As of today, March 30, 2017 the Lake Hopatcong water level is up to 8.80 feet as measured at the dam. The lake has not seen this level since the summer of 2015.
This is encouraging for several reasons:
- First, the lake hasn’t reached full pool (9 feet) in the last three years
- Second, this is a positive sign for the upcoming boating season, since for part of last summer the lake was under 8 feet, which hampered the boats
- Third, this is also a positive thing for minimizing the weeds, as less sun light reaching the weed beds, means fewer weeds.
- Finally, it shows that the pilot project started by NJDEP is working and will hopefully be put in force moving forward.
NJDEP changes were:
- Reduce the annual winter drawdown from 26” to 22, which would save an additional four inches of the lake level.
- Reduce the outflow from the lake in the spring, when conditions merit the change
To help understand these changes, we go back to the statement made by Ray Fernandez, owner of Bridge Marina, as this pilot project was enacted.
“It was rather clear the overwhelming sentiment from stakeholders and lakefront property owners was to support the proposed annual drawdown change, keep the lake full, and dramatically alter or cancel the five-year five-foot drawdown. It has taken some time to get the public and DEP to fully understand and embrace the importance of water level on the lakes environment and community, even over their individual needs or wants, and I am very glad to see this paradigm shift from stakeholders and in the DEP. I think there finally is a great opportunity here for a plan that will safeguard the lake for future generations.”
Ray also added, “It has been 11 seasons, countless hours, and tens of thousands of dollars we have spent working /fighting/negotiating with the DEP to safeguard our lakes water...and although this change in the management plan seems minor, it has some major future value for our community. I am pleased with this change, and I am excited to see what else we can do.”
Let’s all look forward to a great year for Lake Hopatcong in 2017!