The Buffalo Lake District met with the DNR on June 1 to discuss the lake level. Senator Ballweg and Representative Dallman also attended. Here is a summary from that meeting >
The water level is being regulated by the DNR by use of the 4 gates at the dam in Montello. They have been taking readings multiple times a week and making adjustments to the gates as required.
Please remember that the agreement in place requires the level to be no greater than 8 feet up to May 20th of each year. (Link to lake level agreements) We have been sharing level information back and forth with the DNR on the levels being taken by both the district and the DNR.
The level is raised to 8.5 feet starting on May 20th of each year. The level has been maintained fairly well between 7 feet 7 inches and the 8 foot max for the winter season.
The district has conferred with our attorney and has kept current with him during the winter season. During this time, he has requested information on the dam to ensure that it was built to what was approved when it was completely reconstructed between 2012 and 2014. The agreement on water level was used to determine how the dam would be reconstructed.
The district will continue to evaluate the information provided and follow the advice of counsel as we move forward. The process for dealing with water levels is not a quick process. It was advised that it could take between 3 to 5 years (the official process started in 2020). In addition, we feel that it may be a contested process as other interested parties have opposite views.
We all notice the change on the shoreline throughout the lake district and hope that when the date of change comes in May, we will see rain to fill the lake quickly.
We regret that there is no quick solution to the issue. We will continue to post information on the website and Facebook as it comes available.