Federal officials Friday told Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that there likely would be no more water releases from Perry Lake this year.
The statement came during a cross country teleconference meeting between Sebelius and several officials from her administration, and Assistant U.S. Army Secretary John Paul Woodley Jr., who is in charge of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Woodley was in the Pentagon, and other Corps officials participated via telephone from Portland, Ore., Omaha and Kansas City, Mo.
The 30-minute discussion was closed to the public, but Kansas Wildlife and Parks Secretary Mike Hayden provided information from the meeting.
"We were certainly pleased with the cooperative nature of the conversation," Hayden said.
Corps officials could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this summer, the Corps dropped the lake level by releasing waters to help navigation along the Missouri River. Boaters on Perry say the releases hurt recreational boating and expose water hazards.
Other items discussed at the meeting included:
¢ The Kansas congressional delegation would push for a $500,000 appropriation to start a study aimed at reducing lake releases under the Corps' master operation plan for Perry, Milford and Tuttle Creek reservoirs.
¢ Kansas officials and the Corps would work on a temporary deviation from the master plan to reduce releases from Milford Lake because of current drought conditions.
Hayden said the indication from the Corps that there would likely be no more releases this year from Perry was significant, although the Corps had announced it earlier this week to the media.
"There's a recognition that these low levels in Perry are a severe hardship for many," he said.
Tony Andresen, the commodore of the Perry Yacht Club, said he was heartened that officials from the state and federal government were talking.
"It's great that Gov. Sebelius and the Kansas Water Office are behind us on this, but I know it's an uphill battle because the Corps' rules are difficult to modify," Andresen said.
Andresen helped organize a meeting Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., on the issue that was attended by more than 100 people.
"I think the Yacht Club and the rest of the lake community will continue to work toward a permanent solution," he said.