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SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: See photos. We will see temporary launching at the south ramp this season. Time will tell. Some folks are still launching while other folks chose to head to the south end. Keeping our fingers crossed it will still be okay by fall. There are still some underwater rock piles north of Pelican Pt channel and between the Youth Camp and Biology Station that could pose a problem for I/O units or deep running props. These are not clearly marked on maps, however the general locations are shown on Val’s map. On 8-12 there was a lot of gunk at the Spalding south ramp. This can come and go depending on the wind direction. However, I don’t have 2 extra hours to clean the boat and trailer so I’ll be launching down south this week.
NORTH RAMP AT SPALDING: See photos. Nope. But fair for kayaks. Tules are thicker now, but still a little channel to get through to push out. See photos.
ROCKY PT: Ya have to get past the tules a short way out which have become thicker over time off the gravel ramp. We launched kayaks ok at the point before the campground but that was about the best place to get in for a recreational paddle. Hopefully, we’ll see some fish migrate up this far in fall. Time will tell. I will check it eventually.
STONES: Nope, too many thick tules now even for kayaks. See photos
KAYAKS: Gallatin Beach, Aspen Ramp both a shorter walk to the water this season. Gotta get past the tules and marsh grass but doable. Just about anywhere off Pike’s Pt is decent for tube launching off gravel. USFS put the boulders too close together to get a kayak through to the side at the low water ramp so it’s easier just to use the ramp. Boats may complain, but you have every right to use the ramp when no accessible kayak trail is provided. If launching your kayak takes time, so be it. If USFS wants to keep traffic moving, they could push the boulders 3.5ft apart for getting a kayak on a cart thru. The Circus Grounds also has a good stretch of gravel bar, steeper trek down from the road, gravel and rocks to the water. Eagle’s Nest is a good kayak launch as well as float tubes for access to deeper water, nasty road getting to the Eagle’s Nest turnoff. Christie still a haul but doable. Wildcat Pt is accessible but if we see some rains, the road in can get soft, some logging trucks and chippers working. The Youth Camp is also doable for kayaks. Best to have wheels/carts just about anywhere though. Christie is easy to get down but a climb to get back up to the parking lot.
North basins: Rocky Pt gravel ramp has more water but heavy tules now. Ok for kayaks and some small boats might get in but you still have to get past the tule line. 2 Vault toilets at Rocky Pt. Primitive camping sites. No garbage removal so pack it in, pack it out. North ramp in Spalding also doable for kayaks to launch as is the gravel bar north of the airstrip. The area south of the airstrip is also closer to the water than it has been in years, just watch out for the fence line and it can get really muddy and the tules are now quite thick. Note that we are not supposed to drive along the shoreline or walk or drive inside the fenced airstrip. Highway 139 water is pretty nasty. We had a few fish off Stones Landing in spring but take note that by fall, the water will be much shallower, and cows continue to graze in the lake at 5 dot ranch and BLM. Much better water quality in the south basin and Spalding where the cattle have been restricted until a plan has been established to protect the water quality. 5dot doesn’t care about the north basin water quality and appears to be refusing to keep their cows out of the lake water.
I advise all CA boaters to take the CA boat operators test and get certified. 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 manors 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. 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.
©Valerie Aubrey, 2019 EagleLakeFishing.net