Lake Pillsbury – Winter is Here
As we start off 2016 at Lake Pillsbury with lots of rain and snow, which we have all enjoyed and appreciated, it’s a good time to talk lake level and road conditions. By the time I push the “publish” button on this post, water will probably be flowing over the spillway (1900 ft, 54k acre ft and 72% of full for the numbers crowd). This represents a “full lake” for the coming months. The gates above the spillway will be lowered by April 1st (FERC requirement, and have been closed earlier on low water years), and the lake is then able to fill to just below the top of the gates (dam safety). With continued storms, we will have surges that flow many feet over the spillway, then subside back down. If the El Niño keeps its promise through spring, we should have a good summer lake with no early water releases as shown in other years with late season rain.
With winter weather brings deteriorating road conditions to Lake Pillsbury. First though, thanks to both Lake and Mendocino Counties road crews for doing a great job on the 240/Elk Mountain Rd after the first few rains; the road was super smooth. Then came that heavier much needed rain, and the pot holes and muddy areas are back, as the road is again heavily traveled with those coming to enjoy the winter snow. As the snow packed down and the skies cleared to freezing temperatures over New Years, the last steep leg to Lake Pillsbury (Soda Creek Hill), became extremely hazardous with vehicles slipping and sliding into the hillsides. With the current warmer temperatures and more rain, we are good now, but please be careful if we have icy conditions again this winter.
For all you water sports enthusiasts, the Fuller Grove launch is now open for business, and we hope to see it stay open through the whole summer season!