The Smart Report: End of Summer 2017, Plus New Construction

Freedom—September 21, 2017—The lake level today is reported at 407.38, about 1″ above summer plan.  Thanks to the dedicated management skills of Dan Mattaini at the State Dam Bureau and John Picard, Chairman of the Ossipee Lake Dam Authority, it has been a summer of stable lake level at the plan of 407.25. I lost track of how many times the dam was adjusted. Some weeks there have been 4 or 5 adjustments within the week, depending on actual rain events. John, in conference with Dan, does the real work of opening and closing the dam.

The level is expected to remain at 407.25 until Columbus Day on Monday, October 9. Winter drawdown will start on the 10th and should be down to 404′ by Christmas. Reminder: the official gauge bottoms out at 404′, so we don’t know if the level goes below that.

Good News: The black flies are gone.

More Good News: I received a message from Dan at the Dam Bureau earlier this week: “A capital budget request to replace the spillway portion of the (north side) dam was passed in the new state budget. We submitted a wetland permit application for the work this week. Our hope is to begin construction the summer of 2018, and it will take about a year to complete.” No interruption in summer level control is anticipated.

This will be the foundation for the new dam proposed in 2009 that was postponed for lack of funds. At a later date, when more funds are available, the dam structure and stop logs with a larger opening will be constructed. This is an important development that will allow rapid adjustment of river flow thus reducing the chance and duration of high water flooding such as the 413′ in 1998, the day we moved into our home on Broad Bay.

Bob Smart


  1. Tim Otterbach 7 years ago September 22, 2017

    Is there any plans to construct a fish ladder at the dam to encourage fish migration during the seasonal spawn?

  2. Bob Smart 7 years ago September 22, 2017

    There is always a flow of water through the south side dam regardless of the lake level. Bob Smart

  3. Todd Dickinson 7 years ago October 5, 2017

    Thank you to Dan and John! I’m new to this forum: How was 407.25′ arrived at for the standard summer level? I was wondering if there has ever been any discussion about making the lake level a bit higher in summer? There are many homes on the lake that struggle with sufficient depth for boats and swimming, and even a couple inches of more depth would make a huge difference to many (and me, obviously). Perhaps there are other challenges with doing this that I’m not aware of? Thanks!


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