Drastic drop in Clear Lake water level traced to displaced gauge

(Above) The instrument which measures the level of Clear Lake for the US Geological Survey was re-set last week after it was discovered it had been moved or plugged.-Reporter photo by Chris Barragy.

by Marianne Gasaway

If you enjoy tracking the Lake Level each week in the Mirror-Reporter— and we know many of you do — you no doubt noticed a large drop in the water level last week.

Clear Lake Water Department Superintendent Adam Theiss was suspicious of the -13.8 inches below the weir reading when he recorded it Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“The lake level is read at the weir, or “outlet,” by the US Geological Survey.  This is done using a pressure gage that is in the lake,” explained Theiss.  “Although I questioned the accuracy of the read, we decided to go ahead and post it.”

Theiss followed up his reading with a call to the USGS office in Fort Dodge to inquire about the discrepancy and the accuracy of the gauge.

“The USGS sent someone to the weir to investigate and found that when the gage was read on Tuesday, it had been moved or plugged due to a dock being removed,” reports Theiss.

The gage has been relocated, calibrated and tested for accuracy.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, the lake measured -7.8 inches below the weir.

This week’s measurement, taken Tuesday, Oct. 27, was -7.32 inches below the weir.

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