Saylorville Lake Outflows will Affect Des Moines River Levels

Published June 14, 2018

The water level at Saylorville Lake has been receding after spring and early summer rainfall in the Des Moines River watershed. High water levels have deposited a large amount of debris on the shoreline, the dam and the control tower. Saylorville Lake maintenance staff will be working on removing debris starting Monday, June 18th. To perform this work safely, the control tower gates will be closed Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to approximately 3:30 pm each day. This will reduce the outflow to nearly zero causing the Des Moines River levels to lower drastically. During low outflows, more hazards are visible and it is advised to be extra careful on and near the water.


Park Rangers will advise visitors near the river in Bob Shetler and Cottonwood Recreation Areas when the gates will reopen and the water level will rise. At this time, the water level rises rapidly and is very dangerous. Please gather belongings and move to higher ground immediately when you hear sirens and/or see rangers advising visitors. 


Before recreation areas can reopen they need to be cleaned and the beach areas inspected and buoys placed. Please be patient as we prepare the areas. Safety of our visitors is our primary concern.  


Visitors may receive current information regarding the status of all recreation areas by calling the lake information number at 515-276-0433.  For current boat ramp availability call 515-509-2015 then 30#. Lake level information and predictions can be accessed at  Saylorville Lake is in the Rock Island District, Des Moines River Basin.


For More Information on Saylorville Lake

(515) 276-4656

Release no. 18-037