EAGLE LAKE WATER LEVEL MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT
This agreement made and entered into by and between the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Army, represented by the District Engineer, Vicksburg District (hereinafter called the Corps); the United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter called U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service); the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. This agreement replaces the original 1977 agreement.
WHEREAS, the Yazoo Backwater feature of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project was approved by the Flood Control Act, 18 August 1941, and
WHEREAS, it was determined that the construction of the Yazoo Backwater area levee system would preclude the free and natural overflow of waters of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers in the lower basin of Steele Bayou, thereby impairing the quality of fishery resources of the basin and Eagle Lake, which is connected to Steele Bayou by Muddy Bayou, and
WHEREAS, to mitigate impairment of the affected fishery resources and provide a high degree of protection for commercial establishment, residences, and other improvements bordering Eagle Lake from damages of the interior flooding, the Corps constructed with Federal funds a gated structure in Muddy Bayou, which provides means for controlling waters entering and leaving Eagle Lake, and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, by letter dated 28 April 1969, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission by letter dated 28 April 1969; concurred with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report on Eagle Lake dated 16 May 1969, which recommended that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks have operational responsibility for fish management at the Muddy Bayou Control Structure, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Service, and
WHEREAS, research conducted by the Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit from 1997 to 1999 in conjunction with an amendment to leave the lake level at 76.9
N.G.V.D. through Labor Day, provided information to help make management decisions, and
WHEREAS, the estimated 100-year frequency of interior flooding in the lower Steele Bayou Basin is elevation 100.3 feet N.G.V.D., and the approximate range of elevation of the natural ridge line between Steele Bayou and Eagle Lake is 90.0 to 95.0 feet, N.G.V.D., it will be necessary to flood Eagle Lake through the structure at times when overbank flooding is expected.
NOW THEREFORE, it is agreed that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, accompanied by a representative of the Corps, will operate the Muddy Bayou Control Structure and the plan for water level management in Eagle Lake shall be;
1. From 1 January to 15 June when water quality, as determined by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks: and stages in Steele Bayou will allow, the Muddy Bayou Control Structure gates may be opened to raise the water level in Eagle Lake to about elevation 76.9 feet, N.G.V.D.
2. Between 1January and 1September, as water levels in Steele Bayou allow, Muddy Bayou Control Structure will be operated to maintain the water level in Eagle Lake near 76.9 N.G.V.D.; however, before 15 June, water level may be lowered slowly to reduce impacts on spawning fish and the survival of their young.
3. Beginning 1 September, Eagle Lake water level will be lowered to about 75.0 N.G.V.D.
4. Eagle Lake water level may be lowered to a minimum of about 70.0 N.G.V.D. if Deemed necessary for biological reasons.
5. During periods when the Corps considers that flooding in Steele Bayou sump could cause water to back into Eagle Lake, the Corps will assume operational responsibility for the structure and flood Eagle Lake through the structure to prevent damage to the structure or other improvements such as roads, caused by overbank flow flanking the structure, and
6. During any of the above operations of the Muddy Bayou Control Structure gates, the allowable gate openings will be contingent upon the water level in Steele Bayou Sump. The Corps will furnish gate operating curves as guides for the operation of the Muddy Bayou Control Structure. Eagle Lake and Steele Bayou stages will be determined from recording gages located at the Muddy Bayou Control Structure.
IT IS FURTHER AGREED that any one of the parties hereto may request a meeting to discuss possible changes in the above water level management and that amendments to this agreement may be made at any time by written agreement signed by all the parties. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, accompanied by a representative of the Corps, will operate the Muddy Bayou Control Structure in accordance with the above plan.