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What is Winter Pool? Summer Pool?

At Roush and Salamonie Lakes, their primary function is first and foremost for flood control. You'll notice that lake levels are dropped each winter by the Army Corp of Engineers who manage both dams, and you may hear it referenced as "winter pool." The locals are used to this annual ebb and flow, but we sometimes have visitors ask why this is done.

This lowered level allows for the lakes to better serve the downstream communities they protect by opening up storage space for winter and spring precipitation. In the winter, water sheds off the land more quickly as there is less vegetation and the ground is frozen. The lower lake levels allow for the dams to hold back this additional run off.

Winter Pool will be held until spring when we allow the spring showers to start filling the lake back to "summer pool" levels for summertime recreational use. Typically the lakes are restored to summer pool levels by Memorial Day Weekend but it can vary from year to year based on weather conditions.