The Smart Report: End of Summer 2018

Freedom–October 4, 2018–I turned over my desk calendar this morning and all of a sudden realized the winter lake drawdown is almost here. I have done nothing to plan for removal of boats or docks. We had rain Monday and Tuesday but the rest of the week is scheduled for good fall boating.

The water level has been stable at or near the summer plan of 407.25 for most of September, except for a three-day jump to 407.5 at the end of last week, which  dropped to 406.8 on 10/04. The State Dam Bureau has decided to hold off on the start of winter drawdown until 10/15. It will be at a moderate rate that last year resulted in a level of 406 by end of the month. This is the level where some locations have trouble removing boats and docks (me included). The plan for end of 2018 is 404.0.

HOWEVER! It is not unusual to receive some heavy rain before Christmas that brings the level back over 407′. Last year, in late September the level was down to 406′.  In early November we had heavy rain and a level over 410′ and all gates were wide open. This drained down to 406′ by mid-November.

Construction of the new north side dam is scheduled to start in the spring of 2019. As it will be downstream of the existing dam, there should be no effect on the lake level.

THINK SPRING! “Ice Out” is only 19 weeks away.

Bob Smart


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