Folsom Lake Level Far Ahead of Last Year

Folsom Lake level continues to rise.

Per the California Department of Water Resources, as of November 27, the lake stands at approximately 447,000 acre feet, about 3 times as much as last year at this time.

Although it is still 5% below the average for this time of year, note that usually we’re still losing water, with levels decreasing through late December. This year, the level has been growing since mid-October.

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Woman falls 70 feet to slippery ledge along American River where she is rescued

A woman was rescued Sunday night from a slippery spot on a steep bluff in Orangevale along the American River.

The 46-year-old woman was hoisted up the bluff by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters who tied one end of a rope to an ambulance and hauled her up the slope.

The incident began about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when crews were dispatched to a home in nearby Fair Oaks for an overdose report. However, when firefighters and Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, the overdose patient was gone.

After searching the neighborhood, they decided to pinpoint her location by using technology to receive a ping response from her cell phone, which was in her possession. Her location showed as the north side of the American River near Hazel Avenue, the location of the bluffs.

The Orangevale bluffs been the site of numerous rescues through the years as adventurers and drunken revelers have found themselves trapped on the steep hillside, unable to safely ascend or descend.

The arrival of the California Highway Patrol helicopter allowed its crew to use infrared technology to see the woman. She was on a ledge above the river in what was determined to be slippery terrain.

As fire crews responded, one of two deputies on the scene climbed down the slope to make sure the woman didn’t tumble further down the slope. She appeared to have rolled 70 feet before coming to a stop on the ledge, which was just a few feet above the cold waters of the river.

She was not responding to the words of the officers. Metro Fire rescuers, aided by Folsom Fire Department firefighters, began what is described as a “low angle rescue” using an ambulance as a rope anchor.

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Gigantic Spike-Toothed Salmon Swam In California Rivers 5M Years Ago

At 400 pounds and 8 feet long, this salmon would be good eating—if only it wasn’t extinct. Oncorhynchus rastrosus, the giant spike-toothed salmon, lived in California for around 7 million years, going extinct 5 million years ago. This monster salmon, which is closely related to modern Pacific salmon and actually a member of the same genus, luckily left behind clues about its life and behaviors in its fossil remains. New research by paleontologist Julia Sankey at California State University Stanislaus and colleagues in PaleoBiosgets to the bottom of how this behemoth lived and bred.

Spike-teeth or saber-teeth? When this salmon species was first described, researchers called it a “sabertooth salmon” because of the long, robust teeth on its upper jaw, but actually they point outward instead of downward. This makes them more spike-teeth rather than sabers. The teeth were around 1.5 inches long and pointed straight out from the top of the jaw– likely used for breeding, digging and fighting. Living Pacific salmon fight with each other during mating season for the breeding rights to females, but did O. rastrosus do the same?

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Tarantulas looking for love near Folsom Lake

Tarantulas are out looking for love and hikers are being warned to look out for them.

Last weekend, while hiking along the Darington Trail near Folsom Lake, ABC10’s John Bartell came across one of those hairy arachnids. A group of mountain bikers warned John and his girlfriend, who were on the trail at the time, of a tarantula. A surprisingly large tarantula. If you listen closely to the video, you can hear John’s girlfriend warn him about picking up the eight-legged creature.

Wade Spencer, a member of the UC Davis Entomology Department, works with spiders. He said tarantulas can bite, but only if they are only aggressive when agitated. Though they have fangs and carry poison, tarantulas are not considered a serious threat to humans.

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Witnesses say man intentionally sunk his pickup in the Sacramento River.

Kevin DeLano said he was taking his lunchtime jog along the American River Parkway north of Old Sacramento on Tuesday when he saw a man drive a blue Chevy pickup over the bike trail and to the edge of the steep levee along the Sacramento River.

Just before the truck plunged over, the man got out and walked away, leaving it to roll into the water.

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Why are salmon dying? (Hint: It’s a good thing…)

Dead salmon are washing up on banks of the American River. It sounds gruesome but it’s actually a good thing.
The annual salmon run is underway and the fish have traveled thousands of miles to spawn then die in our waterways.
“Within the last decade we have seen a downward trend,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife researcher Jeana Phillips. The DFW keeps a close eye on the salmon population. Every year a team of researchers count dead salmon after they have spawned.
The American River Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova is full of salmon right now. A number of salmon in the American River were released from the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Salmon hatch in rivers then make their way to the ocean where they spend 3 to 4 years. When they are ready to breed. Salmon leave the ocean, head back to the area they were born, lay eggs, then die.
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Speed Limit Lifted As Folsom Lake Levels Rise Above 400 Feet

There was a little more action on Folsom Lake on Wednesday as motorboats were allowed to pick up speed once again on the water.

It’s been almost three months since the California Department of Parks and Recreation imposed a 5-mile-per-hour speed restriction for boaters on Folsom Lake. The lake level was too low to safely boat at higher speeds.

Alex Vitner frequents the lake and said, “I come frequently and it used to be a wide river, now it’s slowly filling the beaches and the sand is becoming beach again.”

This is definitely a welcome sight for drought stricken California. The National Weather Service recorded over a foot and a half of rainfall across northern California in the month of October. This helped to bring the Folsom Lake level up to 400 feet. That’s the magic number to bring down the speed restrictions on the lake, Higher water levels cover the hazards that pop up when the low water level falls below 400 feet.

The lake didn’t reach this level in the last rain season until late January.

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The salmon are jumping up the fish hatchery ladder

Today was the first day of the fish ladder opening for the fall run of Chinook Salmon at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

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Folsom, Granite Bay among those called out for dramatic increase in water use

Californians are continuing to use more water, state drought regulators said Tuesday, with residents of Folsom and Granite Bay among those who’ve ramped up their consumption the most.

The State Water Resources Control Board announced that urban consumption grew by 8 percent in September compared with a year ago. It was the fourth straight month of higher consumption now that strict conservation mandates have been relaxed. Water districts used about 170 billion gallons of water, an increase of 13 billion gallons compared with September 2015, the agency said.

In its announcement, the state board pointed to six urban agencies that experienced “sharp reductions in conservation,” including two in Greater Sacramento – the city of Folsom and the San Juan Water District. Folsom’s usage rose 25 percent in September compared with a year ago. Consumption in the San Juan district, which includes Granite Bay, grew by 29 percent. By contrast, consumption in the city of Sacramento grew by 8 percent, matching the statewide average.

Californians managed to conserve 18.3 percent in September compared with 2013, the baseline established by state officials. But a year ago, when statewide conservation regulations were in place, the savings rate was a more robust 26.2 percent.

“Overall, we’re happy to see millions of Californians and many water agencies continue significant conservation,” said board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus in a prepared statement. “Conversely, we’re concerned to see some agencies return to using hundreds of gallons per person per day while saving little. … We need to keep conserving.”

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Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 2

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Wednesday, Nov. 2, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the ladder gates at 10:45 a.m. Hatchery employees may take more than a half-million eggs during the first week of operation alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall run Chinook salmon.

There are eight state-run salmon and steelhead hatcheries, all of which will participate in the salmon spawning effort. Over the next two months, the three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – the Nimbus Hatchery in Sacramento County, the Feather River Hatchery in Butte County and the Mokelumne River Hatchery in San Joaquin County – will take approximately 24 million eggs in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.

More at CDFW News >>>

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