Lake Conditions/Quality

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Lake Conditions and Lake Elevation
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South Basin:  39-40F.  Visibility to about 3-4 ft.
West Side of the South Basin:  Started off around 39-40F surface temps from Wildcat to Shrimp Island.  Patchy weeds and several areas of surface algae on the west side, worse after a big wind and wave action loosens it up off the scattered rock piles.  Still quite a bit of particulate algae strewn throughout the water column in places, but mostly manageable.  Bottom visible at 3-4ft.  Nothing visible at 5-6ft.  Remember the days we could see 15-20ft down?  East side surface temps as high as 41F.  Big wind on 12-14 stirred up the pond. Be careful out there.
North end of the south basin:  38-39F.  Poor visibility.  Still can’t see the rocks 5 to 6ft down but can determine the location of rock piles now.  Nothing visible at 7ft.  Pretty clean surface, very little particulates drifting around.
Youth Camp/Biology Station to Pelican Pt:  Surface temps 37-39F.  Warmer overnight temps opened up a lot of water to the north.  Good to go.
North basins: Icing over, then opening back up again.  So typical.  LoL.  We had a lot of open water across the bay from Spalding.  The ramp is still frozen in although even if it opens back up, it’s too shallow for most boats.  
9-12-18 DFW Water Tests Dissolved oxygen improving
8-9-18 DFW Water tests  Some improvement in DO in the upper 20ft.
I personally believe the lake simply can’t digest the nutrient load any more considering the low level and that the number of cattle for grazing in the watershed had been increased in 2015, not reduced while the lake elevation was historically low.  The blue/green algae has pretty much taken over for the last few years.  No one has been sickened by it….so far but several dogs had been sick this last summer.  This was the first time this lake had been posted by USFS for the potential earlier this fall.  Just take caution, if it’s green and cloudy, it’s not good for man nor beast.   Humans can no longer be to blame for nutrients since the communities have been on wastewater systems for over 10 years now except that the seasonal cabins at Eagle’s Nest that remain on septic tanks and leach fields.  The lake has gone from its once crystal  clear waters to mucky green for the last several years.  No longer the lake we all knew.  I have had several people tell me the lake looks sick….I can not disagree with them, the underwater videos show what the lake water looks like. For over 20 years these tests were “required” weekly.  Since Paul Divine they are rarely conducted…even through our HISTORIC LOW LAKE ELEVATIONS.  The tests (decades of them) were for temp every 5 ft to 50ft, pH, dissolved 02, salinity and conductivity.  All indicators of how well the lake is doing, however, not conducted regularly since Paul Divine took the reins…including through the drought and historically low lake elevations.  Since the lake remains well below its healthy level (as per numerous studies and water quality tests), It’s green and cloudy, no longer crystal clear to 15+ft.  One would think the water quality testing would be more critical now than ever.   DFW doesn’t test for the algae, that would be Lahontan RWQCB.  However, DFW also doesn’t appear to consult with a hydrologist to find out that it’s most likely the blue/green algae causing the problem.  They just say they don’t know.  LoL.  No data, no problem.  At least we have a vast community of professionals to consult.  Nature can’t always fix a man made problem and the long living tui chub aren’t going to go anywhere, only get to be a bigger problem regarding biomass in the lake in the future and too big to be food for a trout in this lake to eat.  Lahontan is now very aware of the cause for the blue/green algae and is working on a solution.  However, even if grazing was eliminated along the lake shore, it will take years before we start seeing a change in water quality. 

SEE PHOTOS IN OUR GALLERY    The photo gallery has all the old albums in it so you have a historical reference as to the lake, ramps and when things happened like the low water ramp building and when the last time the old Gallatin Ramp and Harbor were usable.  

CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA HANDICAP RAMP TOWARDS THE LAKE IS IN SUCH DISREPAIR THAT IT CAN HANDICAP YOU IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY IMPAIRED.  THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIP HAZARDS.  IT ENDS A VERY GOOD DISTANCE FROM ANY ACCESS TO THE WATER.  Walk on the vegetation.  There are several trails.  A statement from LNF has been long requested and short on delivery. This is a very dangerous “trail” to the lake.  I have been hounding USFS to get the access repaired.  I was told this week that LNF is still waiting for the State Lands Commission for input and approval to repair the existing handicap access. Yep, improving existing crap needs permission even to prevent injury.  LoL.
11-30-18: Official lake elevation at 5094.22ft: 0.36″ above last month (11.64″ below last year at the same time.)
11-2-18: Official lake elevation at 5094.18ft, only lost a little over an inch in October (perhaps that 0.96″ of rain around the first of the month helped out a bit. 10.5 inches lower than last year at the same time.
10-1-18: Official elevation at the Low Water Ramp at Gallatin 5094.27ft.  4.2 inches lower in the last month.  11.3 inches lower than last year at the same time.  Basically around 3 3/4ft above our lowest point. Almost 2ft lower than our highest point this year.
9-5-18: Official elevation at the Low Water Ramp at Gallatin The elevation of the lake at the new Gallatin ramp is currently at 5094.62 feet.  This represents a drop of 1.06 feet since our last measurement on July 2nd.  The current elevation is also 0.79 feet (9.48 in.) lower than it was at this time one year ago.
7-2-18 As per Lassen County, 5095.68ft.  2.52″ lower in one month.
6-30-18: 5095.71ft.  About 5095ft 8 9/16″  A little over 2″ lower in 22 days.  About where we were 8-6-17.  Not bad considering.  But now we will likely see an uptick in evaporation as July/August are generally our highest evap months.  Light wind at the time.  Not official (measured at the benchmarks at Spalding ramp and could slightly change as wind was slightly pushing water in from the northeast at the time. 
6-8-18: “5095.89ft” (About 5095ft 10 2/3″) as per Lassen County official measurement.  8.5” lower than last year at the same time. Basically about where we were in late July 2017.
6-2-18: 5096.08ft or 5096ft 1″.  About where we were on 7-15-17. Still a bit higher from the rains before opening weekend.  But it’s going to start evaporating faster now.
5-20-18:  5096.06ft. 5096ft 11/16″ Holding thanks to some passing showers, cooler temps adding to less evaporation.  Light easterly breeze 0-2mph at 8:15AM.  On 5-2017 the lake elevation peaked at 5096.7ft.  Still around 7+” below last years elevation.
5-13-18: 5096.05ft.  Or 5096ft 9/16 inch.  Down around 1″.
Lassen County measurement 5096.12  (Peak elevation of 5096.7ft in 2017 was on May 20th)
4-28-18: 5096.15 or Approximately 5096ft 1 17/32″ (just a hair over the 1/2″ mark. Down about 3/4″ in 8 days which is pretty close to normal evaporation for this time of year considering the heat and winds last week.  Now just hope we see some more weather come in to help. A good local thunderstorm could help bring us back up a smidge.
4-21-18: 5096.18ft or Approximately 5096ft 2 1/4″ (a fraction of an inch below the 1/4″ mark.  Probably about where we are going to peak this year unless we see more local storms.  Pine Creek not at a rate to keep up with evaporation at this point.  
4-13-18:  5096.15 or Approximately 5096ft 1 1/2″ up about 1/4″ in 4 days after 0.30″ of moisture.
4-9-18:  5096.104FT.  Approximately 5096ft 1 1/4″ which is up 1 3/4″ from 3-27.
3-27-18:  5095.96FT or 5095ft 11 1/2″  up around 1 1/4″ since 3-22 (about where we were in late July 2017)
3-22-18:  5095.82ft or 5095ft 10 1/4 inches! The lake came up around 2 1/4″ in the last two days of the storm event which dropped 3.85″ of moisture in 48 hours!! WooHoo!  Unofficial but measured using intelligence, stationary markers and a real measuring stick. LoL.
3-20-18: 5095.66ft or approximately 5095ft 8″. Unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp and there was a light wind blowing at the time.  So we are up around 4 inches since mid January.  Better than being down from January. LoL About 1 ft to go to reach 2017 high level of 5096.7ft
1-16-18: 5095.38: approximately 5095ft 4 inches.  Unofficial measurement, but a starting place for 2018.
9-24-17 5095.26ft, losing .6in per week.  1.47ft lower than it’s highest elevation as per Doc Bateson.
9-4-17: 5095.41ft and lost .94″ since 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).
7-15-17: As per Doc’s measurement the lake elevation is 5096.07ft; 7/8″ above 5096ft.  It has dropped 3 inches in two weeks and up to 1 1/2″ per week evaporation.  This is actually normal evap for this time of year.  Going to be a long summer.
7-2-17: As per Doc’s measurement the lake elevation is 5096.32ft and it is dropping 1.33 inches per week.
6-23-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation is 5096.479ft.  It has lost 2.65″ since May 20.  Now that Pine Creek and other tributaries are no longer flowing into the lake we will begin to see our evaporation pick up a bit.
6-2-17:  As per Doc Bateson our lake elevation perfectionist; 5096ft 7 and 5/8ths inches. That’s 5096.635’ it  hasdropped .065’ or  .78” (a little over 3/4″) in 13 days.  
5-20-17:  As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation measured 5096.7ft
4-30-17  As per Doc Bateson’s measurement ” 5096.375′ which is 5.515′ higher than on December 3rd 2016. It has risen 1.427′ Just since March 18th.
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.
3-16-17: 5094.8′ up around 3 1/2 inches according to the markers at the Spalding ramp.
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.
2-12-17 5093.4ft
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.
12-3-16:  5090.86ft As per Doc Bateson.  Still a few inches above last year, but still below the record.
10-20-16: 5090.866′  (after 3.03″ of rain)  Without the recent rain, the lake would have been where it was last year.  So we didn’t keep the 6″ of water we had over last year.  Only the rains brought it up.  Bly Tunnel from the valve remains dry.
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


10-18-15: 5090.61 and holding
9-30-15 5090.6 ft
8-30-15:  5090.97ft 
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.

9-15-14 5092.035ft.  As per doc Bateson, our local doctor and scientist we are now about 1 ft above the lowest recorded lake elevation of 5091 in 1935.  Note: “recorded level”. 
9-5-14 5092.15
2013 Eagle Lake Elevation: 
September 2, 2013 5093.9ft; 18.5  inches lower than April 28.
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. 
4-28-13 5095.44ft
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?
4-2-12:  5096.42 ft or 5096 ft 5 inches. 
Ending Nov 2012 5093.70
MARCH 10, 2011 – 5096.28 UP 0.68ft up around 8″ from local winter moisture, measurement taken hours before Pine Creek flow reached the Slough.
MARCH 17, 2011 – 5096.50, UP 2 1/2 INCHES IN ONE WEEK OF FLOW
MARCH 26, 2011 – 5096.63 FT; UP 2 5/8 INCHES SINCE 3-17
MARCH 29, 2011 – 5096.66 FT
MARCH 31, 2011 – 5096.70 FT
APRIL 4, 2011 – 5096.76  or 5096 ft 9 inches.
APRIL 9, 2011 – 5096.86 FT or 5096ft 101/4  inches.
APRIL 14, 2011 – 5096.90 ft
APRIL 19, 2011 – 5096.98 ft.  Up 0.08 ft in 5 days…or around 1 inch.
APRIL 27, 2011 – 5097.28FT! or 5097 ft 3 3/8 inches.
MAY 1, 2011 5097.34 FT or 5097 ft 4 1/16 inches; up 5/8 inches
MAY 4, 2011 – 5097.39 FT or approximately 5097 ft 4  13/16 inches…a little over ¾ inch.
MAY 7, 2011 – 5097.44 FT Or 5097 ft 5 ¼ inches.
MAY 16, 2011 – 5097.44 FT.  NO CHANGE IN LAKE ELEVATION FROM 5-7-11.  One and a quarter inches more water than last year means it is still going to be a bad year for the lake level.
MAY 21, 2011 – 5097.49 FT up 5/8 inches since May 16.  Coincides very closely to the amount of local moisture in the last 5 days.  Due to heavy winds that haven’t stopped long enough to get an accurate elevation we have not taken one.  However, we can tell you that we are still pretty much the same and still well below the 5098 ft elevation.
MAY 30. 2011 – 5097.59, up around 5/8 inch in 9 days.  Again, coinciding with the amount of local precipitation.  We aren’t gaining and we aren’t losing at the current flow rate of Pine Creek.  We have now just officially reached the 2 ft mark since the lowest lake elevation in Nov 2010.
JUNE  12, 2011 – 5097.68 ft from 5097.59 ft on May 30.  Increase of around 1 inch (for elevation in inches it is 5097 ft 6 7/8 inches).  We also had over an inch of precipitation fall in the basin in the last 10 days.
JUNE 24, 2011 – 5097.57 ft from 5097.68 ft June 12.  That translates into inches as down nearly 1 3/8 inches in 12 days.
JULY 5, 2011 – 5097.46 from 5097.57 on June 24.  That translates to 5097 ft 5 ½ inches.  Down 1 ¼ inches in 10 days.  Average daily humidity as been 13%.
JULY 18, 2011 – 5097.23 Ft from 5097.46 ft on July 5th.  Down around 1 3/8 inches in 13 days which levels out at 5097 ft 2 ¾ inches.
JULY 24, 2011 – 5097.15 FT from 5097.23 ft on July 18.  Down 3.96 inches since July 4 as per Doc Bateson.
AUGUST 4, 2011 – 5097 ft from 5097.15 ft on July 24.  About 1 ¾ inch drop in elevation.
AUGUST 8, 2011 – 5096.97 FT from 5097.0 4 days ago
AUGUST 12, 2011 – 5096.86 ft shot from doc B.  Average weekly evaporation of 1.23 inches per week which doc says is better (lower) than last year at the same time.
AUGUST 24, 2011 – 5096.68 FT.  Down from 5096.86 ft 12 days ago.
AUGUST 30, 2011 – 5096.56 FT.  Down around 1 ½ inches in last 6 days
SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – 5096.45FT, Down around 1 3/8 inches in the last 7 days.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 – 5096.34 FT.  Or 5096ft 4 1/8 inches.
OCTOBER 14-11 5096.18 or 5096 ft 2 1/8 inches
May 16, 2010 – 5097.36 feet; 
October 30, 2010  was 5095.60 feet.
© 2004-2018 by Valerie Aubrey