Johnson County Commissioner Jim Hicks updated the other commissioners on the current status of Lake DeSmet now that the 99-year water lease agreement with the Wyoming Game And Fish Commission has been signed.
The discussions happened at the last commissioner’s meeting.
Hicks said due to successful winter fill effort by the operations board the reservoir at the lake is close to full.
During inspections of the dam during some recent days with high winds they did notice some erosion on the south dike, but Hicks said Texaco originally designed the lake to erode some in that area and it was nothing to be concerned with.
Long-term funding for the lake and reservoir are also a concern for Hicks. Although the county will see some funds from the lease, Hicks has sought opinions and expertise from Wyoming Treasurer Mark Gordon, state Senator Johns Schiffer and State Representative Mike Madden on how those funds can be best invested for
Hicks said he believes the primary use of the lake now is recreation and that the public wants it for recreation. He thinks the county has and will continue to give that a high priority.
He expects the first meeting of the advisory board for the lake to happen within the next month or so to bring all parties involved in the lake up to date.
Shoreline management will be the next big issue that will be addressed. The issue will be discussed by the Game and Fish, the advisory board and all parties involved in the lake. The agreement will then be brought to the commissioners for their approval when finished.