SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Lower levels ordered for Freeman and Shafer to protect mussels

Those who frequent Lakes Freeman and Shafer may no longer have to worry about the water levels. This comes after a government agency ordered the lowering of lake levels to protect endangered mussels in the Tippecanoe River.

Posted: Oct 14, 2017 4:21 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2017 4:21 PM

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) — Those who frequent Lakes Freeman and Shafer may no longer have to worry about the water levels. This comes after a government agency ordered the lowering of lake levels to protect endangered mussels in the Tippecanoe River.It's led to problems for more than three years.

It's led to problems for more than three years and if the order is reversed, it could be a boon for the local economy.

The Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation (SFLECC) is trying to encourage the use of an alternative plan to save the mussels and their habitat. It would at the same time keep water levels stable on the lakes.

One local business owner has seen the impact of low lakes on the community. He says regular levels could make a positive change for the area.

Madam Carroll owner Tom Heckard says when lake levels are low, the difference is noticeable on more than just the water.

"It just seems like there's less boat traffic. It's a snowball effect, and it really hurts the economy of the whole town," said Heckard.

The problem could be coming to an end thanks to a letter filed by the Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation.

It's questioning the methods U.S. Fish and Wildlife used to determine how high the river levels needed to be in order to protect endangered mussels.

The letter also encourages the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to use an alternative plan that would keep lake levels stable while providing a natural water flow to the mussels' habitat.

"We're solidly behind what FERC is asking for, and the purpose of the letter was to try to tell FERC that is the way we feel about it," SFLECC President Lee Kreul said.

Fish and Wildlife released its final opinion on the matter in July. Kreul says US Fish and Wildlife assures that the alternative is not likely to jeopardize the mussels or their habitat.

But Fish and Wildlife still believe its plan is what's best for the mussels.

"They don't have the right to do that since the dams are not killing mussels, by their own admission," said Kreul.

The decision now lies in the hands of FERC.

Heckard hopes the decision will keep lake levels stable enough to increase the area's popularity.

"Comeback to the lake. Come back and enjoy this. It's a wonderful area, tourist area, and we want those people back," said Heckard.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has no deadline to make a decision.

Kreul says he hopes to hear something before next summer so that tourists and lake-goers won't have to worry about low lake levels.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 38°
Rensselaer
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Danville
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Logansport
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 41°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708067

Reported Deaths: 13224
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion964881721
Lake51704945
Allen39185672
Hamilton34497405
St. Joseph34075540
Elkhart27306432
Vanderburgh22077394
Tippecanoe21818212
Porter17940299
Johnson17526374
Hendricks16803310
Clark12688190
Madison12350337
Vigo12211244
Monroe11462166
LaPorte11140204
Delaware10356184
Howard9662211
Kosciusko9127114
Hancock7979139
Bartholomew7888155
Warrick7684155
Floyd7560176
Wayne6899198
Grant6842171
Boone6552100
Morgan6395138
Dubois6084117
Marshall5783108
Dearborn570076
Cass5684102
Henry5577100
Noble542483
Jackson493269
Shelby479095
Lawrence4342118
Gibson428789
Harrison428170
Clinton419053
Montgomery417986
DeKalb410984
Whitley379639
Huntington379480
Miami372565
Knox366389
Steuben365257
Putnam352660
Jasper350546
Wabash347778
Adams337952
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308354
Daviess289299
Wells286381
Decatur278992
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268833
Scott261153
Clay253444
LaGrange253070
Randolph235680
Washington230931
Spencer227931
Jennings224747
Fountain208745
Sullivan207842
Starke204352
Owen192256
Fulton191739
Jay186129
Carroll185820
Perry180336
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113645
Newton103934
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82815
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0409

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events