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Lack Of Rain Takes Toll On Local Lakes

By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV
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WORCESTER (CBS) – Every year on Lake Quinsigamond, just outside of Worcester, the lake is lowered in the fall to kill off excessive weeds left over from the summer. The expectation is rain and snow from the winter and spring will replenish the lake, but not this year.

“This lake is down 10-12 inches from where it should be,” says Michael Paika.

Paika is on the commission of Lake Quinsigamond where they have been measuring the high water mark since 1917. He says, “After 35 years of living on the lake, at this point I have never seen it so low.”

drought1 Lack Of Rain Takes Toll On Local Lakes

Lake Quinsigamond high water mark.

There are definite low points around the lake where water typically feeds into swampy areas. The concern is there is not enough water feeding into the marshlands. Habitats for wildlife like turtles, frogs and ducks could be impacted if the dry weather continues.

The lake has also become a popular attraction for water sports and recreation. Navigating areas with shallow water will make boating more difficult.

On the lake there are paths boaters use to go back and forth in the summer season, but with water levels running so low, unless you are on a kayak or canoe, you are not getting through.

“Areas which were safe to run before, you now run the chance of tearing your boat up,” says boater RC Cooper. “Rocks in 6 feet of water usually do not affect boats. Now those props may get chewed up.”

He says, “If you ding a prop or break a blade that can ruin your day.”

While most lakes and reservoirs are still completely healthy and full, experts see a significant downward trend from the dry conditions. It would still take several more inches of rain to restore Lake Quinsigamond to normal levels.

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