Corps returns Lake Red Rock and Saylorville Lake to normal operations

Published May 5, 2011

ROCK ISLAND, ILL. – As flood waters slowly recede on the Lower Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is resuming normal operations at its reservoirs located on the Des Moines River, Iowa.


Lake Red Rock outflows, which had been reduced to 11,000 cubic feet per second, are returning to regulation plan outflows and Saylorville Lake, which operates in tandem with Lake Red Rock, is also resuming normal operations after its outflows had been reduced to balance the storage between the two reservoirs.


With the possibility of a flood of record on the Lower Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers implemented a region-wide plan to reduce outflows from reservoirs located on tributaries to the Mississippi River.  All Corps of Engineers reservoirs with the ability to impact Lower Mississippi River flood stages evaluated water releases to minimize impacts to communities along the River.


Water levels in the Cairo, Ill., area on the Lower Mississippi River have receded and are forecast to continue to slowly recede.  Therefore, there is no additional benefit to maintaining reduced outflows and storing water in Lake Red Rock or Saylorville Lake.


Lake Red Rock outflows will be increased to the normal maximum growing season release of 18,000 cfs this afternoon, May 5.  The Lake is expected to crest today at elevation 758 feet.  Saylorville Lake outflows are currently at 8,000 cfs and will be reduced as needed to control the rate of fall in the reservoir.  Saylorville Lake is expected to crest at 854.5 feet on Saturday, May 6.


Updated information about Lake Red Rock and Saylorville Lake levels, inflows and outflows; and river levels for the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers is available on the web by visiting the Corps’ website at


Web Links:


·        Reservoir Fact Sheets:

·        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District:



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1 NOTE:  Cubic feet per second (cfs).  The rate of flow past a given point, measured in cubic feet per second.  One cubic foot of water equals about 7-1/2 gallons.

Release no. 11-05-18