The man who said he would fix the spillway and repair the dam said that it was unlikely that he would be able to do the work until the dry season — probably August. (He’s afraid his equipment will get bogged down in the wet acre below the dam.) As long as the dam continues to leak and drain down the pool, I don’t suppose I have much threat of water overtopping it again. (One more incident might be enuf to wash a notch in the dam and drain the lake.)
There is still the problem of rain falling directly onto the exposed dirt of the dam and eroding it. With that worry in mind, I stopped at the local feed store on our last trip to the woods and picked up two bales of straw to spread over the area. My hope is that it will blunt the force of the rain striking the ground and at least slow any further erosion.
I carried the bales across the dam and threw the straw downhill to cover the area. That worked pretty well, and I knew it would because I had done the very same thing when the dam was new and raw. At that time (January, nearly a decade ago) we seeded with wheat so that something green would grow on the dam as soon as possible. (Prairie grasses and scrub have filled in since.) I don’t want to seed now since the exposed area will be buried soon, but once all of that work is done, I suppose I’ll have to seed it.
I used two bales of straw on this, and I think I could have used two more to cover the area more effectively. (Maybe next time I can supplement.) It’s hard to give you a sense of how precipitous the erosion is from this photo. Some of the grass at the top of the dam overhangs the eroded ground below it. There are several deeply gouged spots just below the top as well. Even one patch of exposed ground like this is bad, and I have two.
In good news, all of this exposed ground was bone dry when I was there last weekend. The lake was just about four inches below full pool, so that tells me that the leaking is mostly going under the dam rather than through it.
- Mulberries are ripening.