Tuesday, April 14, 2009 • Partnerships contribute to improvements at Eagle Lake Gallatin Marina

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, April 14 edition of the Lassen County Times.

Are you ready to enjoy the great outdoors?  The Lassen National Forest announces that the beginning of the fishing season is just around the corner.

Forest personnel would like to remind boaters to be safe and considerate of other water users.  Remember to be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Eagle Lake is as inviting as ever, with lots of migrating water fowl, spring flowers and great camping and fishing opportunities.

Currently the area is in the third year of a drought cycle; Eagle Lake and other local lake levels are lower than they were last year at this time. Based on visual estimates, it appears that the lake is starting around the same level as midsummer 2008.

“We are expecting to be able to use our boat launch facility at Eagle Lake south shore throughout the season, but that will be dependent upon evaporation levels during the summer,” said Grace McCullough, Eagle Lake Gallatin Marina manager.

“Last year, we started with the lake level of about 5,098.4 feet and ended at a level where some boats couldn’t get into the water.  However, we were able to use the facility through the end of December,” continued McCullough.

As the season progresses, the forest and marina staff suggest that visitors, planning to launch fiberglass or other heavy, deep-draft boats in excess of 20 feet, contact the Eagle Lake Marina for current lake conditions.

The LNF is actively pursuing design alternatives within the existing marina permit boundary and plans to consult with Cal Boating as part of this process.

The forest will be working with agency partners to meet all state and federal requirements for the most feasible alternatives in the coming year. This will position the Lassen to be competitive in 2010 for the next Cal Boating grant funding cycle.  LNF has considered various alternatives already and found that some would not meet the goal of improving the use of the existing ramp and marina facilities.

In 2008, through collaboration and contributions from the LNF road maintenance crew, Lassen College Foundation, Lassen County Search and Rescue and sheriff, and Department of Fish and Game, the Gallatin Marina harbor was scraped of silt in between the courtesy docks, as well as the ramp, in an effort to maximize the safety and enjoyment of marina visitors.  The LNF courtesy launching docks were repaired and extended further out into the harbor to facilitate launching of boats.

This month, the ramp will be scraped again, and the courtesy docks realigned, well ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.