Kicking off the top 11 of 2011 is the fact that it was a very big water year! First there was the snowy winter, then there was the spring that just kept going, and then there was enough rain in August that the lake was still climbing for a water year (October 1–September 30) total rise of 2.1 feet! A big water year means not only lake level rise, but high flows that are critical to restoration on Mono’s tributary streams. Plus, it’s just downright exciting to see it all in action—you could hear the rocks rumbling in Lee Vining Creek for weeks, the spill over Grant Lake Reservoir was impressive, and the shoreline was visibly different each week throughout the summer. So even as we sit here on the winter solstice with very little snow to be found, it’s good to remember that 2011 was actually a big water year.
For more on the big water year, here is a compilation of writings from Mono Lake Committee staff: