With more than a foot of precipitation so far in 2011—including a particularly rainy March—the water level rose above the Lake Hopatcong dam gauge height last week, and has flirted with the high-water level mark in recent days. If it were to cross above 9.5 feet and hit the N.J. State Police high water level, boats on the lake would be under a restricted speed/no wake warning, though in March, that rule generally affects very few boaters. Which means the water inflow isn't a problem for lakeside businesses; in fact, business owners expressed relief in knowing the lake won't struggle to refill after the annual 26-inch winter drawdown.
"Unlike most people in New Jersey, we are very pleased with this above-average rainfall," said Ron Sorensen of Lake Hopatcong Marine on Saturday. "We are currently at 9.31, or about 4 inches over the top of the dam. That's great news for the lake."
Sorensen said he typically launches his first boat of the season on March 15, but the rainfall allowed him to put the first boat on the water two days earlier. "We are looking forward to a great 2011 boating season," he said.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for some rain and snow showers on Sunday and Monday. To keep an eye on how the lake level responds to the precipitation, check out the water level readings at the Hopatcong State Park dam here.