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Old 11-09-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default water level

Read on-line that the dam is open and the lake is going down? Seems its low enough?
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Old 11-09-2020, 01:23 PM   #2
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Default Chart

Here's a DES chat that will let you keep track of lake level, discharge, in flow, historical info.

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/.../graph2020.jpg

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Old 11-09-2020, 02:11 PM   #3
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Default How much spring recovery?

I appreciate the need for down stream flow, but sometimes it seems there is little regard for keeping one of the the state's biggest economic engines running at full speed.(Winnipesaukee). How low can the lake go before it can't be refilled in the spring? The goal seems to be full lake in mid-June. I'd rather the goal be full lake between July 15 and August 1.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Full Lake

I'd like a full lake thru Labor Day!

The dam people have plenty of time to drop the lake level to acceptable levels in prep for the next year.
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Old 03-24-2021, 07:10 AM   #5
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Default An Analogy

Quite a few years ago, the powers that be decided to put the USA on Daylight Savings Time year round. It didn't work out for various reasons but they gave it a try. Then they retreated to the system of DST that we have today.

I'd really like the State of NH to try keeping Lake Winnipesaukee at or near full lake until Labor Day and then start draining it down instead of starting to drain in July. My dock, my boat and my back would like it a lot. If after a year of trying it and starting draining the day after Labor Day becomes a problem, then revise. What harm?
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:12 AM   #6
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I don't panic. Things even out eventually.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Senter Cove Guy View Post

I'd really like the State of NH to try keeping Lake Winnipesaukee at or near full lake until Labor Day and then start draining it down instead of starting to drain in July. My dock, my boat and my back would like it a lot. If after a year of trying it and starting draining the day after Labor Day becomes a problem, then revise. What harm?
I do not know the optimal water level overall, and I enjoy seeing the water high. But one big advantage of a lower lake level is that less soil washes into the water from wave effects and rain, and that reduces the amount of phosphorous in the water, thus promoting clearer water.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:00 PM   #8
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Default Blueberry sod

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I do not know the optimal water level overall, and I enjoy seeing the water high. But one big advantage of a lower lake level is that less soil washes into the water from wave effects and rain, and that reduces the amount of phosphorous in the water, thus promoting clearer water.
Fair point. Over a few hundred years, of course, the shore is lined with granite, not grass. Over only 100 years, we now have trees where the shore was once clear cut and sheep grazed. What do you think washed into the water then? I think we're going to see more shorefront that qualifies as "Lakesmart" certified as we go forward. Plant blueberry sod, not grass.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Lake Level Historical Chart

Can anyone point me to a chart that shows lake level going back 40 or 50 years? So far I can only find one that goes back to 2016.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:45 PM   #10
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Default

I observe the lake level to be about 5 inches below the bottom of my dock framing, which is where " full lake" usually sits.

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Old 04-23-2021, 05:31 AM   #11
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We just got 1.5 inches of rain in Center Harbor (0.8 at the Weirs) on Wednesday and a bit more is due on Sunday. That should help a bit. The Weirs lake level has gone up 2.6 inches in the last week to 504.0 feet and not all the runoff from Wednesday has reached the lake yet.

I'm not saying we aren't in an overall water deficit. The Lakeport dam is still running at a low 250 CFS. However, we are only about 3.6 inches below full lake (summer levels). Another good rain in the few weeks could top us off.

Another solid rain after that could have people worrying about No Wake restrictions on the lake.
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:50 AM   #12
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Took a drive to camp Wednesday, and the lake level has come up dramatically since we were last there in late February.

My bigger concern is the second half of the season—these last few summers have been pretty dry overall, which is simultaneously good and bad for water activities.

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Old 04-23-2021, 10:31 AM   #13
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Default Lake level

It seems like the Marine Patrol reads the Forum, so maybe the suggestion by SenterCoveGuy will cross their desk and appeal to them. I realize they don't control the dam, but they are intimately associated with the boating, and water level plays a role in safe boating, so maybe they would mention it to the powers that be and possibly the dam operators would agree to try a modified water level program.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:14 AM   #14
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Default Des

DES follows this forum, and they control the dam, etc. They have many masters, Winnipesaukee, and everybody downstream. It's difficult, at best.
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:07 PM   #15
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Default

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Originally Posted by Gatto Nero View Post
Can anyone point me to a chart that shows lake level going back 40 or 50 years?
I see historical data, online at DES, going back to 2010 (link below). I have this graph I snagged from Bizer's site a few years back, that goes back to 1984.


https://www4.des.state.nh.us/rivertr...ch/Search.html [use location LK WINNIPESAUKEE @WEIRS], and you can plot it vs time.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:42 AM   #16
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I see historical data, online at DES, going back to 2010 (link below). I have this graph I snagged from Bizer's site a few years back, that goes back to 1984. ...
The interesting thing to remember about this graph is that the high water in 2005 and 2006 were associated with single "100 year storm" events; yeah 2 years in a row. Low water problems are usually associated with droughts. In 2005 and 2006 the whole NH watershed was flooded. I lived along the Merrimack river and the water level in Nashua was touching the bottom of some bridges that are normally 20 - 30 feet above the water.

In general, the folks that control the dam do a pretty "dam" good job. It is the weather, long and short term, that messes things up. When water levels are dropping normally through the summer and the dam outflow is adjusted accordingly, there is no way to know that 2 months later we will be in drought conditions. There is no magic reservoir of water to fill the lake back up. In 2005 & 2006 we got so much rain that the lake level jumped over 2 FEET. How do you plan for that? How do you get rid of the water when everything downstream is already flooded?

If you look at the graph from the quoted post and go to Bizer for the current one, you see most years follow other year's patterns closely. Considering what they are trying to work with, that's amazing.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:13 AM   #17
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The interesting thing to remember about this graph is that the high water in 2005 and 2006 were associated with single "100 year storm" events; yeah 2 years in a row. Low water problems are usually associated with droughts. In 2005 and 2006 the whole NH watershed was flooded. I lived along the Merrimack river and the water level in Nashua was touching the bottom of some bridges that are normally 20 - 30 feet above the water.

In general, the folks that control the dam do a pretty "dam" good job. It is the weather, long and short term, that messes things up. When water levels are dropping normally through the summer and the dam outflow is adjusted accordingly, there is no way to know that 2 months later we will be in drought conditions. There is no magic reservoir of water to fill the lake back up. In 2005 & 2006 we got so much rain that the lake level jumped over 2 FEET. How do you plan for that? How do you get rid of the water when everything downstream is already flooded?

If you look at the graph from the quoted post and go to Bizer for the current one, you see most years follow other year's patterns closely. Considering what they are trying to work with, that's amazing.
Ok, agreeing with your notion that we really cannot predict the weather impacts 2 months out, someone needs to decide what is the lessor of 2 evils (too much water in the lake/too little water in the lake) and it appears that that decision is a potential for too much is the concern we will go with.

I feel certain that is because home owners want to build inside the flood zones, and insurance company's and officials who deal with flood/safety want to avoid problems with the people who have put themselves in harms way.

Just look at the ocean front home homes that get destroyed every year, and emergency responders expend tremendous amounts of time and effort and suffer great risk because of these homes. And in the end, we all pay to rebuild those homes with our increased insurance rates.

So long as people want to live that close to the water, and do so in expensive homes; where there are controls to limit water level they will be set on the conservative side. And if there are late season droughts, it is the boaters that will have to endure it. I seriously doubt there will ever be any change in this model. In the end its about the money, and homes, and emergency services, and lives in danger all cost more then damage to boats.

Well that how it appears to me.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:33 PM   #18
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Default Rain is predicted next week 🤞

Long range forecast shows rain Wed. through Sat., then more Monday, 5/3. We hope that materializes and improves the lake levels.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:59 AM   #19
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Default Pick two: Water quality, full lake, heavy boating traffic

As of this morning, the lake is within 3.5 inches of full and just below normal for this time of year. As others pointed out, a full lake means a full dose of shoreline erosion and nutrients. The full lake height designation is biased towards economic value of the lake over lake water quality. "Full" is an artificial number and was set before the rise of high displacement boats. The number is a bit short sighted, IMHO, and should be revisited. 504.00 would be a better compromise, pretty much where it is today. Many with shoreline property and interest in lake quality cringe when the lake is full during boating season. Being full this time of year, when the chance for spring rain is high, risks an overfull condition and episodic damage if a no-wake declaration is not made. We can have stable water quality, a full lake and heavy boat traffic, but not all three. Which two would you choose?
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:00 PM   #20
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I appreciate your point of view.

However, if you look at previous years and past threads you will see concern when the lake level gets low. Many people cannot utilize their docks because of insufficient depth.

I know people who have had to take their boat out in September because the lake starts to get too low. I have friends who have a 60 foot long dock because the water is too shallow and you are allowed to get to 3 feet of depth and then have room for a 20 to 25 foot boat at your dock.

The people who really like a low water level are the marinas who do repair work and the propeller repair shops like H&H Propeller.

If you do not want fast boats, loud boats, or big boats, perhaps you have come to the wrong lake? It is sort of like moving to New Hampshire because you like it and then trying to make it like the state you came from.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:44 AM   #21
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It's much better to have a low water level so that the lake can be contaminated with oil from all the smashed outdrives and litter the lake bottom with bits and pieces of smashed boat parts but the shore will be pristine. Perfect!

By the way today is probably the 5th day since the beginning of April where three has been a strong wind blowing up 3+ foot rollers out there on the lake. Don't worry though because these are naturally occurring waves they don't do any erosion damage to the shore.
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Old 04-26-2021, 12:06 PM   #22
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It's much better to have a low water level so that the lake can be contaminated with oil from all the smashed outdrives and litter the lake bottom with bits and pieces of smashed boat parts but the shore will be pristine. Perfect!

By the way today is probably the 5th day since the beginning of April where three has been a strong wind blowing up 3+ foot rollers out there on the lake. Don't worry though because these are naturally occurring waves they don't do any erosion damage to the shore.
I can count at least 5 extreme wind days on paugus bay in the last 2 weeks and 4 or so others constant 10 mph winds sustained. Crushing our beach and eroding behind our rock break wall on the beach. Not to mention all the sand that has been pushed up on the lawn and house, above the retaining wall off used to contain the sand below it. The surge a day like today produces crushes the shore line more than anything else out there
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:00 PM   #23
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It has been a windy early spring. The rocks along our shores are being pounded once again. The wind and cold is putting a damper on home and yard maintenance and recovery from the winter. We did get the dock frame in Saturday, but the boards and poles must wait. Question, anyone know of a local lumber yard that stocks red cedar docks for a dock? Looking to replace the current 30 year old PT. It has warped and gotten heavier as I have aged


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Old 04-26-2021, 01:19 PM   #24
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This happened last week during those wind storms, hindge gave out. Looks like I will have to recruit some young muscle.

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Old 04-26-2021, 01:26 PM   #25
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This happened last week during those wind storms, hindge gave out. Looks like I will have to recruit some young muscle.Attachment 16925

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I hope its not twisted out of shape and toast
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:33 PM   #26
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Hopefully it can be corrected. As anyone recently priced out a new 30 to 40 foot dock? Just curious


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Old 04-26-2021, 02:14 PM   #27
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It has been a windy early spring. The rocks along our shores are being pounded once again. The wind and cold is putting a damper on home and yard maintenance and recovery from the winter. We did get the dock frame in Saturday, but the boards and poles must wait. Question, anyone know of a local lumber yard that stocks red cedar docks for a dock? Looking to replace the current 30 year old PT. It has warped and gotten heavier as I have aged


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I got a heads-up from another member on a product called Lumberock for the two decks I'm replacing. He used it on a dock some years ago and has been very pleased with it. It may cost more than cedar, but it's really light and stiff, which may be worth spending more for given your comment about weight.

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Old 04-26-2021, 02:24 PM   #28
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I got a heads-up from another member on a product called Lumberock for the two decks I'm replacing. He used it on a dock some years ago and has been very pleased with it. It may cost more than cedar, but it's really light and stiff, which may be worth spending more for given your comment about weight.

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Lumberock. Is that a brand name or actual product? Thank you. Will research


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Old 04-26-2021, 02:38 PM   #29
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Lumberock. Is that a brand name or actual product? Thank you. Will research


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Brand name. I couldn't find much about it online, but they sent me a sample, and it's pretty awesome. Because there's no local dealer, it needs to be shipped, which might negate it as an option, but I think it's worth checking out.

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Old 04-26-2021, 03:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by WinnisquamZ View Post
It has been a windy early spring. The rocks along our shores are being pounded once again. The wind and cold is putting a damper on home and yard maintenance and recovery from the winter. We did get the dock frame in Saturday, but the boards and poles must wait. Question, anyone know of a local lumber yard that stocks red cedar docks for a dock? Looking to replace the current 30 year old PT. It has warped and gotten heavier as I have aged


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Lumber these days is the price of gold IF you can find what it is you're looking for in stock. My jaw dropped seeing a price of nearly $9.00 for a standard 2X4X8 stud. That's nuts!
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:39 PM   #31
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I know. I replaced two garage windows over the winter. Now I need to repair and replace some red cedar shakes. 4 years ago I purchased a box for $89. Last weekend the same box cost me $198! And was told to grab it now because they have no idea when the next pallet is coming in.


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Old 04-26-2021, 04:08 PM   #32
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Lumber these days is the price of gold IF you can find what it is you're looking for in stock. My jaw dropped seeing a price of nearly $9.00 for a standard 2X4X8 stud. That's nuts!
Not long ago you could buy them for 2 bucks!
Last fall I took down an old deck off my house and when I priced the PT lumber to rebuild it I decided to wait until prices came down. It looks like I'll be waiting a lot longer then I expected.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:12 PM   #33
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The prices of composite/vinyl materials haven't seemed to change as much, which was one of the reasons I went with Lumberock. ~$4/foot for "premium" decking, which is not far off from PT costs. And I could get it.

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Old 04-26-2021, 05:08 PM   #34
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Not long ago you could buy them for 2 bucks!
Last fall I took down an old deck off my house and when I priced the PT lumber to rebuild it I decided to wait until prices came down. It looks like I'll be waiting a lot longer then I expected.
Yup all building materials are ridiculously expensive and supply is tight. Not a good time to be doing any kind of building project that's for sure.
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:48 PM   #35
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Default price of wood

So, if I owned a wood lot, this is a good time to harvest? Why aren't those owners doing that? All the steps I can think of, harvest, transport, mill, transport again to the retailer, seem to be outdoors, machine intensive work, not a Covid problem. When there's a hurricane in FL we hear news about price gouging being illegal. Is this gouging?
What's happening at the wood fired power plants that were supposed to be green renewable energy?
I guess I'm just glad we did dock rebuild last year, although there were some material delays for Trex, we stuck pretty close to budget.
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:26 PM   #36
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The prices of composite/vinyl materials haven't seemed to change as much, which was one of the reasons I went with Lumberock. ~$4/foot for "premium" decking, which is not far off from PT costs. And I could get it.

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You are right, the decking has not gone up that much.
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:07 PM   #37
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Default Water level..

Don't forget, the lake feeds it's lower tributaries...that's a big reason for opening the damn..it's takes lots of knowledge to try and control this whole thing...Kudos to the damn guy!
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Old 04-26-2021, 10:30 PM   #38
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Language!

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Old 04-26-2021, 11:38 PM   #39
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Not language....spelling!
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:35 AM   #40
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This happened last week during those wind storms, hindge gave out. Looks like I will have to recruit some young muscle.Attachment 16925

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That looks like it might be a one person job with a power pull attached to an anchor pounded into the lake bottom, there. Suggest you check out the $45 power pull at Tractor Supply that has a yellow web strap as opposed to a steel cable. If Gilford is out of stock, go to Plymouth Tractor Supply.

For a quality dry suit at a relatively low price ..... Mythic dry suits .... in Maine ..... or the $100-$120 Hodgman high waders that are made with neoprene .... all non-neoprene el cheapo waders will quickly develop a leak and be totally useless. The Tilton Walmart has totally discontinued selling waders.
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Old 04-27-2021, 09:29 AM   #41
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I appreciate your point of view.
However, if you look at previous years and past threads you will see concern when the lake level gets low. Many people cannot utilize their docks because of insufficient depth. I know people who have had to take their boat out in September because the lake starts to get too low. I have friends who have a 60 foot long dock because the water is too shallow and you are allowed to get to 3 feet of depth and then have room for a 20 to 25 foot boat at your dock. The people who really like a low water level are the marinas who do repair work and the propeller repair shops like H&H Propeller.

If you do not want fast boats, loud boats, or big boats, perhaps you have come to the wrong lake? It is sort of like moving to New Hampshire because you like it and then trying to make it like the state you came from.
For those of us who have been here since birth, you've got it exactly backwards!
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Old 04-27-2021, 10:24 AM   #42
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Not long ago you could buy them for 2 bucks!
Last fall I took down an old deck off my house and when I priced the PT lumber to rebuild it I decided to wait until prices came down. It looks like I'll be waiting a lot longer then I expected.
same, here luckily i am still in the spot of yeah it works but needs to be replaced sometime, and not in the oh crap its falling and/or failing, it needs to be replaced
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Old 04-27-2021, 10:36 AM   #43
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same, here luckily i am still in the spot of yeah it works but needs to be replaced sometime, and not in the oh crap its falling and/or failing, it needs to be replaced
I just did a new paver patio in the front of the house. The prices on those have gone up very little but supply is getting tough to find.
I needed 200, 16x16 pavers, which I bought from Lowes. I had to get them out of Conway because they were the only store around that had enough. I cut it close because there were about a half dozen broken ones on the bottom of the pallets. When I checked to see if I could get more they were out of stock. Thankfully I just had enough to finish.
So until lumber prices come down we will spend our time out front on the patio.
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:22 AM   #44
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Could we please get back on topic: lake levels.? Thanks
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:13 PM   #45
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Judging from my dock posts over the past couple of weeks the water levels have gone up since ice out and remain (by eye) to be relatively stable at this time. Still seems a bit lower than normal for this time of year but certainly way better than it was. We've had some pretty good rain come through which certainly helped a lot.

At least the wind today has died down - it was pretty crazy yesterday. Things are looking rather nice for the remainder of the week.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:56 AM   #46
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According to my 10 day forecast, we could get 3" of rain by May 7 which would drive the lake level above full pool (3" of rain yields more than 3" of lake level). It seems to me that the forecasts of late have predicted more rain than we actually end up getting but even half of what is predicted would put the lake level in very good shape for now.

Then the balancing act begins. Should the dam operators start letting a bit more water out in anticipation of more rain? One big storm could raise the lake 6" and they would have to run the dam at full output for a week (drop 1" per day) to keep it from problem levels. However, if we stay in the dryer period we had been in, we may need to keep dam output low and hoard the water.

And then, what IS the right level of water in Winnipesaukee and WHO is to decide what that is?

What is a poor dam operator to do, at the mercy of unpredictable weather and disgruntled lake folk no matter what they decide?
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:55 AM   #47
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The levels upstream of Winni should be a concern too. As of today, Merrymeeting is at least 12", if not 18" below normal. It may even have dropped over the past week. The dam is fully closed so all the water exiting is the stuff taken by the fish hatchery, which adds nutrients before sending it on the Winnipesaukee via Alton Bay.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:04 AM   #48
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Default Water level downstream

Just got a call from State that level of Silver Lake (Tilton/Belmont) will rise 11" starting today. Got to be coming from upstream- either Winnipesaukee or Winnisquam or both.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:53 AM   #49
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Bizer, as of yesterday April 29th, reports the lake at just 2.4" below Full Pool. We have had additional rain since then and will through today. Then, another inch or so is expected next week. The Lakeport dam is still at 250 CFS and I would expect by the end of next week, Winnipesaukee will be "Full", which is right on track for when it should be.

Yes, I know other lakes are down and the conditions have been dry but this has been a broad soaking rain over 3 days with more expected next Monday through Wednesday and Friday & Saturday. I expect that other conditions will be improving as well.

As to the long term? When will next year's Ice Out be?
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:29 AM   #50
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Just got a call from State that level of Silver Lake (Tilton/Belmont) will rise 11" starting today. Got to be coming from upstream- either Winnipesaukee or Winnisquam or both.
WOW, that sounds huge,,,

Will that cause you problems?
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:17 PM   #51
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Default Winni lake level

According to the Bizer chart, we are precisely at last year’s level at this time.
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:22 PM   #52
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According to my 10 day forecast, we could get 3" of rain by May 7 which would drive the lake level above full pool (3" of rain yields more than 3" of lake level). It seems to me that the forecasts of late have predicted more rain than we actually end up getting but even half of what is predicted would put the lake level in very good shape for now.

Then the balancing act begins. Should the dam operators start letting a bit more water out in anticipation of more rain? One big storm could raise the lake 6" and they would have to run the dam at full output for a week (drop 1" per day) to keep it from problem levels. However, if we stay in the dryer period we had been in, we may need to keep dam output low and hoard the water.

And then, what IS the right level of water in Winnipesaukee and WHO is to decide what that is?

What is a poor dam operator to do, at the mercy of unpredictable weather and disgruntled lake folk no matter what they decide?
They are probably Dam'd if they do and Dam'd if they don't...
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:12 PM   #53
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Well at least everyone isn't freaked out about the China Virus anymore... water levels 2" below normal certainly is more a crisis...
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:21 PM   #54
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Default Water level

On the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services site there is a rather complete description of how the Lake level is managed. From reading it over, it is clearly a complex matrix involving season of year, weather patterns, surface conditions, and many more. As has been said before, the "operator is dammed one way or another". Some of us grew up thinking "only the Shadow knows", but the real answer to the dam question is, "It is not nice to fool with Mother Nature".
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:58 AM   #55
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According to the Weirs gauge (link) at midnight last night, the Lake is at 504.26, .72 inch from full. With the runoff from the last few days of rain, it might top off this weekend.

Going forward, should we start a new "Full Pool" contest like we have for Ice Out? When you think about it, Ice Out is the event that marks the beginning of readiness for the summer season on the lake and Full Pool is its completion. Winnipesaukee is Full and ready for all summer activities.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:55 AM   #56
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Default Full Pool

Hope we all enjoyed full lake since the outflow was increased to 600 cfs from 250 cfs on May 3rd.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:05 AM   #57
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At 600 cfs, it will take over 3 days to lower the lake level 1 inch. It's not like the lake level is going to plummet. More rain is in the forecast. The dam operators are doing their job to maintain the water level around Full Pool while providing any excess to downstream needs.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:13 AM   #58
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At 600 cfs, it will take over 3 days to lower the lake level 1 inch. It's not like the lake level is going to plummet. More rain is in the forecast. The dam operators are doing their job to maintain the water level around Full Pool while providing any excess to downstream needs.
Agreed. If outflow is not increased, the lake would continue to rise above full lake, and that creates its own set of problems. Let’s have some faith in the dam operators! They can always slow it down.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:00 PM   #59
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The prices of composite/vinyl materials haven't seemed to change as much, which was one of the reasons I went with Lumberock. ~$4/foot for "premium" decking, which is not far off from PT costs. And I could get it.

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You're right, I will NEVER buy PT **** again. Looks like crap in 5 years.

See what I installed in image below.

No splinters, no warping, no staining. Heck I don't even power wash it.

It is slick when wet and can get hot though.

My Deck is about 5 years old now and looks exactly the same as when I put in.

This is not composite crap or hybrid, it's some sort of PVC all the way through.

It's screwed down and you tap in plugs. All the white you see is covered PT.

Pressure treated does have it's place. It needs to stay moist. Like a sill plate.
If it's exposed to sun and dries out, it's useless.

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