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Lake Lanier sets December record and some want the water to stay | News

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Lake Lanier sets December record and some want the water to stay

LAKE LANIER, Ga. -- Recent rains helped swell the surface of Lake Lanier hit to 1,073 feet above sea level.  That's three feet above full pool.

While it might sound like just a few feet, it's enough water to hide some private docks, make at least one low lying bridge a challenge to pass under in a bigger boat, and strand a few benches along the shoreline at a Gainesville park.

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"The last time the lake was way above full pool I definitely saw trash as in bottles and cans and I saw trash in the sense of logs and limbs floating down the lake that you would rather not run into," said David Frydrych as he headed out to go fishing.

Frydrych has another complaint.  "It gives the fish that much more room to roam and hide and it makes it harder to find them," he said.

Despite the inconveniences there are some who would argue the water should be saved. According to the Lake Lanier Association, three feet adds up to 26 billion gallons of fresh water.

"The population is starting to explode and because of that the people who are thinking ten years down the road are saying hey, we're going to need more water," said Hall county resident Al Russo.

The Association has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to study the idea. But that would take money, about $2 million by the agency's estimates, and there's already an ongoing water war with Florida and Alabama.

Still many residents say its a worthwhile fight. They believe the cost to modify some of the docks, bridges and parks around the accommodate the additional water, would be far cheaper than a brand new reservoir.

The Association says just keeping the water in the winter when demand is low would help toward running out of water during a drought.

For now the Corps will release the water. Even at 9,000 cubic feet per second, they say it will take about three weeks to get the lake level back to normal.

It's a lot of water some say is simply being wasted.