Advisories issued for Buckner Creek, HorseThief Reservoir

Vincent Marshall

JETMORE — An investigation by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has shut down water activities at HorseThief Reservoir in Hodgeman County recently.

According to the KDHE, a stream advisory for Buckner Creek upstream of HorseThief Reservoir and a lake advisory for HorseThief Reservoir, were issued because of a suspected animal waste discharge that is currently being investigated.

"The public and landowners along Buckner Creek and the public who access HorseThief Reservoir are advised to avoid contact with those waters and to restrict pets and livestock access to those waterways until any impacts from the discharge are negligible," the KDHE said in a news release.

Because of the contamination investigation, all water activities were shut down by HorseThief management.

"All water based recreation will remain closed until KDHE lifts the advisory," said HorseThief Reservoir manager Joshua Hobbs. "All land-based recreational opportunities will remain open for example camping, hiking, 18-hole frisbee golf, cabin and yurts, horseshoes, play grounds, etc. will remain open."

The KDHE said the pathogens in the animal waste include E. coli bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, rashes, infections and other symptoms.

"They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems," the KDHE said.

Until monitoring indicates conditions are safe, the stream advisory will remain in effect and will continue to be monitored and sampling the creeks.

The public will be notified when the advisory is lifted.

For more information and continuous updates on HorseThief Reservoir, visit

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