Boat ramps close at Lake Tahoe CA for summer due to drought | The Sacramento Bee
How the drought is closing some popular Lake Tahoe summer boat ramps
By Molly SullivanMay 20, 2021 09:48 AM, Updated May 21, 2021 07:57 PM

Summer is going to look a lot different at Lake Tahoe.
Some municipal boat ramps along the north and south shores are closed for the 2021 boating season as the lake drops to levels not seen since the last drought in 2015.
“Due to below anticipated lake levels, the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area boat launch will not open to motorized vessels for the 2021 boating season,” officials said. ““Non-motorized crafts will have access to the launch.”
South Lake Tahoe officials announced last week that boat launches on the south shore’s El Dorado Beach would also be closed to motorized craft.
“The water level in the lake fluctuates from year to year depending on winter snowfall and snowpack,” the city said. “At this time, the water is too low to safely launch a motorized boat at this location.”
Boat ramps at Lake Forest Beach along the north shore, Obexer’s on the west shore, and Cave Rock on the east shore will still be open.
According to data collected by the USGS, the water level at Lake Tahoe has been dropping since last summer, dropping to its lowest elevations Wednesday. The lake currently stands at 6,225 feet, nearing its natural rim of 6,223 feet.
Streams on the Placer County side of the Tahoe Basin that feed into the lake are also showing signs of “below normal” flow for this time of year, according to the USGS water dashboard.
The news comes as California plunges deep into another drought. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that 39 of California’s 58 counties are in a drought emergency, underscoring the rapid deterioration of California’s water supply in recent weeks.
The governor’s order covers the Sacramento region, including Placer County, which is in a extreme drought, according to the state’s drought map. The Lake Tahoe area is in a severe drought.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Lake Tahoe’s water level.Corrected May 21, 2021
The view from Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park in 2020 shows a stretch of the lake’s northeast shore looking north from Sand Harbor toward Incline Village, Nev. Boat ramps on Lake Tahoe are closing for the 2021 season due to the drought. Scott Sonner Associated Press

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