Category Archives: Boating

Folsom Lake Filled With Debris, Boating Difficult For Visitors

It was a Fourth of July celebration and the party going was on at Folsom Lake.

“Happy 4th of July!”

So much so the lake reached maximum capacity.

“We got turned around. That’s the first time that that’s ever happened and we were shocked,” said Krista Bernasconi of Roseville.

But despite the crowds of people, logs were also jamming up the fun.

“We had to pile all those logs up just so we could get through the water,” said Myrna Kitchens of Roseville.

From the shore to the water though, it was a slightly different story.

“It’s a little bit choppy. There’s a lot of boats out here, but it’s great,” said Mike Funk.

Plus, there was a lot less debris.

More at CBSLocal.com >>>

Locals try to seek safe spots on the American River

As Fourth of July approaches, people are heading to the area’s waterways to stay cool, but some are avoiding the most dangerous spots on the American River.

On Sunday, many people were cooling off at Lake Natoma – a calmer portion of the river near Folsom.

“As you can see here, they have the swimming holes for the children and that’s where it’s all calm,” said Shane Nischke. “And you can see where everybody else is kayaking, it’s great out there — there’s nothing roaring through here.”

The Nischke family came all the way from Auburn to enjoy this spot, even though there are plenty of rivers where they’re from.

“It’s just dangerous,” he said, referring to those rivers. “For the last three years, this is the place I come with my children because it’s the safest.”

Nischke is familiar with the dangers of the American River because he lost a close friend in a drowning incident on the river.

“He was out on a trail and then he fell in right in the rapids and the undertow took him and wrapped him up around a log,” he said. “He couldn’t get out, and therefore, his life was ended that day.”

More at ABC10.com >>>

California Heat Wave Sending Record Snow Melt Surging Into Rivers

The heat wave is melting snow in the Sierra, which is bringing freezing cold water into the valley’s lakes, streams and rivers.

The effects of the snowmelt can also be deadly and proved so on Tuesday.

“With this fast moving water it does not take long for someone to get in trouble,” said State Parks Ranger Scott Liske.

Liske says a group of friends from Sacramento was swimming in the main channel of the North Fork when one of them drowned.

“He went downstream, and his friends ran after him, telling him to grab o to something. He did go under the surface and did not come back up,” Liske said.

Liske couldn’t identify the victim but says he was 20-years old. The heavy flows are also a concern at the Yuba River in Nevada County.

The heavy flows are also a concern at the Yuba River in Nevada County.

“One of the things we are concerned about is not just the issues in the upper elevations; as the snow starts to melt it finds its way down to the lower elevations,” said Nevada County Spokesman Joshua Pack.

Pack says he often sees people jumping into the river like it’s a swimming pool.

“It was over 100 degrees yesterday, definitely not hanging out at my place,” said Brian, who came to swim in the river to cool off.

He says he knows what to look out for, so he doesn’t end up under water.

“Keeping close to the edge, definitely not going into the white part, try not to be swept away too quickly,” Brian added.

More at CBSLocal.com >>>

Folsom Lake nears max capacity

After a record season of rainfall and an abundant snowpack thereafter, Folsom Lake is rapidly reaping the benefits. As of press time Tuesday, the lake that looked like a mere puddle just months ago, had reached its highest level of the year, nearing its capacity by single digits.

As of  press time on Tuesday, Folsom Lake’s capacity had reached 943,677 acre feet, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The most recent readings show the reservoir just three percent from capacity and 115 percent of the historical average for this period, which was previously recorded at 819,034 acre feet. The total capacity of Folsom Lake is 977,000 acre feet.

So far in June, the Folsom Dam has been operating continued releases with as many as five upper flood gates flowing at one time, day and night. Tuesday, inflow into Folsom was measured at 11,069 cubic feet per second. The current release was reportedly producing an outflow of 12,573 CFS, with 4,877 of that designated for power usage and 7,696 for river spillage.

The current level of Folsom Lake has exceeded its previous high point that was reached in 1978, but has yet to reach the high point it reached in 1983, one of the wettest winters in recent history that was comparable to that of 2016-2017. At 97 percent of capacity, the lake is just three feet from reaching its peak elevation.

In the years that Folsom Lake has reached its capacity, the event has routinely occurred in early June. Currently sitting at 97 percent, it is expected that Folsom Lake will put 2017 in the history books this coming week. Reaching the capacity mark is something local officials are waiting for as it will assist with ongoing clean up efforts.

Once the lake reaches its much-anticipated capacity, the clean up efforts will become much more manageable. Debris that is currently filling the shallow waters of the lake will become parked on the shoreline when the waters undergo their first recession of the season.

More at FolsomTelegraph.com >>>

Folsom Lake clean up continues

Over the Memorial Day holiday, a large population of boats were visible on Folsom Lake, enjoying the high temperatures during the three-day weekend. But it wasn’t just colorful vessels dotting the scape of the lake. Currently, a tremendous amount of debris continues to hamper many areas of the lake as boating season is well underway.

The large amount of debris is driftwood of all sizes, from big to small. Many of which can damage the hull or prop of a boat easily and could surely have detrimental results if struck by a personal watercraft at any speed. It’s the results of a record rainfall winter and officials are working as fast as they can to collect the debris and make the waters safe again.

“Fortunately, there haven’t been any major boat accidents as a result of the driftwood,” said Ryan Steele, peace officer supervisor of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. “There have been a few boats that have had their props removed or damaged. For those vessels that have a jet system, they can get a twig stuck in there that disables their vessel.”

More at FolsomTelegraph.com >>>

Discovery Park will open this weekend after four months of being underwater

After being flooded for months, Discovery Park will open its gates Saturday for Memorial Day weekend, Sacramento County Regional Parks announced Wednesday.

The 302-acre park closed in January during winter storms as heavy rains and high releases from Folsom Lake left it underwater. The popular summer destination sits at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers.

Tiscornia Beach and much of the park will remain closed, but the boat launch, some parking lots and picnic areas overlooking the confluence will be open. The Jibboom Bridge will open and the American River bike trail will be available through the closed areas.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Folsom Lake Winter Debris Still Clogging Boat Ramps For Memorial Day

Boaters trying to get an early start on the holiday weekend are facing problems on Folsom Lake ahead of Memorial Day.

The lake’s boat ramps are clogged with wood and debris washed downstream from a storm winter.

Park rangers will be patrolling the area, but they are concerned about going out on the lake themselves. What looks like a twig from the top of the lake could carry a bigger hazard underneath.

Tony Tonso and his daughter Tiffany tried to get an early start on the upcoming Memorial Day weekend but were faced with a logjam. They had to move around a mass of sticks and larger branches in the pathway.

From above, the enormity of the mess is clear, with debris piled along the shore, washed down by a record winter of rain. Workers are trying to clear it, but there’s only so much a tugboat can do.

More at CBSLocal.com >>>

Wet Winter Leaves Sea Of Debris On Folsom Lake

You might want to think twice about bringing your watercraft to Folsom Lake as debris is blocking most launches.

State Parks officials say they’re aware of the problem and are contracting with a company to remove the debris as quickly as possible.

“It’s a total disaster, absolutely a total disaster; I was shocked, disappointed.”

That was Steven Gelenich’s reaction when he drove up to a launch Tuesday morning, expecting to see a full and clear lake.

“The main launch ramp over there is a total disaster, it’s full of thousands of pieces of wood, absolutely no way to launch,” Steven said.

But the debris wasn’t going to stop Steven.

“I’ll tell you right now I’m gonna find a way to launch today,” Steven said.

He was determined to cruise the lake on his jet ski. Steven drove to different launches and Oak Beach, but he wasn’t having any luck finding a clear spot to launch.

“I feel like I’m going to cry right now, I’m so disappointed,” said Steven.

According to State Parks officials, years of drought led to a build-up of debris as far up as the Sierra. Heavy winter rains washed the debris into rivers, reservoirs and ultimately here, into Folsom Lake.

“It probably started coming in back in January, or February,” said Superintendent Richard Preston.

It’s now May, and with Memorial Day just around the corner, CBS13 wanted to know why wasn’t the debris cleaned up right away?

“We had this up and down of the water which pushed debris back and forth, and we couldn’t get to it effectively,” Preston said.

Crews began removing debris at the end of last week. They have 75 miles of shoreline to clean up.

“If we don’t get it cleaned up it’s definitely going to impact revenues for the park,” added Preston.

More at CBSLocal.com >>>

Folsom Lake surrounded by piles of debris

As boating season returns to Folsom Lake, those ready to set sail will have to get around an obstacle lining the lake shore and boat ramps.

That obstacle is a lakewide pileup of debris.

“Pretty much is a ring completely around the lake,” Folsom Lake State Park superintendent Richard Preston said. “Came down from the reservoirs up above and some of the debris that’s been in the river systems for a number of years through the droughts, and it pretty much all just flushed down this year with large storms in January and February.”

Some of the debris extends hundreds of yards from the lake shore, providing a reminder of just how much rain the area’s received this year and how much debris has come with it.

To clean it up, park officials plan to coordinate with the Bureau of Reclamation on a summertime plan to remove the debris. The process would likely be initiated around June after the lake level has peaked.

Part of that plan includes allowing the lake level to rise high enough for the dried out, dead driftwood to be pulled back into the lake.

More at KCRA.com >>>

Thanks to abundant snow, the West can expect a long, rollicking river rafting season

Chris Moore watched in awe this winter as the snow piled up on his multiple trips to Bear Valley Mountain Resort in the central Sierra.

“I’ve never seen a winter quite like this,” said Moore, California regional manager for O.A.R.S. rafting company.

“What all this snow means is it’s going to be a long and exciting whitewater season, so I’m stoked.

“We’re going to have big flows in the late spring and early summer and a more drawn-out whitewater season on rivers here in California.”

Moore’s enthusiasm is widespread among rafting outfitters up and down the state, some of whom are still recovering from the drought, which just two years ago saw April 1 snowpack measurements of 5% of normal throughout much of the Sierra.

This year, however, the snowpack is 140% of normal for the Northern Sierra and 169% of normal for the Central Sierra, according to the California Data Exchange Center.

Here’s how the season is shaping up.

The Middle, North and South forks of the American River, as well as the North Fork of the Stanislaus River will have high flows in May and June, moderating as the summer progresses.

“The South Fork of the American, which is normally a fun Class III river that’s great for even young kids, is not going to be the kind of stream you’d want to take your 6-year-old on around the start of the season” Moore said. “But it will mellow out, too, as the season unfolds.”

Because the water on the South Fork will be roaring early, O.A.R.S. will offer its one-day, “21-Miler” trips seven days a week from April through June.

These wild rides combine the upper Chili Bar section with the lower Gorge section. At lower flows, covering all 21 miles of the South Fork would make for a long day, but not this spring and early summer.

More at LATimes.com >>>