WELCOME TO BLACK LAKE, NY - A FRESHWATER FISHERMAN'S PARADISE

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 Post subject: Re: Lake Levels
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:02 pm 
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Location: Ogdensburg, NY
The oswegatchie is a different watershed than the Indian River chain of lakes. Because of the recent rainfall, the Oswegatchie has risen above the level of lake. This only happens at times of extensive rainfalls/snowmelts in the Oswegatchie River basin.

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 Post subject: Re: Lake Levels
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:16 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
Phil is correct in what he says.

As far as the gaging station, I think it's worthwhile--we really have no reliable data other than that very dated USGS 'normal' lake level of 272 FASL in summer. Camp owners including commercial camps and heeding appropriate buoys all depend on knowing how the water level is. I know, I know...some are saying, but pay attention--LOOK at the water, but we had a fatal boating accident this past summer along with two very serious injuries due to low water level. Phil is an expert on Black Lake and knows it better than almost anyone, but we have many visitors and they do NOT know Black Lake. All the more reason for caution on their part you might say? But again, if a camp owner knew that 272 FASL was normal and were were at 266, he would most likely advise his guests that the water is quite low...beware of exposed rocks and thicker, surface weed beds.

To look at the webcam on the south end, one cannot tell water level in the slightest. When I look at the webcam on the north end, I can tell if it's high or low--relative to only what I saw a few weeks or a month or two earlier. I can't easily relate what I see on the webcam to normal or high or low water levels. Again, I don't have the expertise that Phil has, but I think good data is worth its weight in gold.

As far as the Boat Launch monitoring, we had trained stewards on the lake (both paid and volunteers) from Thurs. through Sunday almost all summer long, including Holiday weekends. Since the program began this year, I think we were light Memorial Day weekend as far as steward coverage at the ramp, but I know we were solid through the summer months up to end of August when our employees went back to school. And yes, this effort is primarily to halt the introduction of new invasives. We've had two new invasives in the past five years...too rapid an introduction of new species if you ask me. And it's possible there are others we simply haven't found/detected yet. Black Lake already has eleven proven invasive aquatic species--we're fortunate that we don't have some of the worst actors like Hydrilla, spiny waterflea, asian clams and rusty crayfish. We don't have gobies either, or at least there is no confirmation of them. Since CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY is the law of the land now it behooves us to provide education and a bit of help with compliance via a boat launch steward monitoring program. We could only afford to man the launch at the busiest times and of course, we're not able to cover the private launches at the dozens of camps that surround the lake, but we're doing as much as we can. Hopefully, we'll show that the effort is working and therefore is worthwhile and worthy of expansion to a seven day per week coverage. Prior to this program we were running on luck and a prayer and with two new invasives in the past four or five years, we know how that worked out.

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 Post subject: Re: Lake Levels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Location: Hammond, NY
Thank you for clarifying this with me guys. I stand corrected if the Oswegatchie just has more water coming down it after heavy rains. I'm just concerned about the build up of bottom sediment in this lake which I believe has a lot to do with lack of flow. Build up bottom sediment creates a garden for the growth of invasive plants. I know this because I guide on Lake Toho in central Florida which has a tremendous amount of hydrilla that they try to control with chemicals. And they attribute it to the build up of soft bottom over the years. Which is my long term concern for Black Lake. Hopefully the boat steward program is a step in the right direction.

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 Post subject: Re: Lake Levels
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:31 pm 
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I have been following this discussion for quite some time and want to throw in my two cents. I have kayaked or canoed most of the Oswegatchie river all the way from Cranberry lake (including rapids) to the lip of the Brookwood (?) power generation plant. From what I have witnessed, I can assure everyone that the water in the Oswegatchie flows one way- to the St. Lawarence and then out to the Atlantic Ocean. I can assure you that the power generation plant holds back water from the Oswegatchie river and has some impact on the Oswegatchie water level. How do I know this? The water level is higher on the Black lake side of the dam than the St. Lawrence side.

I have kayaked most of the Indian River from Red Lake to Black lake and can assure everyone that the river flows from Theresa to Black Lake. If we assume that water is flowing into Black lake from the Indian river and other watersheds, it must have an outlet. If the outlet is at the north end of the lake, we can assume that the level of the Oswegatchie river does affect the level of Black lake, just as the level of the St. Lawrence river might affect the flow of the Oswegatchie.

It has been many years since I studied Hydrology but I have to assume that the water from the Indian river must go somewhere and it is not into any creeks that flow into the lake. If Black lake is truly a glacially formed lake, the runoff from the glacial melt went somewhere. The lake level changes do not come just from evaporation.

I have also seen the power generation plant in Theresa and can assure everyone that the Watertown side of the dam or power plant is higher than the Black lake side. So here is my two cents: I believe that both power generation plants have some impact on water levels in Black lake. How much? That's above my pay grade. I believe that Black lake flows into the Oswegatchie river, on out to the Atlantic Ocean, and that Oswegatchie river levels affect Black lake levels. If there is a lot of runoff in both the Oswegatchie watershed and Indian river watershed, it will cause Black lake levels to rise. If I remember correctly, I also believe that the power generation plant in Ogdensburg has some impact on Oswegatchie water levels.


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