News Releases

Deer Point drawdown was picture perfect

News Release

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Media contact: Chris Paxton, 850-265-3676, ext. 208; Jamie Jones, 850-872-4785

Fishery managers and Bay County Water Utility Department officials said the Deer Point Lake drawdown that began Jan. 4 could not have gone any better.

The drawdown gates at the Deer Point Dam are closed, and the lake is expected to be back at full pool by Friday, Feb. 26.  The lake was drawn down two feet most of the time and even more in a trial run of the revamped Williams Bayou pumping station.

"It is not essential to have freezing temperatures for the drawdown to be effective, but one night of below-32-degree temperatures will kill vegetation immediately.  We got that and more," said Chris Paxton, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) regional fisheries biologist.  "According to weather data from the Panama City International Airport, we had 13 nights of temperatures at or below freezing."

Paxton said homeowners and boaters should see an immediate reduction in the amount of the aquatic plants lemon becopa and Eurasian water milfoil in the lake.  He said the freezing temperatures killed all the exposed vegetation.

Jamie Jones, director of operations at Williams Bayou and the Bay County Water Utility Department, agreed that the drawdown was a success.

"This was a collaborative effort between the FWC and the Bay County Commission.  The improvements at the Williams Bayou pump station were successful and worked well during the drawdown conditions to maintain the county's potable and industrial water supply, while allowing for a much-anticipated drawdown," Jones said.

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