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E-M:/ DNR Draining Backus Lake Flooding for Repairs and Maintenance



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2006

Contact: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
				

DNR Draining Backus Lake Flooding for Repairs and Maintenance

The Department of Natural Resources has begun draining the Backus Lake Flooding area to facilitate repairs and maintenance to the existing dike and water control structure, DNR wildlife officials said today.

The repairs and maintenance planned for the area include insertion of a plastic liner tube in the existing rusted outlet tube in the dam; removal of sticks, rocks, mud and other debris from the upstream side of the structure; repair of the eroded dike embankment near the water control structure; and applying a sealant material to the concrete portion of the water control structure to extend its life. Work could begin as early as Aug. 21. 

The 560-acre Backus Lake Flooding is sometimes known as Big Mud Lake in central Roscommon County, three miles east of Prudenville.

?By beginning the draining and repair work in mid-summer, there will be no interference with goose and duck nesting in the flooding area,? said Doug Pavlovich, DNR wildlife technician in Houghton Lake. ?The area will be reflooded when repairs and maintenance are complete, and we project that to be late October. Reflooding also will depend on rainfall.?

The repairs are required under the Federal Dam Safety Act, and will extend the life of the flooding by an additional 40 or more years. This will benefit the ducks, geese, swans, loons, beavers, muskrat, deer, shorebirds, wading birds, osprey, eagles and other wildlife species that inhabit the flooding. This is also a popular flooding for fishing and wildlife viewing. 

The extent of the vertical drawdown will be as much as nine feet at the control structure. Water loss in the main body of the lake will not be as great due to the main body being a ?perched basin.?

Pavlovich said that fall waterfowl hunting may be impacted because access to the main body of the lake will be difficult, and the north end of the flooding will be reduced to a narrow stream of water and many ducks and geese will move to other nearby water. Fish in the north end of the flooding will likely move to the main body of the lake, Pavlovich added.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state?s natural resources for current and future generations.

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