Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near


October 21, 2009

CONTACT:      Tony Benson

                        Communications Coordinator






Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near



ROCHESTER, MN—The level of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to be lowered from normal summer pool (Elevation 919.7 dam datum) to the winter pool beginning on or about October 31.


The drawdown to winter pool normally takes approximately a week to complete, however it may take longer if unexpected weather conditions arise.


During the months of November through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level within the winter pool range of 918.0 – 918.5, which is about 1.5 to 2 feet below the crest of the dam.


Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site ( For additional information regarding the Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson at (507) 280-1534.


Tips for lake ice safety:


Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.

Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.

Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.


About Rochester Public Utilities


As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 47,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.





2 Responses to “Lake Zumbro Hydro Drawdown Draws Near”

  1. Jeff Larson Says:

    Has anyone look at the possibility of delaying the draw down until later? My concern is there still some of the best fishing, boating and hunting between this time and the 3rd week in Novmember. Once the water is lower this all changes. Thanks

  2. Mike Meir Says:

    I’ve only been in Rochester for about 11 yrs now. What I’d like to know is, why do they lower the water in Lake Zumbro in the winter months ?

    Do the dams at Silver Lake and Lake Zumbro produce any electricity ?
    If not, why not ?

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