Every year around October 15th, the sluice gate in the dam is fully opened 500+ turns to allow water to drain down the Valatie Kill and Kinderhook Creek until our lake is about 33-inches below the main spillway, about 4.5-feet below average summer levels. This lower depth is permitted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to protect shorelines and docks from erosion and damage due to winter ice and potential spring flooding from rapid snow-melt and rain. The added benefits of the drawdown are to (1) expose shorelines to freezing temperatures, which kills some of the lake weeds (milfoil and curlyleaf pondweed), and (2) permit residents to cleanup and repair shorelines and docks.

Please remember that raking leaves into the lake and/or burning leaves in the lake bed is not permitted, as doing so adds nutrients for future weed growth. Also, lake residents are urged to clean shorelines in front of and adjacent to their properties and make any necessary repairs to shorelines and docks this fall, as snow-melt and rain can often raise water levels quickly, making access to the lake bed more difficult in the spring.

If you haven’t pulled your boats from the lake yet, it’s time to¬†hustle.