Duck River

The reservoir at Duck River Dam will be closing to public access for boating for the winter, as workers prepare to lower the water level in connection with planned work and monitoring at the dam, according to utilities officials.

The Cullman Utilities Board plans to lower the water level at the reservoir below its typical full pool condition in preparation for the work, and expects the water level to remain “substantially” below full pool throughout the winter months. Utilities board secretary Mike Manning said officials haven’t nailed down an official closing date, but added that boaters can expect the change within the next few weeks.

“As we draw the level of the lake down during the winter months, submerged items such as gravel that was beneath the surface in a stockpile, as well as some other items in shallow areas, will make it somewhat unsafe for boaters,” Manning told The Times. “To provide a safe place recreationally, we wanted to go ahead and close the lake during the time when the levels will be lowered.

“The boat ramps, too, may not even give access to the water as the level drops, since the concrete for the ramps only goes so far out into the lake, so with safety in mind, we need to wait to re-open access to the lake surface until the reservoir level can be raised again. Of course, fishing from the banks, as well as trail access and parking area access, will all still remain open.”

The reservoir’s water level is being reduced “in connection with current conditions and planned work at the dam’s spillway, after consultations with professional engineers,” the board said in a release. “We apologize for any inconvenience and will aggressively work through this to allow public access as soon as possible,” the statement added. For more information, contact Manning at the Cullman Power Board at 256-734-2343.

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