Lake Hopatcong has recovered from the five-foot drawdown to hold steady at seven-feet at the dam. This is the level the lake will be maintained until the spring refill to allow for ice build-up.
As pointed out by Lake Expert John Kurzman, the state will continue to be draining the lake at the rate of 3.6 inches worth of water per month throughout the winter, so inflows over this winter period need to continue.
Therefore, we need continued wet conditions though-out the next four months to have Lake Hopatcong raise to the desired nine-foot level in time for the spring boating season.
Official Lake Hopatcong Refill Procedures: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
- On December 15th the gates of the Lake Hopatcong Dam shall be closed except as required to meet the 12 CFS minimum passing flow.The lake shall be allowed to refill as much as possible, but not above 6.83 feet, until hard ice forms on the lake such that, in the opinion of the Superintendent, a continuing rise in water elevation may cause property damage.
- If the water elevation reaches 6.83 feet before a hard freeze occurs, the gates shall be operated in response to rainfall to maintain that water level.
- If the elevation does not reach 6.83 feet before the hard ice forms, the gates shall be operated to maintain the water level existing on the date of the hard freeze.
- If the water elevation of 6.83 feet is not achieved, and conditions change during the winter that soften the ice to the point that, in the opinion of the Superintendent a water level rise will not cause property damage, or unduly interfere with winter recreation on the lake, the water level will be allowed to rise during that period, but not over 6.83 feet.
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