Folsom Lake is back in business

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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With the speed limit lifted and water levels higher at Folsom Lake, it is time once again for many to enjoy the lake and do a little fishing. Loren Storms of Shingle Springs returned from a morning of trout fishing Saturday and is looking for a good year in 2010. “I pretty much use the lake for everything, fishing, skiing and wakeboarding,” he said. “I’ve got a slip here but haven’t been able to use it because of the low water levels.” Fortunate for many, State Park officials at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area an-nounced the lifting of the 5-m.p.h. speed limit restriction for all vessels at the lake. Lake levels were about the 400-foot mark over the weekend, when measured against the dam. Barry Fitts has been fishing Folsom Lake for 45 years. He said the catching isn’t what it used to be and blames low-lake levels for the fish’s decline. “I used to catch 3-footers in here easy,” he said. “With all the water they let out, they kill all the breeding fish.” Regardless of the lack of fish in the lake, he and friend Chris Bibb of El Dorado Hills, took off Saturday to try their luck. The 5-m.p.h. speed restriction had been put in place on Oct. 21, 2009, due to public safety concerns regarding low water levels and associated hazards. “This is great news for boaters and fishermen and all who enjoy the lake,” said Folsom Lake Superintendent Ted Jackson. “Even so, boaters and other should still exercise caution as rising lake levels can mask unmarked hazards.” Storms agreed. “When the 5-m.p.h. sign is up, it’s pretty accurate,” he said. “I almost scraped bottom (in shallow water), but I was only going 5 m.p.h., so there was no real damage.” Boaters should take note that when there are heavy flows in the rivers coming into Folsom Lake, logs and other debris are washed downstream and into the lake with that flow. Some of those heavy logs float mostly submerged and are hard to see. Boaters are warned to watch carefully, especially at increased speeds, because those tree-sized logs can cause serious boat damage and injury. Also, more water in the lake does not mean that all rocks are safely under water. Boaters should use extreme caution near shoreline areas and when going around points of land jutting out into the lake. Launch ramps are currently open at Granite Bay and Brown’s Ravine. All other ramps will remain closed until the lake level increases. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area office is located at 7755 Folsom-Auburn Road in Folsom. For more information, call (916) 988-0205.