Massive release of water makes Fox River risky

Posted at 4:30 p.m. on June 19, 2017

The Brillion News

APPLETON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued warnings for boaters regarding the current high flow conditions on the lower Fox River and the danger posed around dams.

It reads in part: “Boating season is in full swing. That includes kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, tubes, and any number of other water born craft not propelled by a motor. Please, please, use extreme caution around a dam. The sudden draw caused by open gates is something you may not escape.”

The alert was posted on social media by the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department.

The Army Corps is working to maintain the proper level of water in Lake Winnebago. To effect this, in light of heavy rains hitting the Fox River Basin, they are currently releasing roughly 92,000 gallons of water per second. They have all 19 dam gates open and that is creating very turbulent and dangerous water conditions below dams.

There is no word on how long this process will take and it is dependent on how much more rain we get.

Locally, the Wrightstown and Kaukauna Fire Departments, both of which have swift water rescue teams, trained together on swift water rescues on the Fox River in the area of the 1,000 Islands Nature Preserve. (Photo from that training accompanies this story.)

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