PGE projects lower water levels at Lake Almanor

Pacific Gas and Electric Company reports Lake Almanor water levels are projected to be slightly below normal this summer. Meanwhile, levels at Bucks Lake will be relatively constant, starting off lower-than-normal but by summer’s end will be at normal seasonal levels.

Despite the significantly below-average precipitation and snowpack for the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades mountain ranges, Lake Almanor is expected to be only about one to two feet lower than normal this summer.

Lake Almanor receives much of its water from volcanic aquifers in the Southern Cascade Mountain Range which release a steady year-round flow of water from springs, even in dry years. This year, based on current data and models assuming moderate electrical demand this summer, PG&E projects Lake Almanor water levels will reach approximately 4,487 feet elevation by July 4, and approximately 4,481 feet by Labor Day.

Bucks Lake, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, relies largely on surface runoff from precipitation in winter and spring. Though Bucks Lake water levels are projected to be below seasonal normal until the end of summer, due to the dry year conditions, levels are expected to be constant all season, around 5,139 feet elevation. Other contributing factors to the lower water levels are spillway maintenance and dam upgrade projects.

PG&E expects Butt Valley Reservoir to be within normal operating range this summer.

PG&E encourages the public to take appropriate safety precautions when recreating in and near water:

  • Obey all warning signs and restrictive buoys while swimming or boating.
  • Use the “buddy system.” Never fish, swim, boat or raft alone.
  • Don’t dive or jump into unfamiliar water. Shallow water or submerged trees or rocks could cause serious injury.