FOLSOM -- The Thompsons are beating the crowd for what's set to be a packed weekend at Folsom Lake. They’d been planning for a lazy day on the water—one that they thought would be many to come this summer.
“We finally had El Nino, we had the big rains coming so we thought we were good, thought we had a full [boating] season,” Mark Thompson said.
But last night, the family received an email from the Folsom Lake Marina that put a damper on their plans.
“[It said] we need to have our boats out by the 15th of August, but when we got in today, there was a sign that said August 5th,” Thompson said.
Outflow from the Folsom Dam will be increasing, dropping the water levels and rendering the Marina non-operational in July, cutting the water season short.
Ken Christiansen, manager of the Folsom Lake Marina says it`s more than just bad news for slip owners.
“It affects the whole community here,” Christiansen said. “Launching ramps will be out of service, swim beaches are gone … income from people who come to Folsom are all going to be affected.”
Louis Moore with the Bureau of Reclamation, reminds people recreation is just one of the roles of the Folsom reservoir. He realizes the high water levels can be misleading, but says the effects of the previous four years of drought don't disappear in one season.
Instead, he said, the bureau is in some cases trying to play catch up.
“That water that we have in the system seems to be a much greater supply, the demand is the same, so we’re trying to meet all of these things, where before we simply didn't have the water to do that with,” Moore said.
And lake goers are going to soon be feeling the effects.
“It's frustrating,” Thompson said. “I moved up to this town because of this lake, and I've been using it for a number of years. It’s a big part of our lifestyle.”