The Smart Report: Going, Going, Going…

Freedom — September 26, 2005 — As of today the drawdown of Ossipee Lake is almost complete. The state gauge on the big lake is reporting 404′. That is down 3.25′ from the scheduled summer level which is where the level was on the Friday before Labor Day. The level did get down to 407.0 on the Friday after Labor Day; 406.0 by the second Friday, and 404.5′ by the third Friday (3 days ago).

I visited Ossipee Lake Marina on Saturday and found one pair of ducks walking from pond to pond in front of the boat ramp with an occasional dive for food. Per Tim at the marina, the ramp has been out of service since the level hit 406.0′. That gave them about one and a half weeks to pull almost 400 boats. This has resulted in a large inventory of boats waiting for service and winter covers.

This morning I stopped at Lakefront Landing Marina on the channel from the big lake to Broad Bay. The channel was full of water from shore to shore but much below normal level. There was an obvious current, indicating that water continues to flow toward the dam. I had expected to see some dry channel bottom but not yet.

My last stop was at the dam. Stop logs remain in the north side and the steel columns are in place, but the water level on the lake side is approximately 2′ below the concrete top where the stop logs rest. No water flow on the discharge side.

On the south side, 3.5 gates are open and water is flowing at a moderate rate. Conditions have been this way for a week or more. I talked with one well-equipped fisherman who was in the water on the discharge side. He had worked both sides of the dam and caught one fish on the lake side.

Not much rain this month, so river flows have been slow. The Bearcamp is giving us only 24 cfs. Discharge at the dam is 371 cfs.

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