It’s a Draw Down Year – What You Should Know

2018 is a Draw Down Year

2018 is a scheduled draw down year. Due to scheduled milfoil treatment of the back bay (Front Bay) of Lake Winnipesaukee, the draw down will ramp up on September 13th. Adam Tasker, who manages the dam reported that he is currently trying to get the water down 2 inches below the spillway by September 10th. Then the dam will be closed to just a trickle to keep Smith River from running dry. He needs to limit inflow into Winnipesaukee to keep water from flushing  into the back bay during milfoil treatment.

On September 13th, once he gets an all clear from the milfoil treatment contractor, he will release water at a greater rate to get the water to required level by the target date of October 10th. Based on his release calculations, he recommended that members should plan to have their boats pulled by the 23rd AT THE LATEST to avoid problems at their docks and at Mast Landing. Please read on for more details on standard draw down dates and procedures.

State Water Level Schedule

The state of New Hampshire requires the town of Wolfeboro to operate the dam in accordance with the following schedule:

  • From June 15 to Labor Day, the water level is to be at 34.20 on the gauge but not below 32.70 on the gauge, with the variation being permissible to allow for evaporation and/or below average rainfall.
  • By Columbus Day the water level is to have been decreased to 33.20 on the gauge, and by December 15 is to have been further decreased to 32.20 on the gauge.
  • From December 15 to April 15, the water level is to be maintained at 32.20 on the gauge.
  • From April 15 to June 15, the water level is to be increased from 32.20 on the gauge to 34.20 on the gauge, with frequent inspections by the owner to control discharge to prevent damage due to high water.
  • At all times care is to be exercised to prevent water from flowing over the permanent crest of the dam.
  • Once every five years beginning on September 10, 1993, the water level is to be drawn down to 30.70 on the gauge by the following October 10 and held at that level until the following November 10 to permit repairs to lake shore properties and installations.
  • During periods of drought or flooding, the level of Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake may fall below or extend above the limits set forth in the state order. These conditions are considered to be natural occurrences and are not to be attributed to the dam owner.

For more history and up to date information on lake water level, please visit our Water Level page.

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