This video was made by a Norwegian company to raise an awareness around the dangers of intoxication and while operating a boat…some of us are better than others at pulling your boat into a dock so I got a kick out of this!
With the low lake level and the lack of precipitation, I thought it would be good to give you a quick update. I’ve been hearing a lot of inaccurate comments about our lake. Things like….”it hasn’t been this bad since the 1960’s!” (not true). It doesn’t look good right now but we’ve been here before and the lake will come back. It might take longer than we would like but it will fill up.
We’re currently 14′ 10″ from being full according to the the Big Bear Municipal Water District. In 2004, we were 17′ from being full. The following year the lake completely filled up. In 1992, the lake was down 13′ and completely filled up in 1993. So, while it is a little depressing to see we must realize that the lake level fluctuates from year to year based on the amount of precipitation we get and some years are going to be better than others.
You can go on the MWD’s website and view the lake level as well as the monthly precipitation measurements. Below is an example of the chart they provide to the public. Going all the way back to 1884, on average February is the wettest month of the year (7.40), followed by January (7.07) and March (6.20). So let’s hope for a wet February!
With only 2 months to go, below is a list of lakefront homes that have sold on Big Bear Lake in 2017 to keep you updated on the activity. If you have any questions or if I can help in any way feel free to contact me at (firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-633-2558).
Big Bear Marina (500 Paine Court) 909-866-3218-
Captain John’s Marina (39396 North Shore Drive) 909-866-6478
East & West Ramp Public Launch (41911 & 38925 North Shore Dr) 909-866-5200 & 909-866-2917
Holloway’s Marina & Pirate Ship (398 Edgemoor Rd) 909-866-5706
North Shore Landing (38573 North Shore Dr) 909-878-4386
Pine Knot Marina (439 Pine Knot Ave) 909-866-7766
Pleasure Point Marina (603 Landlock Landing Rd) 909-866-2455
Fishing Tournaments in Big Bear Lake for 2017
April 1- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com
May 6- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com
May 20-21- Hall Family May Trout Classic 909-866-5796 www.bbmwd.org
June 3-4- Fishin’ for $50k Trout Derby, Big Bear Visitors Bureau 800-424-4232 www.bigbear.com
June 10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com
June 17-18- 14th Annual Carp Round-Up, Big Bear Municipal Water District 909-866-5796 www.bbmwd.org
July 15- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com
Aug 12- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com
Sept 9-10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament of Champions 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com, Western Outdoor News Troutfest, 949-366-0248, www.wonews.com
Return of Big Bear Fishing Tradition by Big Bear Grizzly
Aaron Armstrong saw a need in 2016 and Big Bear anglers answered the call. The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association was reborn and after a lengthy hiatus to help promote and revive fishing in Big Bear Lake.
“We feel it’s pretty important to bring the fishery back tot he way it was,” says John Cantrell, Big Bear Lake Fishing Association president.
The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association is focused on improving, maintaining and growing the sport of fishing on Big Bear Lake. The organization is seeking interested members. The next meeting of the association is 5:30pm Wednesday, March 15, at Denny’s Restaurant, 41196 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake.
Cantrell says the group will also bring back the Shoreline Cleanup event firmly run by Alan Sharp. The Shoreline Cleanup is set for May 6 and 7.
“We have 40 members right now,” Cantrell says. There is also a membership option called Tagged Fish Members Program. So far there are 19 individual and business Tagged Fish members. Prizes and tag fish numbers and winners will be posted on the association’s website throughout the season.
Membership fees and donations help make an impact on the lake with fish plants of fertile fish, which will reproduce and provide fish for years to come, Cantrell says.
For more information, visit www.bigbearfishingassocation.org
I thought this video was pretty cool in capturing the Polar Plunge this past weekend in Big Bear Lake for Special Olympics.
Municipal Water District officials are not concerned about an event similar to Oroville happening in Big Bear. Below is an article from Natalie Williams of the Big Bear Grizzly.
Big Bear Dam not at risk
Unlike the damage, flooding and evacuations at the Oroville Dam in Northern California, the dam on Big Bear Lake is in good shape.
“As far as dam safety and issues and concerns of flooding, we’re about half capacity right now, so we have a long ways to go, ” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District. As of February 1`, the dam was 13 feet, 4 inches from full.
Stephenson said the Big Bear Lake dam is not at risk of experiencing issues similar to the Oroville Dam in Northern California. The problems with Oroville Dam began February 7 after a large hole emerged in a spillway after the region experienced heavy rains. Evacuations for at least 188,000 followed February 12 after there were concerns of the spillway failing, according to The Mercury News.
The Big Bear dam can withstand an 8.3-plus earthquake and 3 feet of water over the top, Stephenson said.
When water is released from the Big Bear dam, it takes nine hours to travel from the Big Bear dam to the Seven Oaks dam. “Seven Oaks is double the capacity of Big Bear and can never be more than half full, so it can take the entire Big Bear Lake and hold it behind it,” Stephenson said. If there were a breach, Seven Oaks would be able to successfully capture the water. There are a few campgrounds near the path of the water, which are unoccupied during the winter months, so Stephenson said there’s really no risk or danger.
“Our capabilities for release are incredible,” Stephenson said. “And if we got into a situation where we saw an impending storm, and we’re a foot or two from full, we certainly would start a release, kind of like what Oroville is doing right now with what’s going on up there.”
To help with the safety, the MWD bolted some rocks to the side of cliffs near the dam and conducted a routing study a few years ago to see if there were erosion or overtopping concerns.
“The routing study, what it does is it kind of models the water going over the top of the dam and what potentially kind of erosion, like what happened in Oroville, could create,” Stephenson said. “And there were no concerns.”
The east side of the dam has experienced some spalling, or erosion, of the concrete, but the MWD said it is damage caused to the original 1-foot archways. In 2005-06 the MWD added a 2-foot thick dam behind that dam, so it is secure, Stephenson said. “Our dam right now is a big blob of concrete, it’s 32 feet, it’s pretty damn strong, there’s no fear of it failing,” he said.
The MWD also has an operations plan from its engineer, Mike Rogers of Montgomery. Watson and Harza, which instructs the district that if there is 12 inches of predicted precipitation and the dam is a foot from full, water needs to be released, Stephenson said.
“We have a pretty robust plan as far as any issue,” Stephenson said. “It’s kind of funny the last conversation I had with reporters was drought, now we’re talking flood and the dam breaks. And that’s how these things come. Right now we’re actually hoping we get some of that rain up north.”
The MWD dam has approval from its engineer and experiences bi-annual inspections from the Division of Safety of Dams for the state of California, Stephenson said. Right now, Stephenson still hopes to receive additional precipitation.
We’re certainly not out of the woods yet as far as drought and low lake level,” Stephenson said.
Big Bear Municipal Water District hatches plan for Fish
by Natalie Williams of Big Bear Grizzly
The Big Bear Municipal Water District is considering opening it’s own fish hatchery.
The MWD purchases it’s trout from hatcheries, many of which are in Northern California and have been affected by the drought. This altered the availability and price of the trout, board president John Eminger said.
After visiting the William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery in Anchorage, Alaska, January 30 with four board members and two staff members, the Municipal Water District is considering moving forward with it’s own fish hatchery.
“We haven’t had a plan yet,” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the MWD. “We learned a lot. We saw an identical facility to what we’re considering. Again, it’s information only so we’re now trying to sit back down and hash out some ideas.”
The MWD developed an ad-hoc committee specific for the hatchery consisting of board members Bob Ludecke and Vince Smith. The committee members will soon discuss their thoughts on the hatchery and then recommend how the district should proceed. A date for that committee meeting has yet to be determined, though Stephenson expects it to be within the next month.
One potential location for the hatchery could be the former mobile home park next to the MWD office, Eminger said.
A timeline for completion is uncertain at this time, Stephenson said. The MWD could receive the parts in-house within six months. “It’s pretty preliminary to even get there yet,” he said.
Planning and environment work would need to be completed as well. Stephenson said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not require them to complete California Environmental Quality Act paperwork, but the MWD will go through with the process anyway.
The quality of the video above isn’t very good…but I was out for a jog and was pleasantly surprised at how well the water was flowing out of Grout Creek (over in Fawnskin) back into Big Bear Lake. I know some of us are a little jealous at how much snow Mammoth is getting (and Big Bear is not), but the rain is good for our lake and aquifers. The article below was written by Kathy Portie and Natalie Williams of the Big Bear Grizzly last week.
Recent storms during Christmas and New Year’s holidays have added more than 7 inches to the level of Big Bear Lake. But overall, the lake level remains low as Big Bear Valley enters its sixth year of drought.
Two snow storms at the end of December helped make the holiday successful from a business standpoint, but how did it impact the drought?
Not so much, according to officials from Big Bear Valley’s water districts.
“You could say it gives us a false sense of security,” said Jerry Griffiths, water superintendent for the Big Bear City Community Services District. “We need a great January and February also, if we’re going to see any impacts at all.”
Big Bear, as with the state of California, has been in the midst of a drought for more than five years. The last time Big Bear was faced with a drought of this magnitude was 2002-2005, Griffiths said. He likes to use those numbers when calculating the impacts and needs involving the current drought.
“According to our office measurements, we had almost 4-and-a-half-inches of precipitation this last storm,” Griffiths said. “That sounds like a lot. But last year in January, we got 4-and-a-half, and it still didn’t (help). ”
Griffiths said his crew plans to measure well levels this week. Based on November’s numbers, the CSD wells are 42 feet down. At the lowest point during the last major drought in 2004, that level was about 60 feet down, he said. “That was pretty severe,” Griffiths. “We go down about 5 feet a year. If we don’t continue to get good precipitation, we could see it go down more.”
At the Big Bear Municipal Water District, which manages recreation and safety on Big Bear Lake, general manager Mike Stephenson said the two December storms did give a boost to the lake level. “It’s come up 7-and-a-half inches this season since after Thanksgiving at the lowest point,” Stevenson said. “That one rainstorm (before Christmas) brought it up the most.”
Stephenson said the last snow raised the lake about half an inch. “And it’s going to go down in the ground, up in the air or into the lake,” he said.
The mountain resort sources it’s snowmaking water from the lake. With the recent storms and overal warm weather, the mountain resorts haven’t pumped as much water from the lake as previous year, Stephenson said.
“In the last two weeks they only pumped like 40 acre feet or something. It’s super minimal,” Stephenson said. “Right now, the total is an inch of lake level, maybe.”
Sierra Orr, water conservation and public information specialist for the Big Bear Lake Department of Water, said the DWP has wells in multiple aquifers, so groundwater levels vary.
“While some well levels are in decline, recent calculations show that even with some wells offline and continued drought projections, the water supply is sufficient for more than three years,” Orr said.
It’s difficult to determine how much rain or snow Big Bear needs to offset the drought, Orr said.
“While every inch helps, it’s important for people to keep conserving, otherwise our aquifers won’t get a chance to recharge,” she said. “Our most recent weather year precipitation total was still 5 inches below average, or 14 percent below average.”
Orr said it’s important that people continue to conserve as California enters into its sixth year of drought. “Even if we are on the way out of the drought, California will have another one down the road,” Orr said. “We as a state must adhere to the governor’s orders to make water conservation a California way of life. We are happy to see the state has adopted many of the policies that Big Bear has had in place for over a decade, including the restrictions on runoff, washing off sidewalks or houses, and requiring property owners to fix leaks.”
In November, Governor Jerry Brown’s office released a public review draft report of an executive order to make conservation the California was of life. The order contains four interrelated objectives including using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, strengthening local drought resilience, and improving agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.
In the meantime, Big Bear water agencies keep their eyes to the sky. “We need lots more,” Stephenson said. “This is just the beginning, this 7.5 inches. We lost 3-and-a-half feet this summer, and we’re going on five years of that.”
Stephenson said the key to improving the lake level is to follow the snowfall with some rain. The next few weather systems appear to be on the wetter side, Stephenson said.
“We’re certainly encouraged by the forecast,” Stephenson said. “The one storm later in the week could be substantial with precipitation from the sky and that could be substantial. We’re just wet, and we’re happy but there’s certainly a long ways to go.”
Meanwhile the state’s water agencies are anticipating new regulations, Orr said. “We expect the California Water Commission will likely approve a new slate of policies and regulations at their meeting Jan. 19,” Orr said. “If that’s the case, we have a lot of work ahead of us. The way we use and manage water is becoming top of mind, and we think that’s a good thing.”