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High Water Impacts Recreation on Clearwater Lake

The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District advises people planning to visit Clearwater Lake that recent rains have impacted the lake and recreation opportunities available at its campgrounds.  However, many recreation opportunities remain.
Record level flooding occurred at Clearwater Lake and as a result many parks are only partially open.  The lake is currently being lowered but forecasts show lake levels to be at or above elevation 560 which is still 62 feet above normal pool elevation for the Memorial Day weekend, if no additional rain falls.
As of May 15, all campgrounds to include Bluff View, Highway K, Piedmont Park, River Road, and Webb Creek are open. However, all campgrounds have felt the impact of this flood event. About 130 campsites around the lake have been closed.   As the lake recedes and damages can be accessed, repairs will be made and sites returned to service as soon as time and funding allows.
The high lake level is affecting area resorts and other tourist-related businesses. Steve Walsh, owner of Spring Valley Resort, said that the resorts around the lake are having a large number of cancellations. Walsh said that some have cancelled reservations as far out as July.
As with campsites, the high lake has closed all swim beaches and boat launching is limited to roadways with very limited safe parking. Visitors and campers should plan to leave any additional vehicles at home to help congestion, according to the Corps of Engineers. “In the event campers launch their boats, we ask that they return the trailer to their campsite.  Launching from interior campground roads is not allowed.” reads a press release from the Corps of Engineers.
The lake is open for boating however, high water levels makes conditions more dangerous so extreme caution is advised when on the water.  Numerous underwater obstacles, floating drift and debris are the norm.
Swimming from the shore is dangerous as well with drop offs, flooded campsites, trees and numerous other underwater obstacles creating hazardous conditions.
A portion of Missouri Highway HH west of Clearwater Dam has been closed because of flood waters.  Drivers are asked to pay attention to traffic signs that inform them of changes in road conditions and closures and look to for alternate routes as needed.  Further road information is available at the Missouri Department of Transportation website at
Visitor safety is the Corps’ top concern.  Lake users and boaters are encouraged to wear life jackets while on the water, limit night time activities on the lake as much as possible, make sure to keep track of all those in your party and by all means, exercise patience with your fellow vacationers and enjoy the recreation season.

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