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Hall Lake Dam modifications planned at Yankee Springs Recreation Area

To improve safety for residents and property owners downstream, the Hall Lake Dam in Yankee Springs Recreation Area will undergo necessary modifications and improvements – but work would not start until after the public has had the chance to review and share feedback on a draft concept plan, and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy permitting is complete.

As part of a Michigan Department of Natural Resources effort to evaluate infrastructure under its management and create sustainable resources for current and future generations, the dam in Barry County was recently identified as having significant hazard potential. This means that if the dam fails, loss of human life is unlikely; however, economic damage, environmental harm or disruption to essential services downstream are probable.

The DNR has been working with EGLE and a design consultant on a design that would address the dam deficiencies while still preserving an outdoor recreational lake experience at a new, lower lake elevation.

This past May, the DNR received a $1.6 million Dam Risk Reduction Grant to address infrastructure concerns and potential impacts on the surrounding environment. This will allow the department to work closely with EGLE to reduce hazard concerns at the dam, maintain Hall Lake as a recreational body of water and meet all necessary environmental regulations.

The DNR will share the concept plan once it’s completed, which is anticipated this summer. A public meeting will be scheduled and announced likely in July or August.

“When we do have the opportunity to meet with the public later this summer, we hope to gather feedback from community members, park users, anglers and other stakeholders to help inform the best course of action for Hall Lake Dam,” said Joe Jandernoa, park manager. “The plan remains to minimize impacts by slightly lowering the water level, while maintaining the majority of the lake's water acreage for recreation.”

Hall Lake was a natural lake that was only about 8 acres in size with a maximum depth of 6 feet. To help raise lake levels and minimize fish kills, a number of modifications, including the addition of an outlet culvert and dam structure, took place in the early to mid-1960s.

Built in 1967, the Hall Lake Dam helped raise the lake an additional 6 feet (to an 18-foot maximum depth), expanding the surface area to 46 acres. Earlier state inspections over the last few years identified the need for further repairs, prompting the DNR to explore options for addressing the dam's condition, while considering potential environmental and recreational impacts.

For more information, contact Joe Jandernoa, park manager, at 269-795-9081 or