by Dick Greenan
Well, our ponds are really starting to feel the effects of another drought. Although the Great Pond and Long Pond dams have been completely shut down for a good month now, Great Pond is down just 1" from full pond with Long Pond down 3.12" below full. The difference is that the Wings Mill dam that holds back Long Pond is still leaking, despite the temporary repairs done almost 2 years ago. The "permanent" repair on Wings Mill will start this coming July 15, and due to the very nature of the work being done, we will lose some additional water during the demolition and construction so, we'll be working with a moving target as far as Long Pond's water levels are concerned. Bad timing during another drought (5 years in a row) but a necessity.
Our Dams Keeper on Salmon/McGrath reported in this morning that they are at 277.5 or 6" below full pond with their one gate open just enough for the mandated 1 cfs: "This is lowest level that the Lake has been at for this time of year during the eleven years that I have been tending the Dam. Much rain need!"
As I pen this week's issue, we are forecasted to have 0.85" of precipitation over the next ten days which if we get it, it will be somewhat of a relief. The half inch we were supposed to receive yesterday never materialized. And remember that once the air temperature hits 80°F and above we lose 3⁄10" a day due to evaporation, so you can see why our water levels continue to be a concern.
The water temperature on upper Long Pond has been in the low 80°s for the past week but dropped to 78°F with yesterday's cloud cover. Still refreshing and delightful!
Enjoy the family, your vacation and this incredibly beautiful weather and please stay safe!
Dick Greenan is secretary to the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Dams Committee.