February 21, 2023 – The City of Ellsworth is continuing to work with our engineering firm GEI Consultants Inc. to review and design the repair work needed for the Branch Lake Dam.

At this time temporary repair work to the earthen portion of the Dam is scheduled for Mid-May 2023. This temporary repair is being completed so that the lake level can then be risen to normal levels while a permanent repair/replacement is designed and funding secured.

It is anticipated that the temporary repair will remain in place for a few years while the design and funding process proceeds.   It is unknown at this time if the lake will need to be drawn down again for the permanent repair in a few years but it is highly probable.

Due to having to keep the lake level lowered until the temporary repair is completed in May is it also probable that the lake level in Branch Lake will be lower than normal this summer season.  The amount of rain we see in later spring/early summer after the temporary repair is in place, will determine the final lake level.

It is our intention that the City swimming area and State Boat Launch will remain open for the summer.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we navigate through this repair process at the Dam and understand this is not ideal for lake users but it’s a temporary necessity so that we can all enjoy the lake for years to come.