Freedom — August 31, 2010 — Not much to report on Ossipee Lake’s water level since the end of March when the ice went out on the 24th and the lake level reached 410′ on the 25th.
The level decreased gradually to about the summer level of 407.25′ and has remained within a few inches of the mark all summer. No big rainstorms or surges in the lake level.
Weather has been warm but only moderate use of the lake on Broad Bay. I counted only two bass fishing derbies this summer.
Starting in early August the level dropped to 407′ with the dam closed up. Then the rain returned early last week. On Wednesday some of us recorded 2.4″ but it was mostly to the east and south of the lake.
When this amount of rain is widespread, the lake level can rise a foot or two in a couple of days. Fearing the worst, part of the dam was opened Wednesday night and by Thursday morning the level was up only 2.4″ so the flow rate was cut back Thursday afternoon.
I was at the dam yesterday. The top board is out on the 7 north side gates but in on the remaining 5. Only a few inches of water is going over the stop logs in the 7 gates. One adjustable gate on the south side is open. Per the State web site report, lake level is holding at or just below the summer plan of 407.25. My marker stone in North Broad Bay agrees with this report.
Yesterday I had a response from Dan Mattaini of the State Dam Bureau. He is the person who gives the order to open or close the dam. (I don’t think he controls the rain events.)
There is much local talk about “when the lake level is taken down we can go out and investigate the 410′ high water regulation and look for the high water bathtub ring.” I was concerned that the lake level would be taken down earlier than the Columbus Day start date.
Dan responded to this concern: “The draw down this year will be on the same schedule as past years, beginning on or soon after Columbus Day. There will be no influence on operations of the dam due to questions about the 410 issue. After that date progressively all the gates will be opened and all the stoplogs removed before winter and the spring runoff.”
Predictions are for a couple more hot days and no rain. Everyone will be watching the hurricane that could give us some heavy rain by Saturday. I will put out an early September report if anything interesting happens.