This is the second Spring Season under the new NJDEP rules, and as a result, Lake Hopatcong has already reached the full pool of nine feet as measured at the dam.
This is the quickest refill of the lake as it was only on February 22, 2018, that the new policy on outflow from the lake went into effect. This means that in just 20 days the lake recovered two feet from the last drawdown.
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 2018!