The lake level was down to 216.6 feet on August 12. This is 3.4 feet below the full level. If the drought continues, as it is predicted to, the lake could be two feet lower by the middle of October. That is the time when Salem usually switches from Canobie to Arlington Pond, for their water source.
The immediate cause of the low level is the severe drought, which is affecting all of Southern NH. We urge everyone to conserve water, and abide by the use restrictions that Salem has established. We are likely to end this summer with the Canobie level the lowest it has been in many years.
Following is an update on the actions the CLPA board is taking regarding this issue.
Due to the drought conditions, the Salem Selectmen have adopted the following water restrictions for all customers of the Town’s water system:
No outside use of water of any kind between the hours of 7:00 AM and midnight by any residences or businesses. The only exceptions to this restriction are commercial car washes, cash crops, farms, flower shops or garden centers.
Use of outside water is permitted between the hours of midnight and 7:00 AM for irrigation or watering of lawns/gardens only on ODD numbered days.
For more details see: townofsalemnh.org/home/news/mandatory-water-restrictions
Thanks to all of the enthusiastic participants in the boat parade! There were about 22 boats in the parade – a very nice turnout. The judges had difficult choices to make, due to all of the creatively decorated boats-check out the photos!
Early in June the loon pair that resides on Canobie Lake nested on the raft for a few days. Then they abandoned the nest. It may have been because some boaters got very close to the raft and frightened them off. It may have been because a marauding animal took the egg.
On or about June 23, they resumed nesting on the raft. Our official loon watcher, Dave Blake, reports there are now two eggs on the nest! Yippee! If all goes well, they should hatch around July 21.
The water level of Canobie Lake is low for this time of year. It was 218.75 MSL (feet above sea level) on June 15. The full level is 220.0 feet.
We are experiencing an extremely long period of dry weather. Starting last June 2015 and going right through November 2015, Southern NH experienced the worst drought since the 1960’s. We received little snow this winter, and already this spring we are 2.95 inches below average rainfall (Acu-Weather data). All the lakes in the local area were slow to fill this spring. Canobie Lake never filled up. The highest level it reached was 219.45.
It's been a strange winter for ice on Canobie Lake. Sheltered coves began to freeze in early January, but other parts froze later and the main part of the lake still has open water. So the ice thickness is not uniform. It may be thick enough to support you near the shore, but not a little farther out.
Last weekend (January 30 & 31) the air temperature went up into the fifties, and there was considerable ice melting. The usual advice is that 4 inches of ice is thick enough to support individuals, but that's for clear ice. Ice that has melted and refrozen may be weaker than that. Be careful. Err on the side of safety.