Where does our water come go?
Clearwater Lake is the headwater of the Nokasippi watershed. That means that water leaves our lake through the Nokasippi river, flows through Eagle lake onto Nokay lake and eventually reaches the Mississippi River.
Why is the water so high?
When more water flows into the lake then flows out water levels rise. After a big rain, it is a natural for the water to rise until the excess flows out through the Nokasippi watershed. When things interfere with the "natural" flow our water levels stay high.
So what could interfere with the lake returning to it's normal level? And what can we do?
There can be both natural and man-made bottle necks in the Nakasippi. The board and many member volunteers have been very active on trying to bring our water level back to normal levels. As with most issues, there is not a simple answer but a combination of issues.
There are 2 man-made dams in the Nokasippi watershed. You can see one of the dams at the Clearwater lake boat launch.
Dams of this kind are under management by the DNR and the lake board is working with them to keep the dams wide open until our lake levels normalize.
Several beaver dams were discovered by the board when we had the high water levels of 2011. The Clearwater board worked with the DNR to remove the dams. Eventually we were awarded a permit to remove the beaver. The board continues to monitor for new dam activity every year. There were no dams in 2016 although we saw the presence of beaver in the watershed area.
We have already removed 3 beaver dams in the Spring of 2017 and there is an active beaver on the south end of the lake too.