The Utah Wildlife Resources Division will drain the aging Ferron Reservoir late this summer to check out the structure, and it may have to keep the manmade lake empty through 1989, if repair work is needed.

Division crews "will begin engineering studies on the dam this summer," said spokesman Walt Donald-son. "Recent inspections by the state engineer's office indicate old age and wear are taking their toll on the dam and its outlet.""These studies will evaluate the integrity of the dam, identify the seriousness of the problems and make recommendations on corrective measures," said Donaldson, fisheries manager for the division's Southeast Region.

The reservoir, on the Wasatch Plateau about 25 miles west of Ferron and 120 miles south of Salt Lake City, will be drawn down later this summer to help in the safety examination.

"If the dam outlet shows a need for major repairs, the reservoir will remain drained for possibly longer than one year," he said.

Farmers built the reservoir about 90 years ago to supply irrigation waters for Emery County farms. The division obtained title to the dam and its water rights in the 1970s.