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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall 2015 Lake Level Report

The 3+ inches of rain in mid-September topped off another of banner year of high water levels in Birch Lake.  The level reading of 920.22 ft msl*  (taken on September 22, 2015) was about the fourth highest for late September in the last 25 years!  The lowest level recorded in 2015 was 919.30 ft msl on May 1, and the highest was 920.44 ft msl on July 21. The lowest recorded September level was in 2009 when the lake level dropped to 916.93!
What does all of this mean?  From a practical perspective, it’s going to be a little harder (especially for those of us that are height challenged!) to take out the dock!  The lake is almost a foot deeper than when the dock was put in this spring!
The higher water level points to less of the chance for a freeze out and the potential of winter fish kill.  More importantly, the lake level drops a couple of inches over the winter, resulting in high levels at ice out.  Generally speaking, high levels at ice out, coupled with a normal rainfall, result in high levels during the summer months.  Obviously there are other complex factors and interactions (well above my understanding) that can influence this:  evaporation, transpiration, wind speed, direction, temperature, hours of sunlight and others.
Bottom line, the high levels going into the winter bode well for next year!

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