2017 All Eagle Lake All The Time
SEE PHOTOS OF THE CURRENT RAMP CONDITIONS HERE
UNTIL MAY 1 WHEN I WILL POST A NEW RAMP ALBUM. WE AREN'T THERE YET FOR SPALDING OR STONES LANDING. ALTHOUGH, WE WILL ATTEMPT TO LAUNCH OUR KAYAKS AND CHECK THE DEPTH IN THE CHANNEL IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. AT THIS TIME, THERE IS 17 INCHES OF WATER (PHYSICALLY MEASURED) AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CEMENT ON SPALDINGS SOUTH RAMP. THE CHANNEL IS SHALLOWER AND I WILL PHYSICALLY MEASURE THAT FROM MY KAYAK. IT MAY DEPEND ON HOW MUCH WORK YOU WANT TO GO THROUGH OR HOW MUCH MUD YOU WANT TO PUMP OR WEEDS TO TAKE OFF YOUR PROP AS TO USING THE SOUTH RAMP EARLY THIS SEASON. ALSO NOTE THAT WHEN THE SOUTH WIND BLOWS, STEERING CONTROL WITH MOTORS UP ISN'T REAL GOOD, SO THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS TO CONSIDER WITH USING A SHALLOW LAUNCH TO SHALLOW WATER. THE NORTH RAMP IN SPALDING ISN'T THERE YET.
Flow has picked up in Pine Creek this week. Flow in other creeks is lower but the southern tributaries are still flowing. Once the flow in Pine Creek is below a certain point, it barely can keep up with evaporation, but the warmer temps have helped. We need a fast melt and a good flush to help the lake visibly. A slow melt will be a longer flow which will help the trout during the spawn (although their passage upstream has now been controlled so DFW can hope to trap some fish for the egg collection) as long as the water temps don't rise too quickly. Don't expect to see a total recovery of the lake even with the more storms. The snow survey indicates we have a little more water than we did last year in Pine Creek watershed but not a heck of a lot. Respecively, upper Pine Creek has 3/4" more water than last year, Lower Pine Creek has 3.9" more. I hope to see the lake rise another foot and I do think that's a dream, but getting back to full is well away from a biblical deluge. Time will tell, but as long as the creek flows below 5.2 on the gauge, it is only holding off evaporation.
I cant tell you how many people think the lake will be full....well, we know what it takes to even get half the water we need for that & it isn't there but keep dreaming. But we are glad to see the water gradually coming up. The ground is beginning to thaw and sucking up some of the standing water.
South and west winds drive water up into the shallow bays so it can look like it's close to the highway or filling Bucks Bay occasionally, but once it settles down, the water recedes and it's only inches deep, not feet. The south basin elevation drops by as much as the north basins rise during heavy winds. Do we have an additional 2 to 3 ft of water to come? I don't think so but would love to be proven wrong by Mother Nature. At only 101% and 136% of average water content since 2002, which consists of 6 years of drough, the amount of water we need just doesn't appear to be there. More storms and a wet spring could help. But it won't be the 11 ft of water we need to get back to prime. So my advise is not to get too excited just yet. The first ramp lost was Stones Landing and we had Spalding for two years after that. Even if we get two more feet of water, most big boats (prop drives) will be paddling out to the lake if they can get off a trailer and the old wave terraces might just pop up a rise on the way south. My 19ft jet craft 115 yamaha draft needs 31 inches to the keel. Jets will still be pumping mud/silt. So keep doing your rain dance. We aren't there just yet. I will keep photos of the Spalding ramps, Stones and the old Eagle Lake Marina harbor at Gallatin so people can have a full visual they can relate to. We have a long way to go. At this point, I have no plans on attempting to launch my big boat in Spalding, some small boats and kayaks might make it if we get more water. I don't believe Stones Landing has a chance or even half of a chance. But the low water ramp at Gallatin will be fine all season. Lake elevation on 3-8-17 was approximately 5094.5ft. Up around a foot from 2-11-17; 5094.8' ON 3-16, UP AROUND 3 1/2": 3-18-17 Lake elevation was 5094.948 as per Doc Bateson ( thats 5094ft 11 3/8").
GALLATIN LOW WATER RAMP IS LOOKING GOOD FOR LAUNCHING THIS SEASON. WE PROBABLY WON'T HAVE OUR TRAILER WHEELS OFF THE END OF THE CEMENT UNTIL LATE SUMMER OR FALLIF AT ALL. SPALDING IS STILL UNUSABLE FOR ALL BY KAYAKS AND MAYBE SMALL BOATS AT THIS TIME. STONES ISN'T USABLE YET. NOT ONLY DO I SAVE FUEL DRIVING DOWN SOUTH, I ALSO SAVE THE FEE'S SO BASICALLY, I DOUBLE MY SAVINGS FOR AN EXTRA 20 MINUTES.