OMG watz OHWM?!

If you live along the shores of Angle Lake you might have heard the term “ORDINARY HIGH WATER MARK” (OHWM). This line of reference is an important marker in relation to meeting setback requirements when developing new or expanding existing structures toward the shoreline.

The term “ordinary high water mark” is used in the Washington State Department of Ecology Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58.030 – 2c):
"Ordinary high water mark" on all lakes, streams, and tidal water is that mark that will be found by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation as that condition exists on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by a local government or the department…”
In the case of Angle Lake the OHWM is a line around the shoreline defined by an elevation of 350.54’ above sea level.   For building purposes, this line is typically established through licensed survey services but just in case you happen to be curious about where the OHWM falls along the shoreline and you don’t wish to spend the money for your own survey, today is your lucky day.

ALSC President Lonnie Goulet reports that he recently had a topographical survey of his property completed and has marked the OHWM with a couple of posts located at each end of his bulkhead located along the shoreline.  As of 3:00 pm on the 17th of January 2011 the water level is approximately 2.5” above the OHWM for Angle Lake.  If anyone would like an update as to the current level of the lake in relation to the OHWM please feel free to contact Lonnie and he will be glad to take a reading in the event you would like to mark this line on your shoreline.

1 comment:

LPG said...

As of noon today, 1/25/11, the water level was up approximatley 4" above the OHWM. I would be real interested in knowing where that same water level is in comparsion with the lakes outfall elevation. Anyone know???