Small lakes such as Patterson Lake have high water in Spring and Fall and lower water levels in the Summer.
For Patterson Lake, the difference between the highest level and the lowest level is on the average 24 inches.
We start out in the Spring with 24″ of water in the north culvert on Fairs Creek and reach the low point in late August when the water
goes below the culvert bottom. The culvert bottom and the bottom of Fairs Creek are at about the same level,
give or take a depression or two and some rocks.
Beavers and people have an impact on lake water level. Beavers are famous for
their dams which retain enough water depth for their pathways and their safety. Beavers always
increase water depth. People on the other hand cause high water levels with debris or other junk that
clogs an outlet and low water levels when they remove beaver dams, or change the
outlet depth of the creek or river that drains a lake.
The greatest amount of damage to a lakeshore is caused at the very high levels in
the Spring. We can reduce the amount of damage by ensuring the Spring highs last
for the shortest length of time, and that implies cleaning any blockage at the culvert.
High water levels that continue into early summer and return again through the fall until winter freeze up increase
the soil erosion into Patterson Lake. This results in the following problems:
- Fish beds near the shore line become covered with the soil and therefore become unusable for our fish to lay their eggs to replenish the fish in our lake.
- The soil covers the weeds and acts as a fertilizer for them, especially if its good quality soil. Weed growth in some parts of the lake make it difficult to navigate through.
- High water levels during boating season increases the soil erosion because of the boat waves.
- High or low water in May or June affects the loon population of the lake. The loons have to nest out of the water, and because their legs are far back in their bodies, they
have to build right on the shoreline. If the water drops too far, they cannot get to their nest. If the water rises too much, their nests are flooded.
By keeping the culverts open as soon as the ice leaves, we can lower the lake level as soon as possible
to prevent the above problems.
A small barrier placed in front of the culvert, to retain about a depth of 8″ to 10″ in the culvert, from the end of June to Thanksgiving in October
will prevent the lake from becoming too shallow for navigation and enjoyment by the residents of Patterson Lake. It causes