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As of 18-September-2017

The water level rose slightly since the beginning of September due to a heavy rain a week ago. Boards are still in and the level is the highest it's been at this time of year for many years.  Nice with all the beautiful weather we are having.

 

 

As of 1-September-2017

The water level dropped another 5" in August. Looks like September level will remain good for boating. Spillway is still closed, all boards are in though the water level is well below them.

 

 

 

As of 1-August-2017

The water level dropped about 5" in July.  Spillway is dry and closed, outflow pipe no longer showing flow either.

 

As of 1-July-2017

The lake is just below full level (648.5').  Now at 648.4'. The spillway is now dry, but water still flowing strongly from outflow pipe.

As of 15-June-2017

The lake is now at normal, full, level, 648.5'. This level is what will be maintained assuming consistent rainfall and outflow. But typically, reduced rainfall in the summer, increased water use by the hatchery, and normal evaporation, cause the lake level to slowly drop through July and August.

 As of 1-June-2017

While the level of the lake has receeded in the past few weeks, down about 4-5" from the last report, it is still above normal levels. Another 1+ inches of rain is forecast for the next 24 hours, and the input streams are all running high. We probably won't see a noticable drop in the level for another few weeks.

The good news is that the forecast finally shows a break in this rainy, raw, and cold pattern we've been stuck in all spring.  It appears things will start to improve for summer activites later this week and weekend.  Let's hope they are right!

 

 

 

As of 15-May-2017

The lake level is now approximately 6" above normal Spring full lake level (see pictures below). I've heard many comments about people never seeing the lake so high.  Apparently many have short memories. In 2006, the lake level came close to overtopping the dam, and there was extensive flooding. There were severe road washouts in the whole Lakes Region. Levels were also higher in 2007 and 2010. (see here for Winnipesaukee lake level history http://www.bizer.com/bztnews.htm#lakelevel . Also see http://www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/states/nh-flood.shtml )

648.5' is the normal, spring lake level in years when we have a normal snow melt and spring rains.  This year is the first in several when the snow pack has been "normal", and the first in several years where the lake has begun the season at full level (or as is the case as of this week, 6" above). We've had a LOT of rain in the past several weeks. It is pretty amazing what a difference 6" can make when you look at shoreline levels and docks.  There are several docks on the lake that are currently close to or under water.

To answer the question of why Fish & Game doesn't just pull more boards out of the dam to let the level drop again, you need to consider the whole watershed of which Merrymeeting is a part.  The Merrymeeting River and Marsh, Lake Winnipesaukee, and the Merrimack River are all also well above normal spring levels.  If too much water from Merrymeeting is released too fast, it will cause flooding in the whole watershed downstream. Therefore it needs to be released slowly and carefully.  The good news is we finally have an extended forecast with little rain and sunny days.  The continued flow over the sluiceway, coupled with normal evaporation, should hopefully drop the level quickly. We will appreciate this water in late July when the lake level is still reasonalble for water activites, unlike what we've experienced in recent years.  On a hot day, the lake level can drop 1" or more just from evaporation!

 

 

As of 2-May-2017

All of the boards were added to the dam sluceway shortly after ice-out (mid-April).  The lake level rose quickly due to snow melt runoff and ongoing rains. As of 2-May, the lake is at full level, higher than it's been at this time in several years, and the water is about to start overflowwing into the sluceway.