process on August 14, with construction beginning the first week of September depending on additional rainfall. The project should take approximately 4-5 weeks to complete.