February 27, 2023 | Letter From The Chair
As the winter of 2022-2023 comes to a close, the Rock Koshkonong Lake District Board of Commissioners is busy overseeing the operations of the Lake District. The Wisconsin DNR-mandated water control project is continuing to move for-ward. As the name implies, the water control project will have the ability to finally control lake and river levels for the benefit of all residents.
The work on the west chamber of the Indianford Dam is complete, and the east chamber work of the structure is in progress. As expected of a 110+-year-old building, several issues have been brought to light and have caused challenges to the contractor and the Lake District. A dive team is often on-site to monitor and assist the contractor in this project’s completion.
In early February, the dive team discovered a scour hole under the wall of the downstream side of the river and Rock County Park. A plan is awaiting WDNR approval, and the repair of that damage will begin soon. However, the potential for more damage and the continued east chamber work has required the water flow through the Indianford Dam to be temporarily shut down, resulting in water levels above the operating order. RKLD has petitioned and secured a Rock County grant of up to $425,000 to complete the wall repairs. The dive team has recently discovered a new scour hole on the Dam’s downstream side that has been added to the repair plan.
These unexpected repairs have put the lake district in a race to complete those repairs before the possible increase in water levels visible in Spring. The discovery of the damage and its causes are being analyzed. The RKLD Board has determined that a previous contractor had built a cause-way from the west shore to the east side of the Dam and failed to remove part of that cause-way upon project completion. The resulting water flow changes from that cause-way directed the flow from the Dam into the west retaining wall causing the scour over the past 20 years. WDNR dam inspections are required every ten years. However, there is no record of inspections in 2013 that would have revealed those potential damages. Those inspections are scheduled for this year and will be part of the Dam operating policy in the future. A change order approved by the RKLD Board has authorized the removal of most of the cause-way debris and greatly improved water flow away from the Dam. The RKLD Board asks for patience with water levels until these repairs are completed.
I want to thank the RKLD Board and staff volunteers for their work to benefit the residents of Lake Koshkonong and Rock River.
Alan Sweeney, Chair RKLD