This week marks the last lake level measurement taken for the year. 2018 lake levels (blue line) fluctuated throughout the year jumping above and below the average level (red line). Lake level in the spring was higher than normal, followed by a sharp decline and below average lake level from June through mid-September. It rebounded in late fall and was higher than average.

The recordings on the graph are based on the height, in inches of the water, flowing over the primary spillway of the dam. The highest water level of the year, 13.80 inches occurred on May 8. The lowest level was on July 24 with only 2.88 inches flowing over the dam.

While there was some speculation that the sink hole and work on the Bartlett Dam impacted this year’s level, it was not the case. The water level is entirely dictated by the amount of precipitation and evaporation. The lack of early summer rain and sunny summer days kept the water low, and heavy fall rains brought it up. While the Dam does not have the capability to regulate the water level, the wide spillway does an excellent job maintaining consistency.

The USF began collecting this data in 2011. The highest recorded level of water was May 1, 2011 at 16.8 inches (orange line). The lowest level recorded was on October 16, 2016 with only .96 inches of water flowing over the dam (green line). This shows the total variation of water ever recorded to be 15.84 inches. In 2018 the total fluctuation level was 10.92 inches. This is more than the average fluctuation of just over 7.5 inches.

For more information on water levels, visit the Upper Saranac Foundations web page at:

Lake Level