Lake Shasta Water Levels Dip

May 20, 2013 9:54 PM

Memorial Day weekend is just days away, and visitors from all over will take to the waters of Lake Shasta.

But with the lack of wet weather this past winter, the water levels are 30 feet lower than it was last year on this day.

Officials told us that they anticipate that the water level on the lake will be 40 feet down by Memorial Day.

As the months are heating up, the water in the Shasta Lake Reservoir has been dipping a half a foot each day.

In typical years, this would be a normal occurrence--winter rainfalls bring water in, providing enough to release for irrigation and other needs.

But in a dry year like the one we're having, it leaves some cause for concern.

"It's the math. We don't have a lot coming in, and we're releasing a whole lot more,” said Shasta Dam spokesperson Sheri Harral.

It's only May, but Lake Shasta is already over 37 feet down, and is 77% full.

During the summer months, the lake is a popular destination for boaters, swimmers, and others looking to enjoy a day by the lake.

With less water, they have more obstacles to worry about.

"There's less area to operate your boat in, obviously you have to go around things you wouldn't have to go around in high water," said visitor Ronald Trautwein.

Those familiar with the lake are aware of its cyclical nature, and having empty space is important.

"What people also need to remember--first and foremost for this reservoir flood control is our number one priority. And then of course our water needs. So we need to make sure we have that empty space to hold all the storms,” said Harral.

It's estimated that the water levels will be 60 feet down by the Fourth of July, and 100 feet down by Labor Day.

This is similar to the levels we experienced back in 2009, which was luckily followed by a wet season in 2010.


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