Monday, January 26, 2015

Ameren Accessory Structure Permit FAQ

Article 419 of the FERC approved license requires Ameren to issue permits for private property structures that "use and occupy" lands below the Lake of the Ozarks project boundary.  Property owners with such structures are notified by mail to apply for a permit to allow them to remain.  There is a non-refundable fee, depending on the structure. Ameren has provided a brief FAQ to help property owners understand their situation.  (Emphasis mine)

Q:  Since I did not install the accessory structure, why do I need to request a permit?
A:  It is likely that a previous property owner installed the structure and did not know a permit was required.  It is the responsibility of the current property owner to ensure his or her structures within the project boundary are permitted regardless if he or she installed them.

Q:  Why is my accessory structure not grandfathered?
A:  Existing shoreline structures are not exempt from requiring a permit.  Ameren Missouri will allow your accessory structure to remain provided you obtain a permit.  Therefore, by permitting your accessory structure, it is in effect grandfathered.

Q:  How do I benefit from a permit for my accessory structure?
A:  If your accessory structure is permitted, the structure may remain within the Ameren Missouri's project boundary.  You may also perform maintenance on the structure and transfer the permitted structure to subsequent property owners.

Q:  Can I expand my permitted accessory structure?
A:  A permit was issued for the specific size and location of your accessory structure.  You may remove the structure. However, any other modification to the size and location of the structure is prohibited.

Q:  What accessory structures can be proposed within the project boundary?
A:  If the proposal complies with Ameren Missouri's permit guidelines, you may receive permits to install accessory structures such as piers and steps.  Permits cannot be issued for proposed patios, gazebos, sidewalks, boathouses, and similar structures.

Processing Fee List (Non-refundable)
Boat Dock Permits  Fee
  • New Permit for one-slip dock
 $150 plus $25 for each additional slip
  • Permit Modification 
    (includes addition of one slip)
 $75 plus $25 for each additional slip
  • Certified dock builder application
  • Certified dock builder annual
  • Certified dock builder reinstatement
Bank Stabilization Permits
  • Seawall
 $300 for first 100 feet plus $1/foot over 100 feet
  • Vegetation or riprap (vegetation planting or rock placement to prevent bank erosion)
  • Dredging-excavation permit
  • Boat Launching Ramp permit
  • Pre-2008 Deck permit*
  • Permit extension
  • Permit transfers (All permitted facilitiesmay be transferred with one application and fee)
  • Other permits (i.e., water intakes, utility facilities)
  • Pre-2008 Patio permit*
  • Pre-2008 Gazebo permit*
  • Stand-alone breakwater
 $500 for first 100 feet plus $1/foot over 100 feet
  • Pre-2008 Concrete Walkway permit
*Post-2008 decks, patios, gazebos and walkways are prohibited.
You will be accessed a fee for each structure in non-conformance.  For example, I had a shade deck and a "martini" deck and paid $200.

Ameren Missouri Shoreline Management Office
Phone: 573-365-9203
P.O. Box 993
Lake Ozark, MO  65049

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kayaking In January

It was a beautiful weekend!

Friday, January 09, 2015

5 Year Average Levels for Lake of the Ozarks

Update for years 2012-2016 (inclusive) is here.

I've been waiting for some time to put this one out.  It's an hourly average of lake levels for a five year period.

Each tick on the horizontal axis represents 96 hours.  The black line is the normal curve guide while the orange line represents the lower allowed limits, keeping in mind that the absolute lower limit of 645' is always available in emergency situations.  I recall seeing the lake that low once, in the 70s, and would prefer not to see it that low ever again.

There are a couple things that really stand out to me, the most noticeable being the drawdown period from February to April.  The drawdown is intended to provide time to work on shoreline related projects, such as seawalls, and prepare the lake for the coming spring rains.  In the past five years Ameren has not drawn the lake down to the expected low level of 654', instead leaving the lake a full foot higher or more than their own guidance suggests.  There is nothing wrong with that of course, but it is a curiously consistent deviation.

The other noticeable time period is the end of August through post-Labor Day.  The normal guide clearly shows what most of us expect, a full pool through Labor Day, but the data clearly shows that by the end of August lake levels drop at least a half a foot, recovering a bit before settling down to curve guide level at 658'.  Why Ameren does this is something of a mystery.  Why not leave the lake at full pool until after Labor Day?

On whole however, the data shows that Ameren does a pretty good job of managing lake levels.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2014 Annual Lake Ozark Levels and Discharge Summary

Here it is, the complete daily summary chart for 2014.  It's done in a style that captures the daily highs and lows, starting level and ending level, along with the total discharge of the day. There's quite a bit of data in this one chart, and you'll need to download the full size for details.  

In general, 2014 lake levels conformed poorly to established guidelines.  The annual drawdown to bring the lake to its lowest levels came late in January, after a brief rise in levels, and was executed in very short order causing much damage along the Osage River (see Osage Tsunami). Summer levels were maintained at a comfortable 659'-660' level (full pool), but an early drop to 658' in late August was held beyond Labor Day. Lake levels in October actually reached full pool again but gradually returned to the expected level of 658' midway through November.  In late November levels once again deviated from guidelines to reach full pool and the lake finished out the year at its highest levels.

Here are some of the key data points for the year.

Most water discharged in a single period (hr): 38,778 cfs on Feb 4th at 8pm.  This is the only time Ameren reached the maximum discharge allowed by license.

Highest Lake Level:  660.20 on December 31st at 2am, a very unusual time of year for the highest level.

Lowest Lake Level: 653.74 on February 7th at 9am.  Typical.

Average Lake Level for the year:  657.82'

Osage River:  Range for the year was 551'-567' with the average being about 554'.

The head of the dam is the difference between the lake level (headwater) and the river (tailwater) and determines the power generating potential of Bagnell Dam.  The higher the head, the more power that can be generated.

Highest Head:  108.40 ft
Lowest Head:     87.26 ft
Head Average:  103.88 ft

Full size image (3MB jpg) here