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Corps changes Lanier management schedule
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Lake Lanier's level dropped below 1,064 over the weekend, setting into motion a new management schedule by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As a result, lake dwellers can expect the level of Lanier to continue to drop for a least another month as the corps releases the reservoir's stored water to maintain mandated flows downstream in the Chattahoochee and the Apalachicola Rivers.

Other reservoirs in the Apalachicola Chattahoochee and Flint river basin will also see a decline in lake levels, according to Lisa Coghlan, deputy public affairs officer for the corps.

And the corps is warning recreational users of the lake to take caution as the water level sinks below swim lines and navigational markers.

On Sunday morning, the water level in Lake Lanier was at 1063.98 feet above sea level - more than 7 feet below its summer full pool.

The elevation is predicted to be about 1,061 feet by early to mid-October.

As the lake's level continues to drop, the corps will stop issuing permits to build docks.

The lake's level has dropped consistently since late May as the area has received little rain. Most of Georgia is experiencing extreme drought conditions, though Hall County is experiencing a moderate drought.

The lack of rain in Hall County has still been enough for the county to receive a federal designation as an agricultural disaster area, a designation 150 Georgia counties received last week.

The area likely won't see relief this week; forecasters with the National Weather Service only predict a slight chance of rain Thursday.

The lake's level dropped slightly below the lines corps officials have set for safe boat navigation Sunday.

A news release from the corps warned boaters that underwater hazards are closer to the surface as the lake's level drops below navigational markers, set at the 1,064 level.

Swim lines at Lanier's beaches are also set at 1,064, meaning there is little water inside designated swim areas. A news release from the corps discourages swimming outside the designated areas, and warns swimmers of deep dropoffs and underwater hazards past the set swim lines.