Low lake levels in Siskiyou County impact recreation sector

Aug 28, 2014 7:49 PM

The drought is having a major impact on Lake Siskiyou.
Over the last few weeks, water levels dropped significantly, and that's bad news for boaters and Siskiyou County.

Lake Siskiyou is a major source of revenue for the county with all the recreation it has to offer --
but water levels dropped 13 feet below normal, signaling the end of business for the summer season.

"If we do not receive any precipitation in the very near future...we will start to see some levels that have historically never hit."

Rubble and mud sit exposed above water, when they should be at least 20 feet below.

"Behind us this gray area of rock is not supposed to be seen...it's usually under water."

Lake Siskiyou normally maintains a depth of almost 3,200 feet above sea level - over the last month -- water levels decreased significantly.

"We've had to pull out some of the boats that carry 20 people because they are heavy and we are afraid they will scrape the ground."

Lighter, smaller boats like pontoons and kayaks can still make it in and out of the water using the ramp -- but it's still risky business as water levels are expected to keep declining.

The mooring dock at Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort is normally full this time of year.

"We only have a couple of boats there because it's very difficult to get the boats out of the water since the water levels are so terribly low."

Yvette says boat activity on the lake has gone down by 60 percent since water levels began dipping in May.

"We have made it through a season by the skin of our teeth."

The Box Canyon Dam is one way to restore water levels in Lake Siskiyou -- but Randy Akana says Siskiyou County officials have their hands tied with permits that outline when it's acceptable to release water into the lake -- and this situation isn't one of them.

"The bottom line is this is really up to mother nature...we need rain, we need a lot of it...once we get rain things will hopefully start to turn around."

The camp resort is at maximum capacity for this Labor Day weekend, according to Yvette.
She says they plan to keep the marina open to let their guests enjoy one last splash before they close the area off for the rest of the year.


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