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Jefferson County Lake fills thanks to sub-water in the area

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Jefferson County Lake is not even half full as of Friday, but according to Mickey Eames, the Park and Recreation director for Jefferson County, the county doesn't actually fill the lake. It fills through a different method.

"It feels on its own. It comes from the bottom up. It's sub water and by the end of June, first part of July, we're told you were generally totally full. We have fish that are planted in at about that time as well. Once the water gets to a certain temperature, they'll come out and they're put about 12,000 fish or 15 in the lake for fishing too."

The way the water comes up is in part thanks to the flood irrigation of farmers in the area.

"We have our farmers when they start watering and they flood, irrigate, most of them around here, flood, irrigate when they start watering, the sprinklers are not flooding. When they flood irrigate, then the water levels in the ground come up. And so our water levels depend a lot on how much the farmers have to flood, irrigate."

Eames says unfortunately due to the colder spring, the farmers haven't had flood irrigate as much leading to a delay in the amount of water in the lake.

"I've had a lot of people ask, 'are you going to be full in summer?' Or 'rumor has it that you won't have any water in the lake.' And in all the years I've lived here, which is many, we've always had water in this little lake."

While the lake is still filling up with water, Eames and her crew have been hard at work making sure the campgrounds are available for as they prepare for this upcoming season.

"There's still fun to be had. We have playground equipment. We have we've added three new fire rings this summer. So people can come out and for $5, you can use one of the fire rings. We've got them so that they have a lid on them. But you can use the fire rings and you can cook a marshmallow or hot dog and just have fun hanging out here with the lawn being pretty and green and the camp area."

Eames says the campground is already filling up with reservations for the year, a trend she expects to continue.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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