Up and up it goes - lake levels pleasant surprise
By Stu Merry, BHG News Service
Recreation officials, park managers and resort owners are rejoicing at small blessings this year. Lake Sakakawea is exceeding predictions when it comes to lake levels. And what’s even better – fishing is great. “In April, snowpack was 81 percent of normal and the lake stood at 1827 msl. Forecasts were bleak. But with precipitation 200 percent of normal in the plains of Montana and the Dakotas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the lake will rise another couple feet from its present 1836 msl. Even as recent as early June, the forecast was for the lake to only attain a level of 1832.4. The current level is still below last year’s pool level of 1837 msl at this time. Joel Knofczynski, senior hydraulic engineer with the Corps of Engineers in Omaha, said snowpack is virtually gone in the mountains. He said the pleasant surprise of higher levels is due to the abundant May rain. He predicts June could be similar.