HISTORY Following a severe drought in the 1950's, resorts on Little Platte Lake organized property owners on the lake to seek an order from the Circuit Court mandating a specified water level for the lake (such as the one in place for Crystal Lake). After considering everything presented to the Court, Circuit Judge Peterson issued his Order of December 11, 1961, establishing 586.7 feet above sealevel as the "recommended normal height and level of the lake"--i.e., the summer level.
To implement this order the Dead Stream was rerouted and a dam was constructed at its present location under Deadstream Road. The lake's water level was to be controlled by adding or removing wooden boards in the dam under the direction of the County Drain Commissioner. This was not a very satisfactory arrangement, because no one (with the possible exception of the Drain Commissioner) knew when the water was at its prescribed level of 586.7 feet above sea level The LPLA Board addressed this problem by hiring a surveyor to install a water level gauge next to the bridge and to determine what the gauge should read when the water was at its court-mandated level. That was done, and now one needs only to check the gauge: If it reads 1.80, the lake is at its prescribed level.
Judge Peterson's Order did not specify a winter level for the lake, but the Report of Engineering and Investigation incorporated by reference in Judge Peterson's Order stated that "Stoplogs should be removed to open the dam to full capacity in late autumn, before the lake freezes, so the lake will recede to provide as much storage as possible for spring flows." Despite this clear language the dam's bottom board was never removed until October of 2013, when newly-elected Drain Commissioner Christy Andersen granted the request of the LPLA Board to have the bottom board removed. Now removal is an annual practice.
Maintaining the lake level is an inexact science, but the Board is aware of how important this can be on our shallow lake and Board member Jim Dodge (231-499-5591) stays on top of the issue. As of 5/4/21 the water level gauge was at 1.90.