The USDA Forest Service announced on September 14th that the agency is working to fix a leak in the Balsam Dam’s splash boards. Agency personnel believe a leak in the dam’s splash boards has caused lake levels to drop by three to four feet in recent weeks.
“We regret the effects low water levels have had on visitors and the loss of recreational opportunities on the eight-acre lake,” said Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins. “Our goal is to minimize the effects as much as possible and to have the problem resolved before winter sets in.”
Forest Service personnel believe a leak has developed near the bottom of the dam’s splash boards that control lake levels. The agency will manage a controlled drawdown of water levels in consultation with fisheries biologists and hydrologists. After an underwater camera was unsuccessful at determining the problem, the 4 inch x 11 inch x 4.5 ft boards will be removed one at a time until the lake level gets below the problem.
Balsam Lake is located in the Nantahala Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest. For more information about the Nantahala National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.