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 only have the one single lane ramp to serve the entire lake. Photos are in the ramp album for all to see.
We have around 4ft of cement left at the ramp, it's slightly angled compared to the water. Northerly winds drove in some sediment but we are still getting in. Backing down close to the dock on 9-25 my trailer was quite lopsided. I stayed a little more towards center when taking the boat out and my trailer was much straighter. This can change daily. 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. Stay between the pylons. Don't get too far to the east side of the ramp as it shallows up quickly. Stay close to the dock and no matter how small your motor is, keep it up till you get down to the end of 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.
Some days the drop off the end is worse than others and as long as you ease down, you'll be fine. We have about 30"of water at the end of the dock (ramp side) but the shoal between the ramp and end of the dock is quite apparent & that's where the keel drag marks are most. 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. The folks at the marina are doing pretty good at keeping it functioning...mostly keeping flat rocks adjusted at the end of the cement. Cones now mark the safest launch lane. 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 10ft 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 October....November might be a little different story with boats over 20ft.
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. That is on the left side but leave enough room for big trucks to turn around & everyone will get in just fine.
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. Remember that there can be a line of boats waiting out on the lake. Don't cut in or cut people off. Be aware.
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.
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. 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. 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.