Ramp Conditions
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LOW WATER RAMP:  The courtesy dock has been removed for the season  the ramp remains open to use. While it is winter, conditions can and do change rapidly.  One is the road in.  Another is that the gravel ramp holds up pretty well with ice for traction, but towing up a big boat could get dicey if you aren’t prepared.  Plus it’s pretty much mandatory to carry snow chains to get here anyway.  A few more inches of snow is predicted later this weekend and temps predicted to drop to single digit low temps….which will make for slick conditions.  Check wind directions also.  Northerly winds can make the ramp a tough one to get in and out of.

Some trailers are going off the end of the cement, but mostly only the first set of tires of a dual axel.  However, please note that the drop off the end is pretty deep if you do drop off and you might lose your license plate and damage your trailer but all in the name of fishing….and now without a courtesy dock.  

Also note that boats on carpeted bunks can freeze to the bunks overnight after launching and from towing on snowy roads and the air passing under your trailer acts like a flash freezer.  Don’t keep backing down the ramp, the boat will float the trailer & not even grunt.  Just wait a few minutes after sinking the bunks, the lake water will thaw things out.  I don’t think I ever waited more than a few minutes until temps drop to single digits and lower.  That was the least of my problems.  LoL.

We still have the hump from last year, surrounded by deeper water…the hump doesn’t allow for flow out the channel, it simply traps the sediment and drops on the shoal (AKA “hump”).  So power-loading boats this season is still not advisable.  So start having some common sense out there people.  Power loading has killed more than one ramp around here in the past. The sad part is I have seen more power-loading this year than last year so don’t be surprised if more rocks are blown out and the sandbar rises as the hole at the end of the rocks deepens. 


CABIN RENTALS for winter fishing: Eagle Lake RV park has off sight cabins too so be sure to contact them at 530 825-3133.  Reduced hours and store is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Folks keeping housekeeping cabins open: John Hembree: 209 768-5581, Kenworthy’s have 2 large homes for rent 209 470-2350 or 209 810-3024; Also check the Eagle Lake Community AND Eagle Lake Real-estate and rental page on Facebook.  These are new pages, together Eagle Lakers are getting things in place for things to be in one of three pages.  It’s just taking off, I know the folks running those pages and it’s a wonderful thing for properties.  New number for Bob Williams cabins 530 919-3995. 

The launch ramp is designated for launching boats, not swimming or fishing from it. There’s miles of recreation area for swimming and fishing from shore….the boat launch is not it. Either side is fine, just don’t block or hinder the boats going in and out.  We all like to see folks enjoy their stay & see the kids playing and fishing. However, Eagle Lake does NOT have areas to drive up and fish from shore.  Every access for shore fishing requires a hike & some small children can’t always traverse the length and terrain.  It’s not a family user friendly lake for shore fishing as accesses are not maintained nor have any accesses been created or adapted for low water usage.  Pretty much over fall and winter, it’s a matter of being able to hike through snow and survive cold temps. …often low temps in the single digits by late Nov/Dec.

See photos in ramp album

SPALDING: Nope.  Spalding district board has chosen not to open the marina bathrooms or ramp for launching as the water is not high enough & a rock pile stands in the way.  Not going to be any boats launching out of Spalding until the deluge comes and quite a few repairs and maintenance….like removing the rock pile blocking the channel. And no one advises trying.


I advise all CA boaters to take the CA boat operators test and get certified.  If you’re over 50, this means you.  You’ll be amazed at what you don’t know after all the decades you have been boating.  Those of us that have certified sooner than we needed to, we can tell in an instant when one is not. From the way you handle your boat at the dock to how your trailer is hooked up as well as manners on the water such as how close you can come to manual powered float tubes or kayaks on the water.  These are no different that if someone was swimming and just because there might not be enforcement all the time, safety can certainly be an issue.  Do it in your spare time.  Take the course, the mini tests and get it done.  Do not take the test thinking you know everything, unless you have a captains license and at that point you don’t need certified, you are already.  Take the course.  You will need to know about sailing boats, PWC, Kayaks, manual powered float tubes and paddle boats and legal distances from them as well as what NOT to do at a launch ramp….that’s what is a real determination of passing the certification test. Military vessels, buoys at inlets, ocean, distance from swimmers (including manual powered crafts) and much more. Trust me, no matter how long you have operated boats on a lake, you probably won’t pass the test without taking the course.  Gotta pass by no less than 80% correct.  I am not ashamed to say, I learned things that I will never use, but at least I do know them.  Do you?  Personally, regardless of age, knowing what you’re doing with a boat and on the water is a good thing.  Other’s lives depend on it also.  I can’t count the times when boats come too close to my kayak or float tube, turn so their lines are under me and then blame me for running over their lines.  LoL. If someone wants to talk or say Hi, just let me know before coming in too close.  Most people text me and I’m expecting company.  No problem, just don’t come in too close when no notice is given or when a kayak has a fish on.   Anymore, I just keep fishing, ignore the idiots, if they catch my line my braid will win and my scissors are handy to cut their lines when they hang up on my depth finder, yak or my line for being stupid.  LoL.  It really is unbelievable how many people out there on the water crowd not only other boats when there is a lot of open water and few boats but crowd the kayaks too.  One born every minute.

NOTE:  Making it easier is the main goal here.  Launching KAYAKS at the low water ramp leaves one with a limited area to fish.  Christie Day Use, Circus Grounds (steep) & Aspen and the Youth Camp will take a little work, but doable.  Getting down to the lake near Camp Ronald McDonald is quite a chore…not so much getting down, but getting back up anywhere is the challenge.  Kayak: You can use a 25ft long rope strung through the wheel frame on both sides which you can thread through your grab handle from opposite sides and can put over your shoulders.  This allows you to use your body and legs to get the yak up over humps and bumps and inclines rather than just my arm.  Also, note that when putting the yak on the wheels it is critical to have just a little weight forward.  This keeps the yak from tipping backwards all the time, dragging and having to keep pushing down on the bow to stay level on the cart.  Generally the balance point is under the seat but you’ll have to adjust it for your yak and gear weight.  Don’t use bungee cords, use real ratchet straps (I use silicon pads on my ratchets to protect the kayak) and tightly secure the yak to the wheels.  Bungee’s pop off, stretch and are sloppy when transporting as are simply cinch straps.  Generally your yak pulls off the wheels with bungee’s and the cinches loosen up easily on pull buckles.  With ratchet straps that doesn’t happen, but I do check tightness as the straps do stretch over time.  Loop one side of the straps so the straps stay with the cart which makes it easier to strap down.  When getting in the water you can get in the yak on land, use your broken down paddle as crutches, use your butt and weight to help push yourself into the water.  Same thing getting back in.  Keeps your feet dry and gives you a stable platform to get in and out. I also have a rope attached to the bow handle with a nice knot and loop in it…just the right length.  This gives me something to pull myself up over my feet to the standing position to get out.  That’s the certified gimp way of doing things & staying dry.   LoL. With little to no handicap accessibility around the lake for fishing we have to improvise and basically cause ourselves a lot of pain just to access fishing opportunities.  And no I don’t really give a hoot about walking on the vegetation, if the USFS wants people to stay off the vegetation they could maintain the dilapidated, damaged accesses or take steps to improve things for evolving fishing techniques. 
NO HANDICAP FISHING OR BEACH ACCESS: Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements, cinder gravel for carts and wheelchairs is not compliance to ADA requirements and actually quite difficult to even walk on.  Christie Day Use handicap lake access is a disaster waiting to happen.  Stay off the plastic walkway grate panels that have multiple trip hazards of 1 to 3″ in difference and missing panels and walk on the vegetation to the water and the point as there are fewer hazards and better user made trails.  Better to be safe than doing a face plant right off the bat.  Been there, done that.  It is an accident waiting to happen for just about anyone, handicapped or not.  If chair bound, please have help getting down to use the picnic area.  Several panels are missing, edges and corner of panels turned up 1 to 2+ inches…folks using them to be able to launch yaks and tubes without getting knee deep in the muck.  The guys in wheelchairs can only fish from the courtesy dock at the ramp, they have NO other choice for fishing except the end of the jetty and that’s still tough for getting a fish landed and still very shallow.  The end of the jetty still has several feet of rocks so getting a fish dragged up over the steep rocks isn’t going to be easy for anyone handicapped or mobility impaired. There isn’t any handicap swimming access now so we try to do our best at getting our boats in and out and we know they have no other choice for a dip on a hot summer day and I would rather see them trying to fish and cool off than not fishing or recreating at all.  The responsibility for maintaining previously established accesses lies solely with the USFS to provide ADA access and maintain existing handicap accesses.
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