[env-trinity] Trinity Journal May 13, 2009

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri May 15 13:24:22 PDT 2009



 

Only two boat ramps will reach water this summer 
By SALLY MORRIS 

It's shaping up to be a challenging summer for recreation on Trinity Lake.
As of last week, the water level in Trinity Lake was nearly 88 feet from the
crest and rising, but current projections by the Bureau of Reclamation show
the level dropping to 105 feet below a full pool by the end of May. 

As fishery flows are released to the Trinity River through the summer and
diversions are made to supply irrigators and cities in the Central Valley,
the lake will continue to fall. The level is predicted to drop to 137 feet
below the crest by the end of August and 162 feet down by the end of
October. The lowest point in 2008 was approximately 130 feet below the
crest. 

Of seven boat launch ramps on Trinity Lake, only two will be in the water
this summer - Minersville which extends down to 200 feet below the lake's
crest and Cedar Stock which is useable down to approximately 140 feet. 

The Trinity Lakes Marina at Trinity Center will be closed and out of
service, but the marina at Cedar Stock is expected to be in full operation
with boat moorage available. Trinity Alps Marina at Fairview is expected to
be open with partial operations. 

The U.S. Forest Service campground at Stoney Point and the Clark Springs
campground and swim beach will be closed due to low water, but all other
Forest Service campgrounds at Trinity and Lewiston lakes and along the upper
Trinity River will be open. 

"We are lacking in boat ramps on Trinity during low water so we will focus
on Minersville and hopefully make that work," said the National Recreation
Area District Ranger Kristy Cottini in a report to the Trinity County Board
of Supervisors last week. 

Asked if there are any plans to improve capacity at the Minersville ramp,
Cottini noted that as the lake level drops, "there's lots of parking, but I
have had the pleasure of trying to break up fights on the boat ramp itself
with 20 boats lined up trying to get in the water. We're definitely thinking
about how we'll handle that and will focus on the high use weekends. I'm not
anticipating too much trouble." 

She added that overall, use is expected to be off judging from conversations
with marina owners who say reservations are down. 

There are some improvement projects planned at the Forest Service sites
including replacement of a vault toilet building at Pine Cove Boat Ramp on
Lewiston Lake and replacement of four flush restrooms at Tannery Gulch
campground this fall. 

The Forest Service has also obtained a $4 million grant from the California
Department of Boating and Water- ways to fund improvements at Bowerman,
Clark Springs and the Trinity Center boat ramp slated for construction in
2011. 

Supervisor Judy Pflueger from Trinity Center asked if there is any
possibility of extending the Trinity Center boat ramp that is currently
about 50 feet from the water. 

Cottini said the opportunities to develop low water ramps on both Trinity
and Shasta lakes are extremely limited by many factors including topography,
existing infrastructure such as power and road access, and environmental
issues. 

"In most cases, where it could have been done, it was done back in the
drought of the 1970s. It's not unusual for us to open up past low water
ramps, but I'm not aware of any on Trinity," she said. 

"But we have a town and businesses at the upper end that thrive on
recreation and we are starving," Pflueger said, asking that extending the
ramp at Trinity Center at least be considered. 

Cottini said she would look into the feasibility of it "to see whether it's
even possible there. Some of our sites just don't work well." 

Noting that the Forest Service started a feasibility study on adding another
marina two years ago when Estrellita was closed, Pflueger asked "are we
waiting for the water to come up to study the demand for another marina on
the lake? We picked a very bad time. We have no water, so what is the status
of our study?" 

Cottini said the current focus is on evaluating how existing marinas may be
expanded, noting it makes sense to maximize the use of areas that are
already developed, "but a lot of the burden of that is on the marina owners
and it's not a great year to expect it of them. We are working with them. We
are not pushing because economically it's not a great time and we don't need
to, but it's not stagnant." 

She added that if people know of any areas on Trinity they think could be
developed "I'd like to know where they are because when you start overlaying
all the other development and environmental issues, it really starts
limiting the possibilities. We are planning for the next 50 to 100 years,
not the next two, so we want to take our time and make the right decisions."


On a positive note, Cottini reported that the area's bald eagle population
is "doing very well" with three nests on Lewiston Lake and 14 on Trinity.
The fishing is also anticipated to be good this summer thanks to a stocking
program that will release about 750 rainbow trout into Trinity and
approximately 700 in Lewiston Lake this summer.

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

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