Georgetown Lake Home Owners Association
WHAT DOES THE GEORGETOWN LAKE HOME OWNER’S ASSOCIATION DO FOR OUR COMMUNITY?
Water: We are on a committee that advise Granite County on lake management. We cosponsored and participated in a Clean Lake Study to assure our lake is healthy. It Is!
Zoning: Homeowners at the lake wanted a “soft touch” zoning or development rules so we guided that process through meeting and hearings until that was achieved. ( 3 years).
Wildlife Management: We work closely with FWP and other groups to address wildlife issues in our area. This includes public presentations and promoting good management practices such as bear proof garbage cans.
Volunteer Fire Department: We support the Georgetown Lake Fire Department with equipment donations and funding for equipment for the Emergency Response Unit.
Planning Board: We have had a member sit on the Granite County Planning Board to guide development at the lake.
Meetings: GLHA holds two meetings at the lake every year to keep members informed of current issues. There are usually speakers from various agencies to inform us on topics of interest.
Watershed: GLHA has a representative sit on the Granite County Watershed Committee. This group is designed to preserve and protect the watershed including Georgetown Lake. They also promote maintaining our rural lifestyle.
Flow Gauges: GLHA also shares in the cost of maintaining a USGS flow gauge on Flint Creek. This measures the water coming out of Georgetown Lake on a real time basis. This enables us to monitor management of the reservoir by Granite County.
Membership: We welcome new members to help us with these endeavors. The cost of membership is $25. You can send a check to GLHA, PO Box 643 , Anaconda, Montana 59711. Include your address at the lake and for future mailings, email is appreciated also.
Georgetown Lake Volunteer Fire Department
The fire hall can now host your community events including meetings and weddings. Please contact Fred to discuss your ideas as to how you might use the fire hall.
Fred Bjorklund, Fire Chief
Anaconda Sheriff Dept
Please call 911 if a crime is in progress, someone is hurt or threatened, a weapon has been used or is present, or for any other emergency situation.
If you have an emergency. please dial 911
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Updated May 8, 2021
Current Lake Elevation 6428.34 feet (PROVISIONAL DATA from USGS gage 12325000)
Current Outflow 38.80 cfs (PROVISIONAL DATA from USGS gage 12325500)
Welcome to spring! The next month or so is the most critical time of analysis, planning, and reservoir operations at Georgetown. What will the air temperatures be and how will the snow come off? Will it snow more, or at least rain? Last year was looking uneventful until the area received 12.7 inches of rain during May, June, and July; that’s 155% of normal. So, too much water causes problems, too little water causes problems, and it’s always a balance. It’s worth a reminder that the management zone (low water elevation to high water elevation) is only 2 feet for this reservoir, so it’s a very touchy system.
The current water surface elevation is 0.43 feet (about 5 inches) below the long-term norm. Last year on April 30, the water surface was at 6428.35 feet, and this year it was 6428.32 feet. Current outflow is 38.8 cfs according to the USGS gage, and it has been very steady so far in May. However, the outflow is about 10 cfs above the long term normal for this time.
In the past two weeks (April 22 – May 6) the water surface elevation has been steady, gaining slightly from 6428.31 to 6428.34 feet. That is a small gain of 89.3 acre feet or an average of 3.2 cfs over and above outflow. During that same two weeks, outflow averaged 38.4 cfs, therefore lake inputs have averaged 41.6 cfs or about 89% of normal.
Boulder Creek behavior is a very good indicator of how the North Fork of Flint Creek is behaving, although the North Fork operates on a much smaller scale. Records indicate that the two streams typically peak within 24 hours of each other, usually in early June. It’s important to keep an eye on the realtime USGS Boulder Creek hydrograph, since the North Fork is the largest surface contributor to Georgetown Lake.
Precipitation and Snowpack
So far this water year, precipitation at Peterson Meadows is 80% of normal, and at the Warm Springs SNOTEL it is 85% of normal. Today the snow water equivalent (SWE) for the two sites is 58% and 111% of normal, respectively. The weighted average of the two sites is 94% of normal snow water. However, at a moderate elevation of 7,200 feet, Peterson Meadows is about two weeks ahead of its’ normal melting pattern. We are now at the time of usual peak snowpack accumulation, but this year the snowpack is already declining.
Climate and Weather Forecast
The latest (April 15) long-term Climate Prediction Center (CPC) climate forecast is for above-normal air temperatures and below-normal precipitation for May through September in western Montana; not what we like to hear. That forecast will be updated in a week or two. Over the near-term (8-14 days) the prediction shows chances of cooler and wetter than normal. The current NWS forecast from Missoula also shows cold weather ahead for the next several days at the lake, with good chances for rain and snow.
Lake inputs (precipitation, groundwater, surface water) for the past two weeks have averaged around 89% of normal. The snowpack is below normal, but additional precipitation and cold weather will help to keep it in place a while longer. The latest NRCS Water Supply Outlook for seasonal flow volume is, Flint Creek near Southern Cross: 80% of normal at the 50% chance of exceedance; 60% of normal at the 70% chance of exceedance.
The first model run (below) shows that 80% of normal inputs combined with relatively “normal” weather factors allows for enough water in the system to fill the reservoir and to meet water demands, but with limited outflow flexibility. The May outflow of 34.5 cfs was calculated by reducing the current outflow of 38.8 cfs to 30 cfs on May 17. Remember, FERC stipulates that the water surface elevation must be above 6428.50 feet by May 31 each year. Outflow would remain at 30 cfs through June or until the reservoir is filled to the spillway crest, at 6429.56 feet, which should be a priority. Outflow would remain between 30 and 35 cfs through October, then reduced to 16 to 20 cfs.
The second model run (below) illustrates a bleak scenario of receiving only 60% of normal lake inputs. Thankfully, we haven’t seen one of these play out in a while at Georgetown. However, it is a very real possibility depending on how early or quickly runoff occurs. This example shows outflow being reduced to 30 cfs on May 17, and remaining at 30 cfs, which is the required minimum summer outflow. Through the past many years of using this model, we know that the water supply begins to get tight below 70% of normal, and it gets tougher and more contentious as it gets closer to 60% of normal.
Winter outflow would also be reduced in an attempt to rebuild some storage, but note that the November freeze-up level of only 6428.05 feet would likely not bode well for dissolved oxygen and fisheries concerns in the reservoir. In the early 2000’s, outflow was set below 5 cfs, which impacted the Flint Creek fishery as well. The usual target water surface elevation at lake freeze-up is between 6428.30 and 6428.60 feet.
Something to remember when looking at these model results is that the current trend of lake inputs has been at 89% of normal, but theses scenarios are based on 80% and 60% respectively. So in the short term at least, water surface elevations will likely be slightly higher than shown here. Again, this is the time of year when things are changing rapidly, which is why I try to issue updates at least every two weeks. The best current information shows a sub-par snowpack and a correspondingly low “best-estimate-at-this-time” of 80% of normal flow volume for Flint Creek through September. Water Year precipitation (since October 1), which is an important factor in the NRCS predictions, so far sits at only 80% of normal at Peterson Meadows. The wild card at this time of year is the weather, especially air temperatures, which is why it is very important to consider worse scenarios such as the 60% of normal inputs example and think ahead. Filling the reservoir should be a priority this year, because the summer could get pretty dry and warm according to the Climate Prediction Center. Now is the time to reduce outflows and increase the lake storage and water surface elevation.
D. Amman, Montana DNRC, 444-6648
Kim Johnson from People and Carnivores () presented at the GTL HOA meeting.
Bears, wolves, and cougars naturally roam from their core habitat areas in search of food, security, and mates. But the surrounding landscapes they must pass through are not protected and consist of small cities, towns, and rural communities, where human development is increasing, and where attractants are plentiful. Attractants bring carnivores into conflict with people or their property. Livestock, garbage, pet food, crops, and other human food sources all attract large carnivores and pose a potential risk to both wildlife and people.
Bear Safe Residence Checklist
All animal food is stored in bear safe containers or indoors
Dog and Cat Food
Bird Feeders Only Out from Mid-November to April 1st
Grills are Cleaned and Stored Indoors
Cars are Odor-Free
No Litter Around the Premises
Garbage Stored in Bear Proof Containers or Inside Until Morning of Pickup
Clean Up All Animal Waste
Coolers Secured Indoors (Even When Drying Out)
Outdoor Gardens and Chicken Coops Have Electric Fencing
Compost Piles have Electric Fencing
Keep Odorous outdoor Recreation items Indoors
BEAR PROOF GARBAGE CAN PROJECT
To order your own bear proof garbage can send an email to
Kim Johnston 406-599-9424
FOR SPRING 2020 DELIVERY
Send payment with address information to:
People and Carnivores
P.O. Box 6733
Bozeman, MT 59771
Phone: (406) 587-3389
Fax: (406) 587-3178