Text Message 530-249-1430
THE LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
At this point, the low water ramp at Gallatin will function fine all season for us. We’ll have to wait and see how Spalding’s south ramp does. We still need around 6″ of water before we reach last years high water. I don’t see the north ramp in Spalding or Stones Landing being functional at all at this time. We still need to come up to last years level before we might see temporary launching for all and bigger boats at this time at Spalding but some will make it out for a while if we don’t start loosing water to quickly. We’ll be running our kayaks through the ramp before opening so we’ll be able to tell you the depths ahead of time. I’m sure there will be boats that do launch in Spalding but jet boats will fair better than deeper prop drives.
At this time, I’m still planning on launching down south at the low water ramp this season. 1) I save fuel and get where the fish are faster. 2) all it costs me is a little extra time. 3) saves $8 and 4-5 gallons of boat fuel vs 2 gallons round trip in my truck. 4) I don’t have to run my motor trimmed up to get through the channel from the ramp to the lake in heavy winds with lesser control or pull the weeds off my prop every in and out. I can run up to Pelican from the south ramp just about as fast as I can from Spalding and avoid sucking up weeds, silt and grit in my water pump. Once we have more water in the lake, I will launch in Spalding again in the future, but personally, I want another 3 to 5 ft of water. On 4-21 the lake elevation is about where it was around July 7ish 2017. It’s not about floating the boat off the trailer, it’s about repairs after daily usage, weeds, silt and wear and tear through the channel. Take offs in shallower water that stirs up the grit on the lake bottom (as well as releasing a lot of trapped methane) and dealing with all the other boats stirring up the yuck. I don’t have people paying me to deal with damage over time anymore, so I take better care of my equipment so I don’t have the down time or expensive repairs. Jet boats will do better for a while over the prop drives. Since I don’t worry about getting out and fishing at the first legal minute of the fishing day, I can take that extra time to tow my boat to the south end. I replace my water pumps every two years anyway due to the sand, silt, shrimp, snails, algae and various other critters that are normally in this lake. The impellers are pretty much due for replacement by then. Of course, I only really run my boat in this lake so it can take it’s toll over time, but I don’t have any down time either. LoL.
We’ll see what the water temps do by the end of May but for the most part, they rise fast in the shallow depths and generally drive any trout that were up here south of the Youth Camp and Pelican Pt by the end of May anyway so it really hasn’t been to my advantage during these low water years. 1300 fish in a lot of water area off Spalding isn’t really a big number for the amount of lake depth there is. From the south end I plenty of very good options along the way as well as cleaner water and more trout. For me, it’s all about water temps as to where the trout are and what level they are at.
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. Christie Day Use handicap access is a disaster waiting to happen. Stay off the plastic 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 trails. Better to be save that doing a face plant right off the bat. LNF refuses to do any repairs of existing handicap accesses so if you are mobility impaired, take your chances. The guys in wheelchairs can only fish from the courtesy dock at the ramp, they have NO other choice so we try to do our best at getting our boats in and out and we know they have no other choice and I would rather see them trying to fish than not fishing at all. The responsibility for accesses lies solely with the USFS, not the marina concessionaires.
©Valerie Aubrey, 2018 EagleLakeFishing.net