Cutler file

Erika Munk and Max Merritt canoe near the Cutler Marsh Marina in this 2015 file photo. The reservoir will be lowered next week for maintenance and boat ramps will likely be unusable.

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As part of the federal relicensing process for Cutler Reservoir, operators will be lowering water levels next week.

“In conjunction with that (renewal), there are a number of technical studies,” said David Eskelsen, spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power. “These include cultural surveys, biological and environmental kinds of surveys and recreational analysis.”

The reservoir will be lowered on Oct. 25 and will be raised again in mid-November, once work is complete.

According to Eskelsen, it has been a few years since the reservoir has been drawn down so the company will also use the lower water levels to perform some needed maintenance on the hydroelectric plant.

As Cutler is already a fairly shallow reservoir, Eskelsen said the drawdown will likely make the reservoir’s boat ramps inaccessible.

“We know that is going to inconvenience people who use the reservoir this time of year,” Eskelsen said. “They will still be able to get on the property, it is just that the lack of water is going to affect their access.”

Eskelsen said there will also be a LIDAR survey completed during the drawdown to map the bottom of the reservoir.

The information gathered from this laser-imaging technique will help the company see how sediment has changed on the bottom of the reservoir over the years and better understand where the river channel is. According to Eskelsen, this data will help Rocky Mountain better serve its power customers.

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