The Smart Report: Misleading Lake Levels

Freedom — December 18, 2010 — If you’re not on the lake and have been looking at the state’s online water level graphs, you’ve been seeing inaccurate reports. The state has been having trouble with its equipment that measures the water level. This started around December 9 when the level was shown to be 411.66′ despite there not being rain or other weather-related events that would have increased the level since my Dec. 7 report.

Looking down to my dock and driving the area at that time I guessed the level was more like 406.5 or lower. We had a hard freeze around that time, followed by North Broad Bay and the Danforths icing over, then lots of rain.

The lake level graph is back online but is still not accurate. On Broad Bay I estimate the level today is less than 407′. The bay is ice covered and as the level goes down the ice sheet on the shore drops to an angle that defies walking out onto thin ice.

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