Folsom Lake Water Levels Leave Boating Season in Question

 FOLSOM -- The slips at Folsom Lake Marina are practically empty despite having 20 feet of water to spare.

Last month, boats were allowed back into their slips but the Bureau of Reclamation says the water level is as high as it's going to get this year. Last year, after record snowfall, boats weren't removed from the marina until December. In normal boating conditions, boats would stay in the slips until late summer.

“Basically, we're not going to have our boats in the water this summer," said marina manager Ken Christensen.

Christensen says that because of the water releases happening in the next few weeks, by the end of March, the slips won’t be useable anymore.  A below average snowpack won't be raising water levels for the rest of the year. He says boat owners aren't bothering to put their boats in then having to remove them again in a few weeks.

“The way it’s looking within three weeks they would all have to be back out of the water and they’d rather keep them in our dry storage lot than take the trouble of putting them back in," Christensen said.

But die-hard boaters aren’t letting the water forecast deter them. The Shields family was making the most of a short season.

“I got two weeks," said Roy Shields. "I got to get it out April 1st. I’m going to take advantage and putting in tomorrow."

However, that means it will be harder for wakeboarder Joe Shields to get his practice in.

"I’m really disappointed, I’d like to wakeboard all season, but at least I get to go out there for now," he said.

For the time being, boating is good for those using boat ramps on the lake. There are no speed limits or water obstacles.

"They talk about global warming, maybe just less snow in the Sierras. I don’t know what it is, we had a great year last year and, hopefully, we’ll have another one next year," Christensen said.