Low Water Levels at Lake Maspenock

michelle's picture

If you've driven by Lake Maspenock recently, you might have noticed the really low water levels, the rocks you didn't know were there and the fresh water mussels along the shore.

Beginning in the fall every year, the water levels are lowered for the winter season to help protect the property of the residents around the lake. The goal is to clear the docks and prevent ice damage. But this year, in an attempt to help rid the lake of weeds, the water levels are lower than ever. Normally lowered about 4 feet for the winter months, Maspenock is now just about 75 inches down from the normal high water mark.

"We are seeing rocks we've never seen before," said Malcolm Page, of the Lake Maspenock Preservation Association.

A 400-500 foot long dam that retains the lake, and is now jointly controlled by Hopkinton's Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Lake Maspenock Preservation Association (LMPA), is located in Milford. The dam consists of a 15 foot high earth fill structure with masonry walls with a spillway to regulate water levels. Even though the water levels are controlled locally, they are governed by a permit from the state.

In past years, there was not enough water to allow for the really low water levels experienced this year. But this year, it's just the opposite. Page says that they were unable to get down as low as they wanted to due to the heavy rains in the fall.

The lower water levels also made it possible to repair the boat ramp at Sandy Beach. It's been widened and extended another 12 feet. According to Page, the ramp has been a problem for years, but it couldn't be fixed without the draw down.

All that is needed next is some colder weather. Frost is needed to kill the exposed weed roots, but time is running out. Beginning on January 15, 2012, the water levels will begin to rise in preparation for the coming summer months when the lake is used for recreation.