Water & Drought

Low water level prompts reduced speed on Folsom Lake

Video: Wet winter refilling Folsom Lake

The California drought drove water levels to historic lows at Folsom Lake, but a wet winter is helping to refill the body of water.
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The California drought drove water levels to historic lows at Folsom Lake, but a wet winter is helping to refill the body of water.

The maximum speed limit for boats and other watercraft on Folsom Lake will be reduced to 5 mph beginning Monday due to low water levels.

The 5 mph speed limit is necessary because the low water level has brought rocks in the lake closer to the surface, and boats are in danger of being scratched or worse in some shallow areas, according to a news release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Visitors are welcome to come out and enjoy the lake,” Richard Preston, park superintendent, said in a written statement. “We want to make sure our visitors are aware of the increase in underwater hazards as a result of the low water levels. We urge people to exercise extreme caution while boating on the lake, both for their safety and to prevent damage to their watercraft.”

As of Monday, the Hobie Cove ramp at Browns Ravine, in El Dorado County, will be the only launch ramp available to boaters. Rattlesnake Bar, Granite Bay, Folsom Point and Peninsula boat ramps are all out of the water and closed to boat launching, officials said. The Granite Bay low water ramp will surface and should be available in about a week, they said.

Although day use and picnic areas at Folsom Lake remain open, park officials note that it is a long walk to the water’s edge.

The low-water speed limit was last implemented July 13, 2015 and lifted Jan. 25.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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