North Platte, Neb. – A set of gates used for water stabilization by Nebraska Public Power District on the Sutherland Canal near Hershey will be replaced beginning in October. With that work being done, water levels along the canal and at Lake Maloney will gradually lower during the month of September.
The mid-1950’s era gates are being replaced due to their age and condition, as part of NPPD’s maintenance on the Sutherland Canal. The work will reduce inflows through the canal into Lake Maloney, where lake level are expected to drop about four feet from normal by the end of the month.
At the end of September, there will be no inflows coming through the canal into the lake until work on the gates are completed.
“The gate replacement project is scheduled to be completed by late October or early November,” said NPPD’s Land Management Coordinator Brian Hope. “This work is a major undertaking and the completion date will rely on many factors, including weather conditions,” Hope added that once work is completed, inflows to the lake will begin at a slow pace with gradual increases over several weeks. Once normal operating levels are reached at Lake Maloney, the hydro will begin generating and NPPD will resume its standard operations of the lake.
“When we reduce inflows into the lake from the canal system for maintenance work, various locations may see areas where fish are trapped and may die,” Hope explained. NPPD works with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission which will issue salvage permits for the public to recover those fish.
Salvage permits can be obtained from the Nebraska Game and Parks offices located at 301 East State Farm Road in North Platte or contact that office at 308-535-8025.