Dam Bureau Offers Breathing Room on Drawdown

Statement from Steve Doyon, NHDES Dam Bureau: 8.24.05

I’m providing you with a better explanation of what I anticipate this fall’s drawdown of Lake Ossipee will look like. I’ve received numerous calls from folks concerned that the lake will drop so quickly starting on Tuesday the 6th of September that any boats left in the water will be stranded by the following weekend. I will do my best to make sure that this does NOT happen.

What we hope to do is keep the lake at its full level (elev. 407.25) right through the Labor Day weekend. On Tuesday the 6th we will increase discharge at the dam by opening one or more gates, depending on the inflow occurring at the time, so that we achieve a drop of approximately one (1) foot (elev. 406.25) by Monday the 12th of September. Our intent in dropping the lake slowly in this first week of the drawdown is to allow folks a full week after Labor to arrange to get their boats out of the water.

After the 12th we will be more aggressive in getting the lake down to its full 3 to 3.5 foot drawdown, which is the normal depth of the annual drawdown. So any boats left in at that time that are difficult to remove in low water conditions could become an issue for their owners.

The only difference between the 2005 drawdown and the normal annual drawdown is that this one will start one month sooner. Again, the lake will not be dropped any lower than usual, only sooner. I would encourage you to pass the word on to anyone you think might be interested. Also, please let people know that they can track the level and discharge from Ossipee Lake by using the following web link: http://www.des.state.nh.us/rti_home/ and navigating to the Ossipee Lake watershed. Please contact me with any questions.

Steve Doyon, PE; NHDES Dam Bureau; Tel: (603) 271-1966

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