NO HANDICAP FISHING ACCESS. The courtesy dock also has issues with handicap access. Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements. Hard to walk in the loose gravel compared to the packed gravel where previous handicap parking was. Due to noncompliance the ADA parking is not actually enforceable. Although, you might get a note taped to your windshield, I don't believe you can actually get a citation due to lack of signage and legal mumbo jumbo. The handicap walkway at Christie Day Use/Picnic Area is a trip hazard in many locations and has not been maintained by Lassen National Forest. It will handicap you if you aren't already.
2016 EAGLE LAKE LAUNCH RAMP PHOTOS. Only one single lane ramp serves Eagle Lake at Gallatin Marina. Spalding and Stones Landing remain high and dry. We only have the one single lane ramp to serve the entire lake. Photos are in the ramp album for all to see. DO NOT FISH OFF THIS DOCK.
10-23-16: We have around 4ft of cement left at the ramp thanks to the last storm leaving about 2 1/2 to 3 extra inches of water in the lake. It's slightly angled compared to the water. Northerly winds will drive in in some sediment and silt but we are still getting in. Every morning can be a little different. I usually check the best place for my trailer tires to be and try to put it there. This can change daily. A few rounder rocks are scattered below the cement. One guy had to use 4x4 to get his trailer tires over one, but I haven't had to do that. Just ease down & keep your motors up. There are quite a few keel drag marks between the ramp and the end of the courtesy dock. We are in better shape than the same time last year, but not a whole lot better. We are still getting most all boats in the water ok. Don't get too far to the east side of the ramp as it shallows up quickly...just stay in the channel along the dock, there isn't much room to pass another boat on the dock. Even at the end of the dock I am not lowering my motor all the way down when backing up to the deeper water to get turned around. Getting back into the dock when north winds blow in won't be easy.
NOTE: The dock is for boats, not for fishing from. If you are fishing from the dock, don't expect the boats coming in or going out to give a hoot about your line. It is not a fishing dock, it's a loading dock. Also, do not park at the ramp and leave your vehicle there to walk down to Pikes Pt to fish. It might not be there when you come back.
The dock can get icy this time of year. Be sure to have some traction devices for your boots. It only takes one slip to screw up your day of fishing and any medical assistance won't be right away now that we are in fall mode. Once in a while we can see wave splash over one side of the dock. This can be very slick. This is the case most every morning from now on, but the warmer daytime temps thaw everything out shortly after sunrise if it isn't foggy.
At the ramp, we have a decent hole and it's easy to get your boat trailer too deep for loading. With a little common sense, we're still getting in just fine. I wouldn't want to try to power in to the dock with 1-2ft waves coming in from the north though.
I/O units should keep trimmed up while getting to the 4 to 5 ft of water which is about 10 to 15 ft from the end of the dock. After that it drops pretty quick. The buoys are still in 10+ft of water. We are still getting in most all boats that fish here but we are getting down there but I think most of us will make it through November.
Don't park down at the turn around for the ramp and start tying your boat down. Big trucks & long trailers don't always have the turning radius in order to back their trailer down with vehicles stopped on the road in or in the turn around. The place for unstrapping and strapping up is above in the parking lot NOT ON THE RAMP ACCESS. There is one spot for loading and unloading kayaks or tubes or gear or for law enforcement. That is on the left side looking down from the top, but leave enough room for big trucks to turn around & everyone will get in just fine.
Also, those launching in the dark of the morning, turn your headlights off (parking lights are fine). You are totally blinding everyone else waiting at the ramp because of the angle of your rig on the ramp itself. I have come across more inconsiderate people this year than I have in the past. Maybe it's just my timing. If your lights are on high beam, trust me, so are mine just to counter the blindness, otherwise we can't even see the road or boulders. We do have our fair share of idiots who don't think.
The dock pipes along side have bumpers slid over them which helps prevent damage to boats pulling in, but note that they are located outside the dock so when pulling in, be sure nothing is sticking out of your boat such as leaving rod holders on the boat or rods propped up and be very careful guiding downriggers around them. Some bow mounted electric trolling motors could also get caught when coming in when windy. Boats whose running lights are side mounted will also catch the pipes, so be sure you don't tear one off on a hard landing in the wind or moving your boat up or down the dock. I know I will be replacing one of mine before the season ends already. On days when the west, northwest or southwest wind blows, we pretty much have to come in "hot" and under power just to keep from blowing away from the dock. I have been trimming up my 115 outboard, just to have a head start in case I blow it & need to land at the cement!
I don't advise power loading your boat on the trailer at this time. The thrust from your prop or jet blows out the sand at the end of the cement causing a step to form which will eventually cause damage to trailers. The prop wash pushes the sand and fine gravel out from the cement and drops it on top of the shoal that starts about halfway down the dock. The shoal ends up about a foot shallower than the rest of the channel and repeated power loading will eventually lead to a rise of the shoal & the need for blowing it out to keep a launch channel.
The springs (since closing the Bly Tunnel valve) are probably capable of adding 5-6 inches to the lake without local moisture which buys a month of evap in summer....good for about a foot of water per year that was drained off the lake for decades. Every inch still counts and we are still 14ft below our prime elevation and several feet below launching at the ramps at Stones and Spalding this year.
Lassen National Forest has NO PLANS FOR IMPROVING LAUNCHING CONDITIONS. PERIOD. END OF STORY.