The entire Caspian watershed is approximately seven square miles. Within the watershed there are five year-round streams which feed into the lake, and which are the primary water sources for the lake. In addition, there are numerous intermittent or spate streams scattered around the lake.
The three largest feeder streams are Porter Brook, Tate Brook, and Cemetery Brook, all of which are important habitat for fish reproduction. Bachelor Brook and Baker Hill Brook are also year- round streams, but are smaller than the other three.
Although the discharge rates from the three major streams were calculated in a 1999-2000 Sterling College report, the conclusions were at odds with visual and mapping evidence and therefore should be recalculated.
The lake level was lower prior to the construction of the Hardwick Electric dam at the south end of the lake in 1926. From 1926 through the late forties the lake was subject to dramatic drawdowns by Hardwick Electric each fall. After that, the lake has more or less maintained its present levels. There is no known correlation between feeder stream health and size and the historic changes in the water level of the lake.
The streams received very little attention until the late 1990's when erosion, sedimentation and expanding deltas in the lake became a major concern. Part of the explanation for the escalating sedimentation can be traced to two 100-year storms and to increased maintenance on the dirt roads which surround the lake. Another problem lies with questionable land use practices in the various riparian zones and with gradually increased development, including driveways, which has tended to concentrate storm runoff.
The concerns about erosion, sedimentation and aggrading deltas led to several studies and/or formal observations which were undertaken to identify and rectify the problem. They include:
* A 1997-1998 inspection report and recommendations by Susan Warren, then an aquatic biologist for ANR. See Appendix 4.
* A 1999 study by Lori Barg, consulting geologist, prepared for Christine Cano and Cynthia Meyers. See Appendix 5.
* A 1999 study by a group of Sterling College students, prepared for the Greensboro Association. See Appendix 6.
Next - The Feeder Streams in More Detail