There’s plenty of summer left, but the season for boating at Folsom Lake is getting cut short because of low lake levels.
Starting Monday, the maximum speed limit for boaters and other watercraft will be reduced to 5 miles per hour [mph].
“It’s very early, and it’s sad,” boater Darrell Perry said. “It feels unfair because it’s our water here. We’re getting penalized for it.”
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the speed limit is necessary because the low water level has brought rocks and debris in the lake closer to the surface, and boats are in danger of being scratched, or worse, in shallow areas.
Many experienced boaters aren’t happy about their season being cut short. Jeff Kirsten has been water skiing at Folsom Lake for 20 years. As a water skier, Kirsten said the best time for him to practice his sport is during the later month, but the reduced speed limit would keep him from doing so.
“Trying to ski, it gets very hard when you’re in the peak season and lots of boats are cutting up the water,” Kirsten explained. “I like September, even October. Much better opportunity to water ski and not just pull inner tubers around.”
He decided to write an email to the Department of Parks and Recreation questioning the need for the reduced speed limit. Kirsten believes boaters should boat at their own risk.
“If I hit something, that’s between me and the lake and my boat. I wouldn’t expect an agency to be responsible for it,” Kirsten said.
On Saturday, he was out at Folsom Lake to talk to other boaters and hear their thoughts.
Boaters who agreed with Kirsten said boats have depth finders that will tell you if the water is too shallow, and experienced boaters know to approach with caution.
Despite the reduced speed, some boaters are choosing to see the lake half full.
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