HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Lakes Hamilton
and Catherine will begin to return to normal summertime levels on March 6. In
November, Lake Hamilton was drawn down 5 feet and Lake Catherine was drawn down
3 feet in accordance with the Entergy Arkansas, Inc. drawdown plan approved by
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Both lakes will rise approximately 4-6
inches per day beginning March 6 and ending March 14, when both lakes will be at
their normal summertime levels.
Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are
drawn down each winter to facilitate shoreline maintenance and inspection and to
help control nuisance aquatic vegetation. It is important to have the lakes back
to normal summertime levels before fish spawning activity begins, which is
normally around mid-March. “Lakefront property owners should take precautions,
as always, when the lakes begin to rise, said Bobby Pharr, process
superintendent of Entergy hydro operations. “This includes removing construction
debris and other material from the lakebed to higher ground, securing boats to
withstand higher water and returning floating docks to their permitted
As the lakes refill, a natural
increase in the amount of floating debris is to be expected. This occurs from a
combination of two things. First, heavier rainfall during the springtime washes
trees, limbs, leaves and litter that accumulated over the winter into the lakes.
Second, the debris that rested on the exposed shoreline during the drawdown will
dry out and float as the lake level rises.
The debris tends to travel in large
“mats” that move wherever the winds and currents take them, creating floating
obstacles in the water and eyesores on the lake that may be present until late
spring. Normally, as time progresses, it will eventually sink, disperse or float
downstream. Disposing of yard waste properly and not in the lake or on dry lake
bed will reduce the amount of floating debris.
Lake Catherine is formed by Remmel
Dam, and Lake Hamilton is formed by Carpenter Dam, both of which Entergy built
more than 60 years ago for hydroelectric generation. Lakes Hamilton and
Catherine are part of Project 271, a hydroelectric project licensed by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The reservoirs, project lands and
associated Remmel and Carpenter dams are operated under a license granted by the
The FERC license requires and
authorizes Entergy to control certain activities that affect the lake’s
environmental, safety and recreational values. Permits must be obtained from
Entergy for any construction activity on the lake or shoreline including: boat
docks, piers, walkways, swim docks, personal water craft ramps/lifts, decks,
landings, embankments, bulkheads, seawalls, and dredging and filling operations.
Relocation, replacement, enlargement or significant alteration of existing
facilities also requires a new permit from Entergy. Applications for new
shoreline facilities or activities are accepted only between March 15 and Nov.
30 of each year.
Lakefront property owners needing
further information on the drawdown schedule or shoreline permitting guidelines
and applications for lakes Hamilton or Catherine can call Entergy Arkansas’
hydro operations office at 501-844-2148 or visit the hydro operations website at
www.entergy.com/hydro. Visitors to
the website may also subscribe to receive lake and flow information by email. To
receive regular information on the operation of the lakes, the public can also
“Like” hydro operations’ Facebook page at
Entergy Arkansas, which celebrates
its 100th birthday this year, provides electricity to approximately 700,000
customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy
Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power
production and retail distribution operations. Entergy Corporation’s utilities
own and operate power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric
generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power,
making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. The Entergy utilities
deliver electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi and Texas. Entergy Corporation has annual revenues of more than $11
billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
Entergy Hydro Operations’ online address is