The Lake DeSmet Operating Department was created by the Johnson County Commissioners through Resolution #467 on January 8, 2013. The “Operating Department” is responsible for the operation and management of the Lake DeSmet Reservoir.
Johnson County is responsible for 68.27% of the annual operation and maintenance costs associated with the Lake DeSmet Reservoir. Sasol Synfuels International Pty Ltd, owner of the M&M Ranch, is responsible for the remaining 31.73%. The Lake DeSmet Operating Department and Sasol work cooperatively to develop sustainable operation and maintenance plans for Lake DeSmet.
Linda Greenough – County Commissioner
76 N Main St
Buffalo, WY 82834
Cheryl Benner – Operations Manager
325 Butte St
Buffalo, WY 82834
Harvey Crowe – Operations Consultant
Applications & Forms
Regulations & Resolutions
The Lake DeSmet Reservoir & Shoreline Protection Regulations were approved on May 5, 2015 by the Johnson County Commissioners.
Lake DeSmet Reservoir Water Levels
The water level at Lake DeSmet Reservoir as of April 1, 2018 was 4609.40 ft. elevation.
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May 21, 2013
The Johnson County Commissioners appointed members of the Lake DeSmet Advisory Board.
March 27 – 28, 2014
The Wyoming Game & Fish Commission plans to discuss and hopefully sign the pending lease for water rights at Lake DeSmet Reservoir.
April 23, 2014
The Wyoming Game & Fish Commission voted to approve the 99 year water lease from Johnson County at their spring meeting in Casper,WY. This lease will guarantee a minimum level of water in Lake DeSmet for fishing and other recreational pursuits. The Game & Fish Department will make five annual payments to Johnson County beginning in July 2014.
July 8, 2014
The Wyoming Game & Fish Lease officially started today. The Lake DeSmet Operating Department will file the necessary paper work to add “recreational use” to the leased permits.
September 10, 2014
The Recreation Enlargements for the Game & Fish leased permits were approved by the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office. A copy of the letter of approval can be viewed here.
September 15, 2014
Johnson County received the first lease payment from the Game & Fish Department.
- The Maximum Depth of Lake DeSmet is 120 feet.
- The Intake Tunnel is 8.5 feet in diameter and 8316 feet long.
- The Earliest Priority for storage of water in Lake DeSmet dates back to 1906.
- The Lake DeSmet Reservoir capacity is 234,987 acre feet.
Click below to see a schematic diagram of water rights pertaining to Lake DeSmet.