The Smart Report: Ossipee Lake Ice-Out 2019

Freedom—April 27, 2019—Per my four land-based observers and my own view from the north end of Broad Bay, I’m going to declare “Ossipee Lake Ice-Out” took place at 7 p.m. last night, on April 26, 2019.  

This is my second year of establishing this date, and I’m trying to follow the path established by the Ossipee Parks and Recreation Department several years ago. (They discontinued this activity in 2018). For consistency of data, I’m following their standard of no visible ice (whether sheet or slush) on any part of the big lake or the bays.

NOTE: About 4 p.m. on Friday I heard an outboard engine run south on the south end of Broad Bay.

Ice-out was declared on Lake Winnipesaukee last Monday, April 22. Ice-out on that lake is defined as “Ice no longer interferes with the Mount Washington navigating to its five ports of call.”

The Danforth Bays have a new reporter, Gordon Ahlstrom, who lives on the shore of Danforth Middle Pond. He declared ice-out on Middle Danforth on April 24.

Lots and lots of widespread snow this past winter, and not much melting until end of March. This month we had the first rain of the Spring. It was moderate, widespread and no big storm. Total for the month will be about 5″. These conditions have caused the lake level to go from 404.4 on March 1 to 411.0 on April 23. The level is down to 410.6 today just as an all-day rain started.  

I was at the dam last Tuesday. Both sides are wide open. All north side stanchions (steel rails that hold the stop logs) and all stop logs are out. The dams will remain wide open until the lake level is down to about 406.5 (almost a foot below summer level) when conditions will be safe enough for install the north side stanchions and stop logs.

Construction start of the new north side dam is delayed for administrative reasons. Earlier in April there was an “on-site” meeting of several contractors and Dam Bureau staff. This project will not affect recreational activities on the lake. 

So far, no black flies.

Bob Smart  

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