Recent Lake Levels
For the Labor Day weekend lake Level reading the lakes are 0.84 inches over the annual maximum level. Both gates at the dam are fully open and it appears that repairs to the winter gate are underway.
As of July 15, the lakes are 2.76 inches over the court-ordered annual maximum level. The drawdown and winter gates remain fully closed.
The thunderstorms and heavy rain last night, May 3, 2021, have raised the lakes to the summer minimum level.
A 5 year study by the Michigan Department of Conservation states that the watershed area for lakes Cadillac & Mitchell is approximately 60 square miles. The study also states “It appears that all too frequently a considerable portion of the spring influent to the lakes has been lost downstream because of hit-or-miss operation of the control structure.” (Dam)
Picture 60 square miles of melting snow and ice from our watershed flowing into lakes Mitchell and Cadillac and exiting down the Clam River past our wide open dam, irretrievably lost downstream. Had the dam been closed at the start of the snow melt, the water would have been stored in the lakes and wetlands to help us get through the summer months.
The lakes still need to rise 3.6 inches to be at the level recommended by the Department of Conservation.