Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sometimes a lake isn't a lake.

Lake Natoma is my local lake, just a few miles from my place.  It's where I go for my morning workout paddles.  It's where we teach our flat-water courses.  It's where we do social and moonlight paddles. It's a nice little lake in the middle of the city that still has a quiet and peaceful feel.  Technically, it is not a lake but an intermediary reservoir.  Its purpose is to regulate the flow and temperature of water that comes out of the much larger Folsom lake above it before heading into the American River below it.

But with the crazy amounts of rain/snow we've been having here in California (should be close to 200% of normal this season) they have been releases high amounts of water - 25,000 cfs instead of the typical 1,000-5,000 cfs.  This has turned the nice little lake into a significant river with twice the typical flow in the grand canyon.  There isn't any crazy whitewater but the fact that there is whitewater at all is quite unusual.  And the park service has actually closed the lake to recreational boating (which seems overly dramatic given the fact that the current only lasts for half of the lake and there is still about three miles of flat water before the lower dam).

This probably won't be very exciting or meaningful to those who don't regularly paddle on Lake Natoma, but here is a little video of what it looks like in the upper section at the moment:

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your blog after watching your Gonzo Paddle video. Cool to see that kind of current on Lake Natoma. Thanks for sharing!