Freedom–April 20, 2015–It has been almost seven weeks since my last report that detailed the cold, deep snow and solid ice conditions in the Ossipee Lake area. These conditions continued until early April, when daytime temperatures got above freezing and the sun was bright part of the day on most days. We have finally had two weeks of melting conditions. Most big piles of snow are gone and the ice is starting to melt on the lake and ponds. Very little rain, one more 4″ snowstorm but no lake flies or sunburn days.
CONDITIONS: The lake level conditions are almost the same as last year. The reported level has gone from 404.51′ (6″ above winter low point) to 407.44′ (3″ above summer level) in just 15 days. This was almost all snowmelt, not rain. It looked to me that much of this water came from the south (Wakefield Hills) because the river at the launch ramp on Rt. 25 was at flood level for the last week or so. The Bearcamp never got above 911 cfs and started backing off a few days ago.
The long-range weather forecast for next week is for highs of above freezing and the potential for 3″ of rain. This could put the lake level up an additional 10 – 15″.
THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE OF THE LEVEL: Both dams are wide open and will remain so until the lake level is back down to 405′ or so. The reason being that the steel stanchions have been removed from the north side and are being reconditioned. The end that goes into the top of the dam has deteriorated to the point where they were not safe for another summer. As was true last spring, the water level at the dam needs to be down to about 405′ before these stansions can be safely installed and stop logs put in place.
Last year the state crew worked on a similar problem and had the lake level back to summer level by mid-May, almost a month early.
ICE-OUT: So far, no official report of ice-out for 2015. There is a good size area of ice floating around our place on the north end of Broad Bay. It did some damage to one of my docks yesterday morning. All of the ice should be gone by this time next week. By the way, Ossipee ice-out has been on 4/23/08, 4/13/09, 3/25/10, 4/20/11, 3/24/12, 4/14/13 and 4/22/14.