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Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:17 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
The following is an exchange from concerned Lake Nokomis Concerned Citizens (LNCC) area citizens and Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. (WVIC)

To: Sam (Morgan of WVIC) (Monday, June 29, 2009)
Jim Christensen has concerns along with another 1100 land owners around the Rice Reservoir. Please explain the reason for the draw down over the weekend.

Regards,
Russ Wadzinski
President, LNCC
**********************************************
**Sam Morgan's response:

Hello Russ,

Rice Reservoir (Lake Nokomis) is operated to maintain a uniform flow in the Wisconsin River according to Article 412 of WVIC’s FERC license. The operating rules set target flows for the Wisconsin River at Merrill and specify how WVIC must balance storages between the reservoirs using the concept of “Index Levels”. Please refer to the following page on our website for a more detailed explanation of the operating plan.

http://www.wvic.com/index.php?option=co ... &Itemid=75

As this applies to our current situation, we had some decent rains in May and the first week of June, so the water level in Rice Reservoir rose to near the full mark in mid-May and remained close to full through the middle of June. However, by mid-June the runoff from the spring rains ended, the runoff-producing rains stopped, and the flow of the Wisconsin River dropped rapidly. According to the operating rules, I began releasing water from the northern reservoirs on June 14th. The gate at Rice was opened to 12 inches on June 14th, then to 16 inches on June 19th. The gate is still at 16 inches.

Since the operating rules require us to balance the storages between the reservoirs, and since Rice and Spirit are much fuller than Rainbow and Willow (both more than six feet below full), we are required to use water from Rice and Spirit first before we can start taking water from Rainbow and Willow. Hence the rapid decline in water level you have observed. The rate of drawdown on Rice will decrease when the index levels for all the reservoirs get “in balance”.

The water level in the lake has been dropping at a steady rate for the past 10 days because water is being released to augment the flow of the Wisconsin River. The rate of drawdown did not increase over the weekend (see the attached water level graph). The drawdown is not affected by kayak races in Wausau. No “extra” water from the reservoirs is required to run the kayak course. See the following page on our website for a detailed explanation of how the kayak course works:

http://www.wvic.com/index.php?option=co ... &Itemid=10

I realize that the five-year drought in northern Wisconsin has resulted in low reservoir water levels that are frustrating to LNCC members. The drought has also kept the flow of the Wisconsin River well below normal. The last time the average monthly flow of the river was “normal” was in June 2004 – a full five years ago. We would all like to see higher water levels and higher river flows. The only thing that will make this happen is enough rain to overcome the 20+ inch deficit in rainfall that we have experienced since 2004.

I hope this information is helpful. As always, if you have further question feel free to contact me.


Sam Morgan
Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co.
2301 North Third St.
Wausau, WI 54403
Phone: 715.848.2976, Extension 301
Fax: 715.842.0284
Email: morgan@wvic.com

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:54 pm
by KEN
That all sounds fine and dandy............except for those who live on , or use Nokomis or The Spirit Flowage.
I see his reasoning, but I also think they leave the gates open a day or two TOO LONG! :x This makes it hard for The Spirit and Nokomis to get their levels back up. :cry: They`re QUICK to open the gates, BUT I think they`re slow to close them. :roll:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:00 am
by Floyd Alvin
This problem is not unique to the Tomahawk or to Wisconsin in general. It is not unique to the US either. It is a worldwide problem that all to many people are not taking serious enough.

I know I used to be one of them. I used to scoff at the idea of Global Warming or Global Climate Changes. Then I started to read up on it more.

I was reading something that seemed to make a little more sense then the other things I had seen. After spelling out the dangers of what some of the experts are predicting, one of the most serious being the destruction of the world’s water supply, he suggested we need to do everything possible, that makes sense, to preserve and protect this most precious of all natural resources. But the bottom line that made me start looking at the situation with a little more open mind was when the author of the article I was reading ended up with a question.

If the experts are wrong, and we take action, we merely have saved a lot of water and brought the levels back to normal. If the experts are right and we fail to take action… ?

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:53 pm
by KEN
I just seems I have witnessed times where they`ve open the gates, then we get a period of cool weather , with rain, and the Wisconsin River is running high. :) BUT, the gates are still open on The Spirit for days! :?: :? Years ago there was always talk that when the whitewater rafting championships were being held in Wausau, the gates on The Spirit and Nokomis were left open for no apparent reason?! :( Weather had been cool, sufficient rain, but it seemed they wanted to make sure the whitewater championship had plenty of water?! :roll:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:18 pm
by KEN
Can anyone give me a water level report? :?:

Mainly The Spirit Flowage and Lake Nokomis. :)

Thanks :wink:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:36 pm
by logic1
Spirit down 5.8 feet
Nokomis down 4.8
this info was on WJJQ this morning

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:39 pm
by KEN
It`s hard to picture 4' or 5' below full. :?

Can anyone post some pics? :?:

Are the docks leading to no where? :?:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:04 pm
by KEN
Have recent rains brought up the water levels? :?:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:13 pm
by Old Scout
Very little if at all ! :(

The Spirit is dropping like a rock, with sandbars out of the water all over the place.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:58 pm
by Jeff Boettcher
How's Lake Alice?

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:34 pm
by mrbrowns
Jeff,
The water level on Alice doesn't fluctuate much because WVIC keeps the water level from fluctuating much on the Wisconsin River. However, after not fishing it much this summer, I did notice that some areas that didn't have weeds last year now do. Keeps all us anglers on our toes.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:10 am
by KEN
Have the cool temperatures and rain helped the water levels :?:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:21 am
by KEN
Bump

Anybody?

Bueller, Bueller.....Bueller
'
'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4zyjLyB ... re=related

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:56 am
by Deb Richardson
Didn't even have to click on the You Tube link to know what you referencing! Good one Ken!

Ken, check with WJJQ they might be able to give you some info.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:18 am
by KEN
For some reason I thought NOBODY would get the ...Bueller?...Bueller?.......Bueller?

For some reason that movie is a classic for me. :lol: Although I was WAY too old to really relate to it when it came out. LOL

How do I go about checking with WJJQ?

I have went to the Wisconsin Valley Improvment website, but that gives you the amount of feet below full level. It`s not as good as a eye witness account.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:09 pm
by Deb Richardson
I think if you e-mail the "Q", they may have that info. I checked the website didn't find it. I think they do report that on a regular basis. At least they did when we still lived in the area.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:02 am
by KEN
I can go on the WVIC website, and find out how mant feet below full they are. What I`d really like is a eye witness description of how they are looking. Are the docks still going out to nothing but land? Can you even stand on shore and cast into the water if you wanted to do some shoreline fishing? The Leader posted some photo`s , but that was a few months ago.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:45 pm
by Jeff Boettcher
Ken,
When Nancy & I vacationed on Lake Alice at the end of September, we took a ride to the former Moonlight Bay Resort on Nokomis where we had stayed for many years when the kids were in elementary school. Moonlight Bay was a mud flat extending past an island that was a feature to us about 300 yards in front of the cottages. In the "Old Days" wading out to the island would have been impossible. All of the places we fished were now dry land.

We've had a lot of rain lately around the Fox Valley, but have no idea about north of Tomahawk. However, based on what we saw around Sept. 30, yeah you can fish from shore but only after hiking from the original shoreline to the water's edge.

Jeff

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:04 am
by Deb Richardson
Off topic, I know but...Jeff aren't Fall vacations just the best?

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:18 am
by KEN
"but...Jeff aren't Fall vacations just the best?"

ANY vacations are the Best!
'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQLg3rcV-Is

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:29 pm
by Jeff Boettcher
Deb,
Fall vacations are phenomenal, even when we have the first hard frosts of the year. I took some great early morning pictures of frost-edged oak leaves while walking our dog.

It was also a great start to vacationing without the kids since they are now both in college. We'll have to wait until our son's wedding next fall, but we'll be be back soon after that!

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:32 am
by Deb Richardson
Yup, fall vacations are definitely one of the perks of being empty nesters. Congrats Jeff, on the up coming nuptials.

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:18 am
by KEN
Have the recent rains :) brought the water levels up? :?:

Re: Concern about water levels

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:04 pm
by KEN
Bueller,............Bueller,............................................Bueller.......
'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4zyjLyBp64