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. 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 aren't sure where some fishing publications are getting their information but are telling people that two ramps are working. We only have the one single lane ramp to serve the entire lake. Photos are in the ramp album for all to see.
Our trailer wheels have been off the cement for quite some time now. Some days the drop off the end is worse than others, just back in slowly. But, we're still getting in. There is about 3 ft of water at the end of the dock and a slightly deeper channel in the launch lane for motors but plenty of keel drag marks showing up. We are keeping our motors up partially until getting to the end of the dock and backing out to the slight drop off before lowering all the way down. I/O units should keep trimmed up slightly 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 to 12 ft of water. We are still getting in most all boats that fish here. Just ease your trailer over the end of the cement. The marina folks are keeping it maintained so the drop off the end of the cement isn't too severe...some days are better than others. Good to go for now. But not pretty but working.
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.
The most trouble comes when people are heading in from the lake when the wind comes up and others are trying to get their boats in the water. There is only one lane and little room to pass by boats on the dock waiting to get out of the water. So we have to make room for those coming in and leave room for those heading out. Neither makes anyone happy. Those getting in the water are pissed because there are boats on the dock waiting to get out. No, there isn't much room to get around the boats on the dock. However it is not the fault of those boaters, its the fault of Lassen National Forest for not providing adequate room for boats to come and go easily. I came in before the wind came up and a guy was backing down from the top to launch, so I had no pressing reason not to wait before pulling into the dock. He took the east side of the ramp, found the shallow rise with one trailer wheel and a drop of the cement for the other wheel. Then, he decided to relocate the trailer so the boat would float off. (By now, there was another boat coming in right behind me) I waited 22 minutes for one guy. He would have never cleared the channel with his inboard if I had pulled into the dock. Don't complain to other boaters, most everyone is doing a pretty good job of making room or splitting the difference. Complain to Lassen National Forest Eagle Lake Ranger District. We have waited on the lake up to 45 minutes to get to the dock when the wind begins to howl.
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.
Larger boats are getting in, just know that it's still shallow. It looks like we are about 15 inches below where we started opening weekend.
Also, 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....perhaps before the week ends if I don't have larger screws.
There is still a bottom rise or shoal in the launch lane about mid-way down the dock. The marina folks did a good job of maintaining a launching channel last year but by November boats over 20ft long were having difficulty. We hope to retain our nearly 6 inches of water through the summer evaporation and into fall to keep us launching most all boats through the season. It will be very similar to last season’s launching with a few bonus inches of water if we don't see an extremely hot windy summer and increased evaporation. We should get through ok but it's already getting pretty skinny.
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. You can also screw up your prop and lower unit if you aren't careful and take note that while you are power loading you are pumping all that grit through your impellor and water pump which can put a lot of wear in a short period of time....and pretty soon you see your temp gage rise a bit and eventually just a dribble out of the pee tube. Why take chances and why cause damage. We still can't afford to have things screwed up. Stirring up a massive amount of dirt and a large dirty plume in the lake is also frowned upon. We know it doesn't matter to some visitors as why would they care if they have finished their vacation. Those of us that launch all season are the ones that pay for the damaged caused by a few.
Spalding' ramps were notorious for loading up the channel when we could launch at the new marina and the dredging only lasted for half of one season and half of the next. 99% of the problems came from power loading boats where the bottom was mud. Be thankful we have sand and gravel down at the south end low water ramp.
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.