BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County officials began the yearly Deer Point lake and reservoir drawdown on Monday.
The lake’s normal water level stands at around five feet, but that will change in just a matter of days.
“We’re gonna drop it down two feet and maintain an elevation of three feet for the next hundred days,” Bay County Utilities Director Bobby Gibbs said.
Gibbs said the drawdown provides a better habitat for fishing and allows boat owners along the lake to perform maintenance on their docks.
Primarily, it also helps eliminate some invasive aquatic vegetation.
The county works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission during this project.
“At the end of the year, like in October after it’s done, they’ll go back and check those vegetation sites to see if they’ve had a decrease in overall vegetation,” Gibbs said.
He also said colder and drier weather help get rid of the invasive vegetation.
However, it doesn’t always go as planned, like last year.
“We had almost 15 inches of rain during the drawdown period, and we only had four days of freezing weather, so the drawdown was not as effective as it could be,” Gibbs said. “So we’re hoping for better conditions this year.”
Eliminating those weeds helps accomplish the primary goal, which is to protect the county’s main supply of drinking water.
“It’s something that we’ve been doing for a number of years now and it seems to be working, and we’re gonna continue to do it,” Gibbs said.
He said the drawdown will last until March 2 of next year.