Welcome to spring in the Champlain Valley. And to Rosslyn’s annual spring drama: the Lake Champlain boathouse blues!
Over the last month lake water level has been rising, rising, rising. And rising some more. In fact, it’s even risen since I started drafting this post. (Current level a little further down.)
Boathouse Blues Begin
Until recently I was singing the end-of-ski-season rag and the dandelion ditty while quietly hoping that Lake Champlain water levels would rise enough to hedge against last summer’s all-too-low water levels.
And then I received this recent message and photo from Essex friend and neighbor Tom Duca.
“The lake was superlow last year, but now it’s moving right up… Most of the snow is melted in the higher elevations, so I don’t think the lake will get much higher than this…” ~ Tom Duca
Nerve wracking, right? Hopefully Tom’s snow melt assessment is accurate. And hopefully it’s not an overly rainy spring.
My mother was the next boathouse blues melody maker. Here are her updates.
“Water much higher, you’ll be glad to know!” ~ Melissa Davis
So I suppose my wishes for higher-than-2016 water levels weren’t as quiet as I had thought. And initially Lake Champlain’s spring water level increase did relieve me.
And then my mother sent me this.
“Water rising! Almost even with Old Dock dock.” ~ Melissa Davis
She was referring to the Old Dock Restaurant, located just south of the ferry dock. Time to start monitoring the official Lake Champlain water level.
Boathouse Blues Reference & Refrain
For the official Lake Champlain water level, I turn to USGS.gov and pull up a one year retrospective that reveals the lake is much higher than last spring.
See that red line marking 100′ above sea level? That indicates flood stage. Yes, we’re pretty close. In fact, as of today, April 24, 2017 the most recent instantaneous “water surface elevation” is 99.74′ above sea level. And by the time you read this, it may be even higher. Check out the current Lake Champlain water level (and temperature) if you’re curious.
Until then, here are couple of additional glimpses of Rosslyn boathouse struggling to stay dry. This latest refrain in the Lake Champlain boathouse blues was photographed by Katie Shepard.
Great angle, Katie! You can tell that even on this relatively placid day, a medium-sized wave or boat wake would likely inundate the floorboards.
Looking down on the boathouse gangway reveals flotsam and jetsum that have already washed up on the decking.
And Katie’s last photograph shows the water level almost cresting Roslyn’s waterfront retaining wall. Fingers crossed that we won’t experience flood stage this year!