The other day I posted the September Water Level Chart and I speculated at that time that I thought the lake was about as low as it is going to get. Tim Harkins had related how he’d tried to get into the channel and couldn’t find it. Well today I headed out in my kayak to the northwest end of the lake to try to find my way into the channel. I couldn’t. I could see where the water was flowing, but I ran aground in about 3″ of water trying to follow it. I didn’t push it because I didn’t want to get stuck.
The rate at which the lake level has been falling has been dropping off rapidly and as the following plot shows, it has about hit bottom:
Plot of water level versus day number.
The chart shows 36 days of falling water levels starting on August 16th and extending through today. Now I’m not saying the lake can’t fall any lower, but from the looks of that curve it is unlikely. Theoretically it could drop another couple of inches if we continue without receiving any rain, but that is unlikely. Without any rain, springs and water seeping out of the water table is sufficient flow to offset the 1/8″ per day the lake is falling.
What it interesting is that back in April 2012 the lake level fell to 62.25″ below the top of the dam, 2″ lower than it is now. It is hard to imagine the lake falling that low again. I suspect the sediment “dam” blocking the channel is the result of ice pushing against the lake bottom.
Another impassioned email this one from Clary Lake shore owner Rick Gallion, confounded by the low water conditions and the apparent lack of any enforcement action being taken against the dam owner by the Department of Environmental Protection. We know from Beth Callahan’s response to Jean McWilliam’s letter from the other day that the State has decided to hold off on enforcement action against dam owner Pleasant Pond Mill LLC pending the outcome of currently ongoing mediation. While this approach is somewhat understandable, it doesn’t make the situation out here on the water any easier to take.
September 30, 2014
I wanted to alert you as to the seriousness of the low lake level of Clary Lake. Last weekend I only managed to get my small sailboat out of the lake with great difficulty, and possibly some damage because, as you can see, the level of the lake at the public boat launch is extremely low. A fisherman behind me had difficulty even getting his shallow draft, metal hulled fishing boat out. In the photo of the grassland with the lake in the distance, the water is usually nearly up to the photographer, and the wetland is teeming with wildlife.
There was a family at the boat launch and the children were trying to swim. One of them asked his mom “Where’s the water”. On a day as nice as it was that Sunday, there would usually be several family groups there enjoying the lake.
My wife and I own the Clary Lake Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson, very near the lake. Our business has suffered the last several years because people have stopped coming to visit families and friends who have camps on the lake. I have been unable to use my sailboat because the level is so low throughout the lake. I only put it in this year so that I could give my nephew from Kansas a sailing lesson, but I was very limited on where I could sail, and I won’t be able to use it until the lake level is restored.
I know that you and your department have been working very diligently on a lake level order for Clary Lake, and I do appreciate your efforts. I also know that the owner of the property that the dam is on continues to find new and different ways to delay and impede the process. My hope is only to remind you and your department of the negative effects that the mismanagement of the Clary Lake dam has had and continues to have on real people, in hopes that it may encourage you to make every effort to expedite the process, so that Clary Lake will once again be a fine recreation destination for the area, and the state.
Rick Gallion Clary Lake B&B 777 Gardiner Road Jefferson, ME 04348 207 549-5961
Some of you might have noticed a change to the link structure in use on our website. The original “?page_id=266” and “?p=2243” links have been replaced with a human readable “post-name.” For the most part this will be transparent and not require any thought or action on your part. If you have links you’ve saved in your browser for favorite pages, they’ll still work, you’ll just be automagically redirected to the new link. For example, if you point your browser at:
One of the reason for this change is to make the links more human-readable, the other is to take advantage of page caching which should help with site performance. I’ve done a fair amount of testing and I don’t think anything is broken but if you find something that isn’t working, please let me know. Thanks.