Eagle Lake Guardians are now donating to Pine Creek Restoration projects to help prevent an endangered or threatened species listing of our trout. You can help by going to Eagle Lake Guardians and making a donation. The faster it is funded, the faster we can get the job at hand done.
10-12-14: Lake Elevation at 5092.035 on Sept 16 from 5092.18 on 9-5-14.
I am rolling off the end of the cement now to launch my 19ft deep V outboard. There has been a lot of fine silt blown in from north winds making the transition easier, believe it or not. But it's also building up on what is left of the cement. A shift in the wind and traffic can move that out. Just "ease" your trailer tires over the end of the cement & you should do just fine. I am backing down & aiming my trailer about 2ft from the courtesy dock as there is a cement buoy anchor submerged next to the dock about 1/3rd of the way down. But so far, I am still able to launch fine but not dropping my motor until I am at the end of the dock. Also, the dock has been frosty on some days so watch your step or use traction devices on your boots.
I have not had to use 4X4 to pull my boat/trailer up over the end of the cement yet. Easy does it. The transition is better on some days than on others. The east side of the ramp is the shallowest side and has already claimed a licence plate & tail light of someones trailer.
The water is getting shallower at the dock itself but so far there is room to float on but I pretty much only have a few inches to spare. I measured around 3ft at the end of the courtesy dock. The shoal was 18 to 24" on the outside of the boat tied up to the courtesy dock but that can change almost daily, depending on wind direction and usage. I need no less than 14" just to float over and that's unloaded...so far I am not touching or dagging bottom with my boat. My motors are always up until I am at the end of the dock. But I am still launching ok. Also, don't attempt cruising in towards the rock jetty, it shallows up there quite fast. But it's not too bad for kayaks. In heavy north and northwest winds, you only have one shot to dock, retakes will require skill and power. Jet boats will do better.
I advise I/O units to keep trimmed up all the way to launch & drag your boat down to the end of the dock before trimming 1/2 way down for warming up. Big outboards should also start being careful getting in and out. It is still deep enough at the end to have my 115 down but I am trimming up a bit just to keep on the ready and keep my water pumping clearer water. I need around 31" in total to have my motor down so I only have inches to spare at this time with full trim. It is an anchor at one boat length from the end of the dock. The stirred up muck is mostly course gritty sand...the stuff that grinds the impellor up. I advise hand loading & it doesn't take any longer in most cases. Power loading will keep the hole deeper but in turn will deposit the sand further towards the end of the dock and keep blowing out the end of the cement. This stuff ends up at the end of the dock & in spite of having sufficient water there now for most boats, it's getting skinnier & fall hasn't gained a foot hold yet. It won't matter if we have a hole to launch in if we cant drag our boats over the shoal to the lake.
Spalding Marina is not usable. Stones Landing is not usable. Eagles Nest is out of gravel & in soft mud now too. The low water ramp at Gallatin 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 in the boat 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! Prices in the store and for fuel are aslo much cheaper than up north here.
I don't expect to see anything done to improve launching for fall and LNF will probably wait until winter is over before settling in on any plans for next season. Obviously, previous experience with LNF on launching issues has shown us that they won't do anything unless they absolutely have to. What we have is what we got but at least we still "got" a way to launch, even if we all have to be careful.
I recommend having a boat/dock hook on board. North winds are seasonal & we have seen them pop up here and there. For one thing, later in fall when we are trimming our motors up higher, we won't have nearly as much control of our boats in the wind. Waves breaking in from the north will really be dangerous when it comes to launching as well as landing at the dock (west winds can be too). 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 last year...and I had a lot more water to deal with when re positioning to take another stab at a landing. You won't have a second chance. An 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 on the opposite side 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.
ALL EAGLE LAKE, ALL THE TIME
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