The Smart Report: Notes from the Lake

Freedom — May 1, 2005 — My last report on 4/07/05 gave an estimated lake level of 409′ above sea level. Subsequently I received the official Broad Bay reading of 409.5′ from Chuck Depew. This was 4 days after the last rain.On 04/13 the level was down to 408.1’, which was 10 days after the last rain. On 4/16 the ice went out and level continued to drop. On 4/23, no rain in the last 20 days, the fire danger was very high and the lake level was down to about 406.5’.

Then the rain returned at noon – just in time to greet a busload of students from the Berklee School of Music in Boston who put on an outstanding concert at the First Church in Freedom. (The bus driver commented that there are only three traffic lights between Boston and Freedom).

4/26: Rain ended with a total of 1.6″ accumulation. Lake level back up to 408.1’.

4/29: No rain since 4/26, but lake level up to 409.2’. Began raining at 3 PM and ended by early morning.

4/30 (Saturday): Lake level remains at about 409.2’ and rain returned around 2 PM. Sunday may be clear but rain is predicted for most of this coming week. If rain predictions hold, we may be looking at 410′ by the end of the week.

We had a new threat of high water damage introduced at 7 AM this morning. It was the start of a day-long bass fishing tournament that ended around 3 PM. The problem is the wake from each of these boats when they take off at high speed in the morning and return “just in time” in the afternoon. They come in at high speed to make the deadline and then drop down to idle speed which creates a cannonball type wave which washes way up on shore where it grabs brush and soil that flows back into the lake.

I expect the same thing happens many times over on the lake during a tournament when they run from spot to spot. This type of bow wave action is disagreeable when the lake is at or below summer level, but it is environmentally unfriendly when the lake is at flood stage. I wonder if there should be some type of speed restriction on this activity during flood stage?

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