from the Spring Issue of the Paradox Lake Association Newsletter
After two weeks of almost constant rain, I am very excited to report that I believe the new Starbuckville Dam (south of Schroon Lake on the Schroon River in Warren County) is going to make an enormous difference to Paradox Lake water levels. After as much rain as we received in early May, the water level in Paradox Lake should have been another two to three feet higher than it was. Sure, it was high, but not as high as it would have been with the old dam. To verify my hunch, I called Joe Koch in Adirondack. Joe is one of the commissioners and has been involved with trying to get permits and funding for the new dam for well over eight years. It was finally built last summer and, for the first time replaces, the old dam during the heavy spring rains.
Formerly, someone would have to go down to the dam and open the 16-foot gate by hand. It took almost a half a day to get the gate open. The new spillway is 51 feet longer than the old spillway, and there are two 14-foot gates for a total of 28 feet of gate rather than the single 16-foot gate we used to have. Not only that, but one of the gates is totally automatic and takes only 15 minutes to open instead of half a day. The second gate, while not automatic, can also be opened in 15 minutes. Joe tells me that they are discussing making the second gate automatic as well. The impact for us in Paradox is that Schroon River floodwaters will not back up into Paradox as much as they did. The river will be flushed through Schroon Lake much more rapidly and thus will not rise as high as it did formerly when flushing water out at the South end of Schroon was much slower and more difficult. When Paradox Lake does experience a rise in water level, it will also fall much more quickly.