Lake Levels as of May 23, 2019

Here are the highlights of yesterday’s (May 23, 2019) inspection by Jerry Spetzman, Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District’s Administrator:

Lofton Weir. The water level elevation at the Lofton weir on May 23 was 899.20.  The Ordinary High Water (OHW) level of these lakes is 900.2. The lakes are approximately one foot below OHW. According to the Operation and Maintenance plan both the high and low weir control gates are to be open when the water level exceeds 899.2. The high weir was opened on April 19. At that time water levels were not high enough to flow over the weir. On May 9 the Low weir was opened and water is flowing through the weir into Green Lake. The weir will remain open until water levels are lowered to 898.7 at which time the weir will be closed.

North Lindstrom Lake.  A water level gauge is located on North Lindstrom Lake.  The water level elevation at this gauge today was 899.38.  North Lindstrom Lake is based on the County Surveyor’s zero elevation.  We are currently working with the DNR to confirm calibrations for North Lindstrom and South Lindstrom/Chisago Lakes. The water level elevation at the North Lindstrom gauge is slightly higher than the water level elevation at the Lofton Weir because of the drawdown occurring at the weir.

Paradise Park Weir. This weir is a fixed cable concrete weir. The weir has a permanent outlet elevation of 899.2. Today the water level is above the crest of the weir.  Water is flowing from Chisago Lake over the weir toward Wallmark Lake.  The estimated water level elevation at this weir is 899.3.

Lake Ellen Weir. The water level at the Lake Ellen weir today was 891.46. This is a good representation of the water levels of Green/Little Green/Ellen Lakes. The OHW of these lakes is 892.5.  The lakes are approximately 1 foot below OHW.  The weir is to be open during the open water season when water levels exceed 891.0. The weir was initially opened on April 10. Water is flowing through the weir into Swamp Lake. Unless downstream issues arise, it is anticipated the weir will remain open until fall.

North/South Center Lakes. Today the water level of South Center Lake was 899.44. This elevation is a good representation of the water levels of North and South Center Lakes. The Ordinary High Water Level of these lakes is 900.2. The lakes are approximately 3/4 foot below OHW.

LID staff are taking weekly lake level readings on other lakes in the Chisago Lakes area. These readings will be made public once the DNR calibration process is complete.

The Chisago Lakes Channel & Weir system is being actively managed according to the guidelines established in the 2016 Channel & Weir – Operations & Maintenance Plan. A copy of the plan can be found at:

https://www.chisagocounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/9489/2016-LID-Channel-and-Weir—Operations-and-Maintenance-Plan-updated-June-27th-2017

Since early April, Lake Improvement District staff along with the LID engineer have been conducting weekly inspections of the channel & weir system. Attached is a copy of the April 25, 2019 Spring Channel and Outlet Structure Inspection report which summarizes activities in April. Inspection reports from previous years can be found athttps://www.chisagocounty.us/321/Channel-Weir-Maintenance-Reports

Lake Levels as of May 16th 2019

nlncchannel
North Lindstrom / North Center Channel near Allemansrätt Park

According to Jerry Spetzman, Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District’s Administrator,  the highlights of today’s (May 16, 2019) inspection are as follows:

Lofton Weir.  The water level elevation at the Lofton weir yesterday, May 15 was 899.06 (per Chisago County Surveyor).  This elevation is a good representation of the water levels of Chisago/South Lindstrom/North Lindstrom Lakes.  The Ordinary High Water (OHW) level of these lakes is 900.2.  The lakes are approximately one foot below OHW.  According to the Operation and Maintenance plan both the high and low weir control gates are to be open when the water level exceeds 899.2.  The high weir was opened on April 19.  At that time water levels were not high enough to flow over the weir.  On May 9 the Low weir was opened and water is flowing through the weir into Green Lake.  The weir will remain open until water levels are lowered to 898.7 at which time the weir will be closed.

Paradise Park Weir.   This weir is a fixed cable concrete weir.  The weir has a permanent outlet elevation of 899.2.  Today the water level from Chisago Lake is below the crest of the weir.  No water is flowing from Chisago Lake over the weir toward Wallmark Lake.

Lake Ellen Weir.  The water level at the Lake Ellen weir today was 891.31.  This is a good representation of the water levels of Green/Little Green/Ellen Lakes.  The OHW of these lakes is 892.5.  The weir is to be open during the open water season when water levels exceed 891.0.  The weir was initially opened on April 10.  Water is flowing through the weir into Swamp Lake.  Unless downstream issues arise, it is anticipated the weir will remain open until fall.

North/South Center Lakes.  Yesterday, May 15, the water level of South Center Lake was 899.06 (per Chisago County Surveyor).  This elevation is a good representation of the water levels of North and South Center Lakes.  The Ordinary High Water Level of these lakes is 900.2.  The lakes are approximately one foot below OHW.

LID staff are taking weekly lake level readings on other lakes in the Chisago Lakes area.  These readings will be made public once the DNR calibration process is complete.

The Chisago Lakes Channel & Weir system is being actively managed according to the guidelines established in the 2016 Channel & Weir – Operations & Maintenance Plan.  A copy of the plan can be found at:

https://www.chisagocounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/9489/2016-LID-Channel-and-Weir—Operations-and-Maintenance-Plan-updated-June-27th-2017

Since early April, Lake Improvement District staff along with the LID engineer have been conducting weekly inspections of the channel & weir system.  Attached is a copy of the April 25, 2019 Spring Channel and Outlet Structure Inspection report which summarizes activities in April.  Inspection reports from previous years can be found athttps://www.chisagocounty.us/321/Channel-Weir-Maintenance-Reports

Lake Levels on Chisago, North/South Lindstrom Update

The Administrator for the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District, Jerry Spetzman sent an update on the Chisago, North and South Lindstrom Lake levels.

Here are the highlights of yesterday’s (May 9, 2019) inspection:

Lofton Weir.  The water level elevation at the Lofton weir was 899.23.  This elevation is a good representation of the water levels of Chisago/South Lindstrom/North Lindstrom Lakes.  The Ordinary High Water (OHW) level of these lakes is 900.2.  The lakes are approximately one foot below OHW.  According to the Operation and Maintenance plan both the high and low weir control gates are to be open when the water level exceeds 899.2.  The high weir was opened on April 19.  At that time water levels were not high enough to flow over the weir.  Today, the Low weir was opened and water is flowing through the weir into Green Lake.  The weir will remain open until water levels are lowered to 898.7 at which time the weir will be closed.

Paradise Park Weir.   This weir is a fixed cable concrete weir.  The weir has a permanent outlet elevation of 899.2.  Today water is starting to trickle from Chisago Lake over the weir toward Wallmark Lake.

The Chisago Lakes Channel & Weir system is being actively managed according to the guidelines established in the 2016 Channel & Weir – Operations & Maintenance Plan.  A copy of the plan can be found at:

https://www.chisagocounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/9489/2016-LID-Channel-and-Weir—Operations-and-Maintenance-Plan-updated-June-27th-2017

Since early April, Lake Improvement District staff along with the LID engineer have been conducting weekly inspections of the channel & weir system.  Attached is a copy of the April 25, 2019 Spring Channel and Outlet Structure Inspection report which summarizes activities in April.  Inspection reports from previous years can be found at https://www.chisagocounty.us/321/Channel-Weir-Maintenance-Reports

Spring Lake Levels

Spring lake levels are always a concern for lakeshore property owners. This year, after record snowfall, there have been many questions from our members. According to NOAA, the water equivalent of the peak snowpack in this area was approximately 5.2 inches.  We get a “Projected Lake Elevation Level” of 897.3 on Chisago Lake using the formula from the Channel & Weir Operation and Maintenance Plan and Chisago Lake starting elevation of  896.4 .

Basically the formula is telling us that the snow melt has the potential to add about 1-foot of elevation to the lakes.  This would not trigger an action from the plan for the Lofton Weir (leads from south Chisago Lake to Green Lake).   It is important to understand that there are many factors that would influence this in either direction such as:

  • If we get a slow snow melt much of the water will evaporate or infiltrate resulting in less of an increase
  • If we get  a large rain event on top of the snowmelt this could result in a higher increase
  • Local Groundwater trends could also have an influence

The lake level for South Lindstrom/Chisago lakes on November 16, 2018 was 896.54.  The Ordinary High Water (OHW) level is 900.2.  The November lake level was 3.66 feet below OHW.

According to the Lake Improvement District’s 2016 Channel & Weir Operations & Maintenance Plan the Lofton Avenue Weir (Chisago Lake Outlet) will be opened if the actual level of Chisago Lake exceeds elevation 899.2.  South Lindstrom/Chisago lake levels will need to rise 2.66 feet over the November 2018 level.  Another option for opening the weir is if Chisago Lake’s level is projected to rise above the OHW of 900.2 based on snowmelt projections.

Below is a chart showing historic lake levels.  The November 2018 lake level is above the Lofton Low weir and below the Lofton Permanent outlet elevation.

historic lake levels

Property owners can be assured that the LID is working closing with the water resource engineers to stay on top of the water levels and if needed the weirs will be opened to relieve excess water .