Clear Lake sees dramatic drop in water level

Residents experienced flooding in 2008

Clear Lake in the Town of Milton is still about two feet higher than normal, but the water level has recently dropped dramatically.

After flooding problems in 2008, residents along the lake said they’re not complaining about the drop.

Dry conditions are a contributing factor to the receding water level, which is revealing more shoreline.

Clear Lake resident Karl Schultz estimated that 10 to 15 feet of shoreline has been gained.

“People that had beaches before are starting to recreate them again, and that’s a good thing to have people working down there,” Schultz said.

Cat tails have emerged near the shore, something that Schultz hasn’t seen in the 10 years he has lived here.

In 2008, high water caused Clear Lake to swell more than 8 feet, pushing flood water into area homes.

For the last year, Todd Carter and his family have enjoyed living on Clear Lake, but he said his deck was submerged underwater last summer.

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“The water level has dropped about 3 1/2 feet, so it’s dropping on a consistent basis,” Carter said.

Gail Nordlof with the Clear Lake Improvement Association said the water levels in 2008 were unprecedented.

“When I do the lake monitoring, I measure the depth of the deepest hole in the lake. At the height of the flood, it was 22 feet; now it’s in the 17-foot range,” said Nordlof.

Residents around Clear Lake said they will continue to monitor the water levels.

“It’s good that it’s dropping. Hopefully, the water level will stabilize so people know what to expect,” Carter said.

Some area students led by a professor at Beloit College are studying Clear Lake. They are looking at the affects of this year’s drought and the flooding in 2008. 

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