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Lake Conditions and Lake Elevation
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DFW HAS POSTED THE CATCH AND KEEP RECOMMENDATION DUE TO SUMMER WATER QUALITY.
This is quite normal posting to preserve the fishery. It’s nothing new and it helps greatly.
Surface temps showing on 9-23 were 65-66F. We’re dropping but very slowly. We have 40ft of water column to cool off. Spring water gyres showing 57- 61F-ish. Water remains greenish, but clarity is fairly good at seeing bottom at 10ft deep. Once we start seeing low to mid 60’s, we’ll see that green turn to brown….normal fall pattern. We are cooling down and into the 30’s overnight. This is causing some normal fall patterns of fog on the water in the morning. Days have been beautiful since the storms passed and they were beautiful as well and added almost an inch of rain to our monthly total at 2.71”. Surface weeds are coming and going, mostly scattered but there’s a few just about anywhere. Just enough to keep an eye on your line and check your bait periodically. Weeds are torn up by birds for the most part. Later in fall, the weed/moss beds (what is left of them) naturally shed like leaves falling from trees and the mud hens come in droves and really help get things weedy!
The difference throughout the drought and low water has been the dissolved oxygen level, washed out thermocline, cyanobacteria cautions and green water. However, at around 68F throughout the water column the green will begin to turn to brown and by 64/65F its well on it’s way…just hang on, we’re just a few weeks behind as we have been since the drought years. Not time to catch and release yet! The clarity of the lake has improved quite a bit, officially, we have 9-10ft so that’s much better than 5-6ft. Eagle Lake rainbow trout are use to 70’s and as long as the oxygen level is sufficient, they will be there. However, in my experience they do not release well at all in summer and in surface temps above 68F. They hemorrhage upon being hooked & I wait until the lake temps and pH settle down a bit. It won’t be too much longer. Please help us preserve the fishery by keeping any trout you catch. Springs are holding surface temps around 61F…some 56-59F when you find em. Some tests (7-12) of which has warranted the water board to post a caution for HAB on July 19th. We didn’t see anything concerning enough to collect at Merrill in August tests. Gov satellites show a good bloom up in the north basins on the third week of August, but in locations only cattle have been able to access. Mostly in the swampy shallow, quiet bays. Just use common sense. We found it south of Pelican Pt to the north basins but not so much in the deeper, traverse-able channels. Moves with the wind. Everywhere we’ve fished has been pretty clean on the surface except for a few weeds, some gunk was present on the west side, but winds shift it. It changes daily. Visibility was 5-6ft deep using official secchi dish on 8-9. I was hoping for better than that! There’s also been some foam lines after windy days which have not had much if anything except some particulates. Just be smart right now. Weeds are starting to pop up. Check your lines. Fish don’t eat a lot of salad.
Stay safe out there. Kayakers…..wear the dang life jacket. Why…..well, if your rods are tethered and your treading water….you’ll end up winding line around your legs. This did happen and fortunately our friend was rescued by a local guide. Had to be cut out of the line. So, let’s actually abide by the rules this season. It’s going to be a tough one on everyone.
Scroll down this page for a list of elevations back to 2010. We got through launching at the south end low water ramp thanks to Scott building up a nice rock ramp below the cement. Our worst enemy for launching in gravel and silt IS PEOPLE POWER LOADING and OFF LOADING BOATS! Doing this builds up a shoal of fines that accumulate in the launch channel and create a shallow rise just beyond it. Also dislodges rocks at the end of the cement causing a deep drop off. Please note that this is detailed in the Boating and Waterways boaters card course and test. We have only one launch to serve the lake…please don’t help screw it up before it screws itself up. LoL.
Expect some unmarked natural rock piles to be closer to the surface.
During this “climate change” I have not seen our water temps rise above any high temps I have seen in all my years up here….However, our last good icing over was in 2011. In higher water levels, we would see summer thermoclines keep fish deep for a month and a half if not longer. Drought years: Thermoclines form briefly and dissipate after a week to 3 weeks before there’s 1F to 3F difference between the surface temps and 45-50ft in July/August and dissolved oxygen levels are higher and in warmer temps. This has a terrible affect on the long term survival of a released trout in this high pH lake. The lake is generally in the mid to high 50’s on opening weekend, hit’s 74-75F on the surface at the peak of summer before cooling down. Cool down generally is gradual and begins in August. Sitting at around 65-66F on 6-29-22. In sync with most every year.
12-1-21: From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake is at the exact same level it was at a month ago. The elevation of the lake remains at 5091.96 feet as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin. Unfortunately, this is 1.76 ft. (21.12 in.) lower than it was one year ago at this time……”
11-1-21: From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: “…The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake has risen 0.29 ft. (3.48 in.) over the past month. This is the first increase since last February! The elevation of the lake is currently at 5091.96 feet as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin which is 1.78 feet lower than it was one year ago at this time….” Note: pretty close to the amount of moisture received from the first storm!
10-1-21: From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: “The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake has dropped 0.80 ft. (9.6 in.) over the past two months. We missed last month’s measurement thanks to Covid. The elevation of the lake is currently at 5091.67 feet as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin which is 2.25 feet lower than it was one year ago at this time. Unfortunately, this is approaching the low point that was reached back in December of 2015 when the lake was at an elevation of 5090.54 feet.”
8-3-21: From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: “The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake has dropped 0.44ft (5.28″) over the past month. … The elevation of the lake is currently at 5092.47ft. … 25″ lower than one year ago at this time.” …
7-6-21: From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: “The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake has dropped 0.42 ft. (5.04 in.) over the past month. This is a little over 25 inches lower than it was one year ago at this time. The elevation of the lake is currently at 5092.91 feet as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin. ….”
6-2-21: From Don Willis Lassen County Surveyor: …”The results of our monthly Eagle Lake measurement this morning show that the lake has dropped 0.35 ft. (4.2 in.) over the past month. This is nearly 26 inches lower than it was one year ago at this time.The elevation of the lake is now at 5093.33 feet as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin.
4-30-21: From Don Willis Lassen County Surveyor: “The results of our leveling this morning show that the lake has dropped 0.24 ft. (2.88 in.) over the past month. This is not good news for the month of April where an increase is typically observed. …. The elevation of the lake is now at 5093.68 feet, as measured at the low-water ramp at Gallatin. This is 2.13 ft. (25.56 in.) lower than it was one year ago at this time.” (Note: Nov 2020 elevation was 5093.74ft)
From Don Willis, Lassen County Surveyor: ….”The level was at an elevation of 5093.99 feet last month and was found to be at 5093.92 feet this month, a difference of 0.07 ft. which is under an inch. The small difference is likely due to different estimations of where the water level was thought to be by the rodperson. …..The level has only risen 0.2 feet (2.4 inches) since the beginning of January and Pine Creek is not currently flowing.”
1-4-19 Official Lassen County Surveyor Don Willis lake elevation 5094.33ft. Up 1.32″ in the last month. 10.56″ below last year at the same time. (Moisture in December in Spalding was 1.67″ as per my weather station at home)
5-1-18: Lassen County measurement 5096.12 (Peak elevation of 5096.7ft in 2017 was on May 20th)
9-4-17: 5095.41ft and lost .94″ since 8-6-17
8-6-17: EAGLE LAKE is dropping at a rate of 1.425″ per week since July 2nd. It is now at 5095.73′ and has lost 7 & 1/8″ during that time (about a month).
6-2-17: As per Doc Bateson our lake elevation perfectionist; 5096ft 7 and 5/8ths inches. That’s 5096.635’ it has dropped .065’ or .78” (a little over 3/4″) in 13 days.
4-18-17 Unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp was 5096.54ft. Winds were blowing lightly so the elevation could be slightly off. Creeks are slowing down some now so we are probably going to see a slow down of rising. Any storm passing through can have flow pick up.
4-3-17 Lassen County Official Measurement: “We made our monthly visit to Eagle Lake this morning and found that the lake has come up 1.38 feet over the past month. The elevation at the Gallatin Ramp is currently 5095.78 feet above sea level and the lake has come up 4.99 feet since November 1st of last year. It is also 3.22 feet higher than this same time one year ago.
3-29-17: 5095.64′ Measured from the elevation tags at Spalding ramp. A gain of about 2inches in 4 days. Flows in Pine Creek subsiding a little this week from last week, so we expect to see a little slower rise unless a storm passes through.
3-25-17: 5095.45ft (unofficial) Measured between the elevation plate screws at the ramp in Spalding. A gain of around 6″ from the increased flow of Pine Creek and just over an inch of rain on 3-21.
3-19-17: 5094.948 as per Doc Bateson. Up a couple inches in the last few days. We have about 5/8′ to resach 5095ft. Up a little over 4ft from our lowest water level last year and about 2 1/5ft above last years highest level. So we are doing ok, but could sure use a lot more.
3-8-17: 5094.5ft according to the markers set by Doc Bateson at the Spalding ramp. Up around a foot in the last month.
2-11-17: 5093.38FT As per Doc Bateson. 2.52ft higher than Dec 3, 2016 (which had held due to Oct/Nov rains). 18.29″ of moisture since July 1 here at the house in Spalding. So the springs were still pumping good over winter too.
7-3-16: 5092.23; almost 6″ lower than 5-30, but around 6″ higher than last year at the same time. As per Doc Bateson.
5-30-16 5092.72: as per Doc Bateson, up 1/4 inch since 5-1.
5-1-16 5092.7FT Officially as per Doc Bateson, the lake is only 5.76 inches above last year’s elevation, May 2, 2015. Expect similar conditions to last season. We still have 27 days to go. Hopefully we see more showers and hold on to that 5+ bonus inches to help get us through the season launching!
3-19-16 5092.43FT. UP 1.835FT SINCE 11-22-15. 2.52 INCHES HIGHER THAN MAY 2 2015. As per Doc Bateson’s report
2015 LAKE ELEVATION
10-18-15: 5090.61 and holding
9-30-15 5090.6 ft
8-16-15: 5091.2ft as per Doc Bateson’s measurements. We lost 2 1/2 inches in 2 weeks and are only 2.4 inches away from our lowest recorded level in 1935.
8-1-15:5091.4ft as per Doc Bateson’s measurements. We had 2.41 inches of rain in my backyard in July (2.68″ at Spalding’s sewer ponds 2 miles NW) and the south end had more than we did up north but it helped counter evaporation.
7-4-15: 5091.70ft as per doc Bateson.
6-20-15: 5091.83ft; now just 9.96 inches from our lowest recorded level in 1935. (lost approx 4″ in the last 20 days.
6-1-15: 5092.16ft now just over a foot from lowest recorded level in 1935
5-2-15: 5092.22ft as per Doc Bateson. About 1 ft 3 inches above lowest recordered level in 1935.
July 28, 2013 5094.44 ft, about 5094 ft 5 inches.
July 7, 2013 appears to be about 2-3 inches below 5095ft…. or 5094ft 9-10 inches or so. Unofficial. Going by the end of the cement at Spalding ramp being out of the water & taking chances that the end of the cement is at 5095ft elevation.
June 1, 2013 was around 5095ft 1 inch. About 6″ of cement in the water at Spalding ramp.
4-11-13 5095.5 ft (unofficial by the markers at Spalding ramp)….I guess my estimate was only 3/4 of an inch off. Not bad for a girl ehe?
Ending Nov 2012 5093.70