11 April 2014: The ice is melting!

img_20140411_154300Spring has arrived! I’m sure of it! Less than a week ago there were people ice fishing on the lake and at the time I speculated that it would be at least 3 weeks before the ice went out. Today, there’s a significant amount of open water on the north shore of the lake and the remaining ice looks very gray indeed. You can see the open water in the picture at left. What a difference a week makes! Now I’m thinking the ice will be gone in another week or less. We’ll see. There is open water around the edge of much of the lake. racket. I plan to launch my kayak this weekend and see if I can make it up to the channel. You can also see piles of white here and there around the lake where the wind has driven the ice up on to the shore. I recall this happening on my shoreline early one winter some years ago, the ice actually piled up 4′-5′ thick and it made an awful racket!

You may have notice that the lake level is higher now than it has been for some time. In fact, it’s only been this high 2 other times in the last 3 years. As high as it seems however, it’s still 20″ below the top of the dam. Though the gate is open, the ground where not frozen is saturated and most precipitation runs right off. We’ve received only 1.21″ of rain so far this month but the lake came up 20″ for a runoff multiplier of about 16x. I think a more reasonable multiplier would be 10x as snow melt accounts for about 7″ of that rise.

There is almost 3.5′ of water over the foot of the ramp at the State Boat Launch, more than a foot more than the design minimum so those of you so inclined to launch your boats this spring shouldn’t have too much trouble though don’t expect the water level to remain high this summer. We’ll see what the fall brings.

I posted the above picture in the Winter 2014 album. I should have posted it in the Spring 2014 album, but there isn’t one yet. I’ll get right on that.