This is the time of year that our evaporation kicks into high gear and can be as much as 1 1/2 to 1 5/8 inches per week historically through August before it slows down. Do the math.
The low water ramp is about a 25 minute drive from Spalding at 45mph. Ya just have to get up and moving about 1/2 hour earlier than when you could launch here. Fuel consumption is a wash if not a saving. It used to be a 5 gallon trip from Spalding to Eagle's Nest or Shrimp Island and back whereas its about 2 1/2 gallons in my truck & about 2 gallons to get anywhere in the south basin and back after trolling. Personally, I am saving fuel by driving down south!
I don't expect to see anything done to improve launching for fall. What we have is what we got. SEE EMAIL FROM LNF SUPERVISOR REGARDING LAUNCHING, REPAIRS, GRADE AT THE CURRENT RAMP BEING INADEQUATE & ONLY 1 TEMPORARY "RECREATION EMPLOYEE" FOR THE DISTRICT. IT ISN'T LOOKING GOOD FOR FALL LAUNCHING FOLKS & IT'S DOUBTFUL WE WILL SEE ANYTHING DONE THIS SEASON. AT LEAST I HAVE MY FLOAT TUBE AND CAN ACCESS DEEPER WATER IF I HAVE TO SOONER THAN I WANT TOO. SOMETHING TO CONSIDER FOR FALL FOLKS...if anything, small boats (10-12ft) will make it out longer.
LNF HAS BEEN LONG ON PROMISE AND SHORT ON DELIVERY. BELOW IS A RESPONSE FROM LNF RANGER DISTRICT TO ONE OF OUR VIEWERS REGARDING MAINTAINING THE CURRENT RAMP: Richard said he recieved a phone call from someone other than the supervisor who told him that there was sufficient grade at the end of the dock. This was not from a supervisor and was not in writing. This is one thing that LNF always does when the truth would serve them better in the eyes of the public. Instead, they always seem to contradict themselves to keep people guessing. Well, people in the real world have to plan their vacations. If they can't depend on launching safely, they will have no other choice but to change plans. If they come up and find that the ramp is in deplorable conditions when they were expecting something else generally have a bad experience & don't come back. It's about the economy, anglers are the local economy & aren't going to want to launch their $25K-$50K boats if it gets too bad & too shallow. Not everyone owns a little boat. LNF wants people to come but won't provide better conditions for the demographics they depend on.
Thank you for your e-mail. We are working with Cal Boating to evaluate and hopefully build a low water boat ramp at Eagle Lake that would be operational at extremely low water levels. We are not considering a new marina or breakwater just a boat ramp at this point in time. We cannot add on to the current ramp because the bed of the lake does not have enough slope to enable a boat to float off a trailer, it is too flat from the end of the current ramp out into the lake. It is a problem that boaters rev their engines to trailer their boats which causes a hole to be developed at the end of the ramp. We try to let folks know they need to be gentle loading their boats so that this does not occur. Everyone seems to do it not just the guides. I too would like to have a really nice functional boat launching facility at Eagle Lake, it is a special place. I know this is not a good excuse but the Lassen National Forest is very understaffed in recreation which is the resource specialty that would normally be working on this type of issue. On the District we only have a temporary employee in recreation who works in the summer. I hope that in the future we will be able to hire more employees with recreation expertise. Until then, we will work with Cal Boating on an additional ramp. They are very helpful and cooperative, in fact they paid for the ramp that you are currently using (check out the concrete sign at the top of the ramp).
Ann D. Carlson
Eagler Lake District Ranger
Lassen National Forest
477-050 Eagle Lake Road
Susanville, CA 96130
We receive a lot of public complaints on several "guides" from Spalding as well as out of towners that we don't share publically, most are regarding rudeness at the ramp. However we do share info with others when it comes to referring to any such guides and forward the public's complaints when asked. You need a guide that doesn't make life miserable for others, has ethics, doesn't bad mouth other guides, doesn't try to push other fishermen around on the water, catches fish, cleans them as to YOUR preference and vacuume seals them up in a nice package, please let me know. I can insure that any guide I refer will not be one of which we receive complaints on. It has nothing to do with catching fish it has everything to do with ethics and being polite on the water and at the ramp. The public is watching, learning & they know what they don't want....so do I.
I no longer guide trips but I still fish with friends and family as well as my fishing partner Bud. Our fishing report dials you in like no other fishing report, anywhere on any lake. We proudly invented our website from nothing and nothing to go by. I was tired of seeing reports 2 or more weeks old before they hit the public & that wasn't good for local businesses. We needed something more. Perhaps an overload to some people but if you actually tune in, you will know how to fish Eagle Lake at any time of year & catch trout. I am not the reason my website stays on top of the search engines, it's YOU!! Thanks! I must be doing something right!! I will retire at some point, but not anytime soon! By then you will have the book.
I recommend having a boat/dock hook on board. If you stay out too long & the wind picks up, catching the dock becomes tough. West, east and north winds are the worst for landing & I know from first hand experience that bouncing up and down on 4ft waves while trying to hit the dock & grab the cleet and make it in one piece took several attempts. Extending hook helps tremendously but be sure you have it locked in. In heavy winds, everyone comes in at once and there can be 4 boats driving in circles, bouncing around awaiting their turn to make it to the dock. In some cases, it can take 30 minutes.
Both sides of Gallatin Road are bad in different places begining after the hard left bend in the road just beyond the entrance to Eagle Campground to the Marina. You can't see the humps and bumps in the road but last year several boats on trailers jumped off the hitch ball, a few motors (kickers mostly) were jarred off the transoms, motor cowlings popping off and even last fall a boat wasn't tied down and flew off the trailer and onto the side of the road. So, take it slower than the speed limit. I suggest no faster than 20 to 25 mph. The Lassen County Road Department has been requested to put up signage to slow down traffic in order to prevent damages but as of yet, refuse to. 530-251-8288. Be sure your boat is secured to the trailer fore and aft when heading in and out on Gallatin Road.. Boats that aren't tied down in the back will easily bounce right off the trailer & onto the road if you're moving too fast.
The reason I am detailing this out is because you can't see these bumps in the road and when you do see them, they don't look nearly as bad as they are. These have caused a lot of damage to boats/motors/trailers and even vehicles (when the trailer jumps off the ball). You are just going to have to trust me on this one, the last thing I want to see is anyone damaging their boat or gear. nce you get to the marina and going toward the ramp, the right turn towards the jetty also has some hard to see bumps so take it easy. I did see a small fishing boat fly right off the trailer when some kids were driving too fast around the turn. Those with longer trailers (IE pontoon boats at 24 ft long) have had tires off the end of the cement and the step off the end is pretty steep. If you don't hit it just right, you can lose a license plate or tail light if your trailer is low slung such as mine. Just take it slow and easy backing down for now. It isn't getting better, its getting worse.
Please note that this is the only ramp serving the lake. It is not a dock to pull up and tie up to in order to take a break, walk the dogs or eat lunch while boats are waiting to come in or get out. If you have no other choices, then at least get in front of the sheriff boat and leave the launch lane open. There is a gravel bar next to the dock that is fairly good for carefully pulling up to...be prepared to get your feet wet and raise your motor. Fiberglas boats might not want to chip their gelcoat. Aluminum boats are ok.
There is still a rocky rise beyond the end of the cement and those driving their boats onto their trailers are beginning to cause a step at the end of the cement. I advise all to keep motors up when launching and to drift over the rise before dropping your motors & warming them up. Especially large boats with motors over 40hp. Once you are over the rise, there is plenty of water for dropping outboards. I/O units? I would keep mine up a little until I was away from the dock & heading out towards the buoy.
Ski boats with drop props may find the rise before the rest of us, but we are doing ok, just be careful.
The current low water ramp probably won't make it thru the entire season for large boats. Smaller boats will probably do okay longer, but eventually will have to take more precautions and little by little, larger boats will see increased problems. We are ok for a while longer, but at around 1 1/2 ' per week evaporation it won't be hard to do the math to September. But, we will launch as long as we can and will have to make do with what we have. In other lakes/reservoirs you have plenty of pavement behind you and don't cause damage with the severe turbulance from props and especially jet pumps. However, at Eagle Lake, mother nature is rarely a few feet behind. Just know that when you do that, everyone is watching and know that you, in particular are not helping. It's not puttin' onto the trailer using a motor, it's gunning the engine to drive it up without cranking it. It's about being lazy, not cool and is our number one request for our visitors NOT to do. However it is not a law, but we, as anglers can help extend the launching by thinking first. So, the more folks that do that, the higher the "humps" get. Similar to what happened in Spalding which assisted in filling up the 2010 dredged channel to the lake with silt and sand.