Many people have been wondering why water is being let out of Grand Lake St. Marys. Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued the following statement that explains the Grand Lake St. Marys draw-down. This statement is republished here, unedited:
Begin a draw down in the fall after activities on the lake have been completed. Draw down will cease when the lake reaches 9 inches below normal pool (bottom of notch).
Once achieved, draw down will cease but monitored, retaining the ability and intent to restart drawdowns to keep the lake at a maximum of 9 inches below normal pool if winter rains have elevated the lake and minimized capacity for the spring rains. Ice conditions could be a factor of consideration during the winter drawdowns.
The intent is to cease the drawdowns during March of each year but continue to monitor lake level for further drawdowns after if lake capacity is a concern for spring rains.
During all of this process, Beaver Creek capacity will be also monitored to keep flooding downstream at a minimum.
Reasons why the Lake Level MGMT plan was created
· 1 gate fully open (60”) takes approximately 3 days to lower Lake Level 1”
· Flooding of properties, homes, condos, and subdivisions around the lake
· Dock damage both private and state
· High Lake levels can cause the Montezuma Club Island sewer system to be inundated with surface water causing sewage to overflow into the lake
· High Lake levels with high winds greatly increase erosion to state and private property
· Lake level management requires a proactive approach due to many circumstances
How the Lake Level MGMT plan came to fruition
· 9 area persons not including any parks officials created the document which consisted of local leaders, lakeside business owner, representative of the LIA
· ODNR adopted the locally developed plan
Proactive lake level management is practiced to help prevent the flooding of private property, damage to docks, sewage overflows and erosion.
Last year, the area experienced a significant drought throughout the boating season which did impact lake levels.
However, the lake still reached “full pool” in both March and April.
History consistently indicates that the current drawdowns should show no significant impact on lake levels during the boating season.
The summer and fall of 2016 has been declared a National Disaster by the US Department of Agriculture.