Freedom — April 20, 2011 — Ice Out – Water In. Winter lost its grip on Ossipee Lake since my last report a month ago. Thanks in part to heavy rain on April 13 and 17, most of the snow is gone. The 6′ high pile below my garage roof is down to 2′ and I can walk down to the lake without shoveling a path.
Ice covers about half of lower Danforth, the Purity Springs lakes and some ponds. Official “Ice Out” for Winnipesaukee was 8:20 am on Tuesday. Last of the ice on North Broad Bay melted late Monday. This is within the normal date range of April 16–26.
Water level in Ossipee hit an early season high of 408.1 on 3/21 then decreased to 406.5′ by early April. It remained below the summer level of 407.25′ until April 11th. But within a four-day period it rose three feet to 410.2′ on the 15th. After a few cool, dry days the level went down to 409.7′ on the 17th and then back up to a high of 410.9′ last Monday morning.
Level is on the way down and may drop to 410′ by Easter Sunday. This would be a good time to take some photos of where the 410′ level intersects your property.
Both sides of the dam have been wide open since last fall so there is no way to increase the outflow rate and no way to control the inflow rate. The only good news is that the frost is out of the ground in most areas so some of the melt water and rain is going into the ground. If the ground had been frozen last week the lake level would have gone over 411′.
April high water is not unusual: On 04/09/09 the level was 410.4′ and remained high most of the summer. On 04/01/10 the level was 411.5′ but returned to the plan level of 407.25′ for the summer.
I expect to have the docks and one boat in by early May.