Stockbridge Bowl's accidental drawdown fixed

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STOCKBRIDGE >> At the height of the summer season, residents adjoining Stockbridge Bowl and watercraft users are expressing concern about an "alarmingly low" water level since mid-June.

"Boats have been hitting rocks and the outlet is so shallow only kayaks can pass through without bottoming out," said Jennifer Whalen, who owns a second home there.

"This lake is a vital natural resource," she said.

The problem was discussed at a recent annual meeting of second-home owners.

Until recent rainfalls, lake and river water levels have been well below normal as western Massachusetts remains in an "abnormally dry," near-drought status as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Drought Monitor.

However, the Bowl's water levels, which had dropped more than 8 inches, were affected primarily by an accidental drawdown caused by a jammed valve at the gate controlling the outflow of the lake's water at the Interlaken dam.

Selectman Don Chabon said the mishap occurred when debris was being cleared from the gate area. The problem has been repaired by a contractor hired by the town's Highway Department, he added.

"It's fully fixed and adjusted properly," Chabon said. "The dam is closed to the greatest extent possible."

Chabon is heading the town's newly formed Stockbridge Bowl Committee.

"The group is reviewing reports and will recommend actions so this does not happen again," Chabon stated.

Stockbridge Bowl's condition is on the agenda for the next Select Board meeting this Monday evening at 7 in the Town Offices on Main Street.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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