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With the drawdown of Lake Orono now complete, there is more than just a visual change people should note when recreating on or near the lake. The post-drawdown condition has left large areas of exposed shoreline and various shallow pockets throughout both the upper and lower basins of Lake Orono. Any exposed areas that were previously water-covered are still highly saturated and can often respond like quicksand when penetrated. Residents are advised to use extreme caution when entering upon the exposed lake bottom as the stability of these areas are unknown and conditions are still subject to change.
Staff will continue to monitor the level to ensure it stays at the Department of Natural Resources permitted level. Uncertainties like precipitation, dam operations, and upstream conditions are subject to cause fluctuations in the water level, however. Look for activity to pick up on Lake Orono following the winter deep freeze at which time dredging can begin. For more information on the LORE project, visit ElkRiverMN.gov/LORE.