(Beaver Dam) Property owners around Beaver Dam Lake may want to remove their piers a little earlier this year because of lake level changes approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The city of Beaver Dam advanced a revised “water level order” request to the DNR following a public hearing in the spring of last year. The DNR approved the permit application establishing lower levels over more of the winter months, effective May of this year. The water level is 88.3-feet year-round. Previously, there was an exception made over four weeks in the spring when the lake was reduced by seven-and-a-half inches to 87.7-feet. The change will keep the lake reduced to 87.7-feet from mid-October all the way until April 1, or whenever the lake is free of ice, whichever is later. Beaver Dam Director of Utilities Rob Minnema says that means this year, the lake will be around seven inches lower than previous years starting on October 9. Beaver Dam has had one of the few lakes in the state without a winter reduction. Bill Foley with the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association says the change should prevent winter damage including ice-heaving and shoreline erosion, keeping phosphorus in the sediment and not in the water. The reduction should allow farmers to retain more nutrients on their field and allows more moisture to sink into the soil for a better spring crop. The timing is also meant to accommodate the life cycle of aquatic and amphibian life around the lake.