The Rains Came – Water Is Flowing Over the Dam – We Have a Full Lake!

We are now at 34.0 which is considered “full lake” and the spillway (built by the town who owns the dam) has 2 inches of water flowing over it. I believe that everyone who likes high water should be happy because it is as high as it can go. The dam operator and Mother Nature have done their job!During Memorial Day Weekend, it rained quite a bit and then it was cool (which doesn’t make for much evaporation) and then there has been a “wet spell”. Temperatures again in the 50s and 60s with rain, not hard but rather constant. It has totaled an inch or so thus far and it is still coming down. There was more rain on the 12th and this put us “over the top” of the dam. If you were waiting to pay your Lake Wentworth Association dues until the lake was full, you should send in your money now. Those dues don’t pay Mother Nature to rain and fill the lake but your dues do help pay for a lot of work to protect our lake from Milfoil and other invasives. While the milfoil is only found in small areas, it expands quickly if not dealt with and it is not something you want on your shore! Likewise, LWA, through the Lake Host program, helps keep milfoil and other invasives out such as Zebra mussels and Asian clams. The Lake Host program educates and supervises boaters and helps to preserve our lake.

As you go out on the lake, realize that the buoys may have shifted during the winter with the ice pulling them off their normal spots so you need to be careful as you navigate even with a nearly full lake. One rock hit by a prop is one rock too many.  The state water level schedule is given below:

The state of New Hampshire requires the town of Wolfeboro to operate the dam in accordance with the following schedule and it seems to be working:

  • From June 15 to Labor Day, the water level is to be at 34.20 on the gauge but not below 32.70 on the gauge, with the variation being permissible to allow for evaporation and/or below average rainfall.
  • By Columbus Day the water level is to have been decreased to 33.20 on the gauge, and by December 15 is to have been further decreased to 32.20 on the gauge.
  • From December 15 to April 15, the water level is to be maintained at 32.20 on the gauge.
  • From April 15 to June 15, the water level is to be increased from 32.20 on the gauge to 34.20 on the gauge, with frequent inspections by the owner to control discharge to prevent damage due to high water.
  • At all times care is to be exercised to prevent water from flowing over the permanent crest of the dam.
  • Once every five years beginning on September 10, 1993, the water level is to be drawn down to 30.70 on the gauge by the following October 10 and held at that level until the following November 10 to permit repairs to lake shore properties and installations.
  • During periods of drought or flooding, the level of Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake may fall below or extend above the limits set forth in the state order. These conditions are considered to be natural occurrences and are not to be attributed to the dam owner.


  1. ShaunB

    I am the dam operator for the Town of Wolfeboro, owner of the dam. We operate under an order from the Water resources Division of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The criteria that I follow is published on this website (click on lake level). This year on April 15 the level was at 532.86 which is slightly higher than mandated (532.2). Today, May 15, the level is at 533.06 and by June 15 I hope to have it close to full lake (534.2) but no higher. It is important to have some flow through the river below the dam for environmental purposes, that being said, I have the dam open 1 inch, which allows for sustaining the fish population. As far as questions regarding the Great Smith River Canoe race, I will have the dam open to 27 inches for approximately 2 hours which will have a minuscule effect on the lake level (perhaps dropping the level 1/8 to 1/4 inch). Those folks desiring a higher level should pray for rain and cool, cloudy overcast days.
    Shaun Berry (LWA menber and Lake Wentworth resident since 1949).

  2. Peter (Post author)

    Many years, late April and Early May are not times when anyone wants to put boats in because it is cold and miserable. This year it is not the case. The level has come up half way from the winter level to the summer level. The dam was basically closed on April 15th and the water only rises when water comes into the lake. We have been dry for two weeks but it is supposed to be rainy in the near future. The State Law also talks about the high level. That level is basically the dam’s height so if it goes higher than that, it goes over the dam. Only mother nature can fill the lake. Pray for rain.

    1. heading4thelake

      And in 2 weeks we have the canoe race and the dam will be wide open for hours if not a day or more. Why can’t the lake be kept a little higher than it is now in the winter. If we don’t get some good rain, it will be a rocky summer !

      1. Peter (Post author)

        Lobby to change the law. The levels are set by law, not the desires of any group. If you want to change the levels, work to change things in Concord.

        1. heading4thelake

          Just keep them higher than the bare minimum !

  3. heading4thelake

    I think the water level is way too low. I talked with people who put their docks in and they have said they cannot put their boats in without hitting not only the rocks but the bottom. Whoever is running the lake has let it go lower than ever and the state law is always talked about on the low side but never the high side. And this is the year we have the draw down, will there be anything to draw down?

    1. DLion

      I agree, way to low.. We had a great winter, with enough snow. We put our dock in (Im near Went State Park) and it is only a foot ish deep around my dock . ? Hoping the rain we are suppose to get next few days will help a little. Come on Mother Nature 🙂

  4. DLion

    Praying! Hoping to launch our boat this Friday.

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