Water levels on Lake Freeman are back to normal

Months of drought led to low levels on Lake Freeman, but recent snow and rainfall have brought it back to normal.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 7:20 PM

CARROLL & WHITE COUNTIES, Ind. (WLFI)--Water levels on Lake Freeman are finally back to normal.

As we've previously reported, it comes after months of devastatingly low levels.

"It's been seven months of hell," said Madam Carroll owner Chris Peters.

Times have been tough for Peters.

"We came within 12 inches, at one point, of taking those props into the rocks," Peters explained. "They lowered the lake so far."

Months of drought led to low levels on Lake Freeman, but recent snow and rainfall have brought it back to normal.

"As soon as the ice breaks on the rest of the lake, we'll be cruising," Peters said. "So, I'm pretty excited about that."

Lake Levels Task Force Chairman John Koppelman said it's a good sign as spring approaches.

"We're just fortunate," said Koppelman. "It just kind of shows how Mother Nature can help out."

However, he said Mother Nature could always change her mind.

"I think our lake levels will remain this way through spring," Koppelman added. "I can't predict what summer is going to be. We're hoping we don't have a drought."

As we've reported, if levels are too low in the Tippecanoe River, water is taken from Lake Freeman to fix the problem.

It's following a standard set by U.S. Fish and Wildlife to protect endangered mussels. That's something being challenged by the Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation.

"We're still waiting for the judges to make a decision," said Koppelman. "They've not ruled on anything yet. Unfortunately, there's no set time that they have to respond to us by."

The lawsuit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could result in the river level standard being lowered, but it was filed in early October.

"It tells me that they are probably really looking over the information that we provided and our testimony during the hearing and really trying to make a good decision," Koppelman explained. "Hopefully one that really benefits our community."

Until that happens, Peters is staying positive about the Madam Carroll's future.

"We got really lucky, and we've been able to keep her safe throughout the whole process," said Peters.

Koppelman said it could be months before a decision is made in the lawsuit.

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