Bass Lake Water Levels Managed to Reduce Impacts of Critically Dry Year, Expect Lower but Steady Summer Water Levels
FRESNO, CA —Bass Lake water levels are projected to be about 7 feet lower than normal this summer due the critically dry year in California.
“PG&E is managing water at Bass Lake to balance the needs of recreation, the environment, power generation and downstream water users. Despite the wet season’s precipitation being half of normal, Bass Lake will peak at about 72% of capacity in June and remain above 70% of capacity come Labor Day,” said Aaron Cortes, a director of hydropower operations and maintenance at Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
By comparison, during 2015, which was a drought year, Bass Lake’s elevation was 17 feet below normal summer levels.
Little to no significant impacts are anticipated for the lake’s two public cement boat ramps and commercial marinas.
PG&E urges boaters to be vigilant, exercise caution and maintain safe speeds and distances from other watercraft as lower elevation means:
• less water surface area to share with other boaters
• submerged objects are closer to the surface than in higher water level years.
Total precipitation for the season to date in the Central Sierra is 49% of average, and the spring runoff is forecast to be 30% of average due to the dry and warm conditions.
This year, PG&E projects Bass Lake levels will reach approximately 3,365 feet elevation by July 4, and approximately 3,364 feet by Labor Day. PG&E works to maintain water levels through Labor Day so more water is available for recreation.
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.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.