I have archived the March 2019 Water Level Chart (at left). The most notable thing about this chart is it shows that while we’re still a couple of inches short of the elevation of the high water mark as determined by DEP, the lake has nonetheless reached the highest level we can realistically expect to maintain for any length of time: as of this morning, the water level has begun trickling over the top in two low spots, one on the left side of the dam and the other on the right. By my reckoning Clary Lake hasn’t had this much water in it since 2010. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 8 years: as the lake has filled with water, my heart and soul have filled with gratitude. Over the past few weeks as the lake level has gradually risen, I’ve been seeing water in places where I remember it when I was a kid, and Clary Lake was my playground: the marsh by the Whitefield and Jefferson Town Line, one of my favorite haunts and fishing spots as a kid, is full once again with high water extending all the way to the culvert under the road. Also the marsh at the inlet from Three Corner Pond on Route 126 where we used to launch our boats before the State boat launch was built is once again full water.
We received only 2.04 inches of precipitation in March, well below the average of 3.39 inches. To date we’re at 7.40 inches, a full inch below a normal of 8.43 inches. We started the month with the lake down -14.76 inches below the HWM, and as of this morning it had risen to only -3.00 inches below the HWM and water was just starting to flow over the weir again. It remains to be seen if we’ll put the last stop log in.
It remains to be seen how much longer I’ll be preparing these monthly water level charts. It’s actually a fairly tedious process (as in not automated) and I’m not aware of anyone interested in taking over the job. I’ve been doing it (almost) daily since December 2011 to document the water level crisis and well, now with the water level crisis behind us, I’m not sure I’ll continue much longer. We’re not required to generate water level charts, but we are required to record lake levels and weir and gate status and the Clary Lake Dam Operation Log which I introduced this past winter gives us a place to do that, and it generates charts! They do the job and they’re automagically updated on the website.
Here’s the new water level chart generated by the Operation Log:
This chart shows flow statistics in cubic feet per second for Clary Lake: total outflows, weir outflows, minimum flows, and total inflows:
And lastly, Outflows as a Percent of Lake Volume. What’s that you say? Well you might have heard that Clary Lake has a “flushing rate” of 1.81 meaning that in one year the lake volume is completely replaced 1.81 times. Flushing rate is the inverse of detention time, the amount of time water remains in the lake before heading downstream. Well I’m looking to check the flushing rate figure for no other reason I guess than because I can. This chart is measuring the flushing rate by keeping track of the acre-feet of water going downstream. So far this year 65% of the water in the lake has been replaced: