Freedom—September 12, 2012—Last Monday the State Department of Environmental Services published their annual report of plans to draw down all of the lakes and rivers they control.
The Plan: As usual, Ossipee Lake is scheduled to remain at summer level until Columbus Day (Oct. 8) and then begin a drawdown of 3.25′ to a level of 404′ by end of the year. Return to summer level is scheduled to start next March and be up to summer level by the 1st of June.
The Reality: Mother Nature will do all she can to keep this plan from taking place. As of today the lake level is at 407.39, just an inch or so over summer level. With a combination of opening and closing the dam several times in the last 30 days and only a few rainstorms of an inch or less, the level has remained within an inch or two of 407.25. With no heavy rain predicted for the next 7 days, the lake should hold at the present level.
As for the rest of the year we can expect the dam to be wide open and the lake level at something other than the plan. The following is from my report on 12/03/11:
December 2011: 407.6′ (2.1′ over drawdown plan) with no ice
December 2010: 407.8; with no ice
December 2009: 408.0′ skin ice
December 2008: 407.9′ full ice cover
Once winter storms become a snow event, the lake level will drop to around 404′ and flow through the open dam and become a constant stream until the rain returns in March.
The Warning: Tie down everything that will float and is below the 412.0 level if you want to see it again in the spring.