Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL)
Why does our water get high?
Where does our water come from?
Clearwater lake is an underground spring fed lake. That means we have no direct river or stream that fills our lake. Our water level is a direct result of rain run off and raising water tables that feed the underground springs. That also means that our lake level is not controlled by the outflow from another lake.
Where does our water come go?
Clearwater Lake is the headwaters 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 board has worked with them to keep our lake levels normalized.