The Smart Report: Notes From the Lake

Freedom — November 11, 2005 — Lake level is on target at 406.81′ feet Sunday evening. By Monday morning it should be down about 6″ below standard height of 407.25′ – just what Steve at the N.H. Dam authority had predicted.

Water flow out of the lake was slow all last week with only one layer of boards out of the North side.It may appear to those that have watched the lake level but not followed the web site information that winter draw down started two weeks ago. This is almost true but in fairness to Steve Doyen it should be pointed out that prior to Labor Day the dam was closed, we had rain and more was predicted. The level got up over 407.25′ and there was a possibility of more rain from the hurricane. Some of the gates were opened and then opened more until the level was down to 407.25. The gates were closed and you could almost walk across the river under the Route 153 bridge.

Then, as promised on Monday boards came out of the north side. So, a routine summer draw down to match the 407.25 plan started two weeks ago but the winter draw down did not start until last Monday.

I expect tomorrow will be a new story with gates being opened and the real draw down will start. However, Mother Nature may play one of her tricks again at the end of the week by sending the rain from Ophelia a little farther West than now predicted.

Last Monday afternoon we took the boat for a ride around Broad Bay, down the river to Leavitt and Berry. There were very few boats on the water. There were very few boats at docks and most of the docks were out. I pulled the sailboat out at the marina about 2 PM. There was constant activity but no back up waiting to use the ramp.

By the way, two weeks ago my son-in-law installed the water depth measuring device he built from spare parts at his shop in Connecticut. After some adjustments it is now reporting water depths that match the state web site.

Read-out is in my basement and the unit is designed to operate properly after the lake freezes over. It is based on the same technology used to measure water depth in municipal water supply systems. Will keep you informed.

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