Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility'The lake has potential to actually recover,' winter storm brings hope to Shasta Lake | KRCR
Close Alert

"The lake has potential to actually recover," winter storm brings hope to Shasta Lake

The incoming winter storm in the Northstate gives hope to officials at Shasta Lake that their water levels will "shoot up" (KRCR){ }
The incoming winter storm in the Northstate gives hope to officials at Shasta Lake that their water levels will "shoot up" (KRCR)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

It seems the whole country is enduring some level of serious winter weather this holiday season.

Here, in the Northstate, we’re expected to receive several inches of rain on top of heavy winds and fog.

The excess rainfall is a huge positive for filling up our depleted lakes. In particular, Shasta Lake is always under the microscope, especially as the lake appears to shrink lower with each passing year.

However, as we prepare to enter 2023, there is optimism the lake will see a dramatic rise during the winter months.

In comparison to this time last year, Shasta Lake is about 12 feet higher, according to Matt Doyle, the general manager for Lake Shasta Caverns. With it now being wintertime, very little water is being released from the lake, so any inflow of rainfall will remain in place.

"That's what we're hoping for right now," Doyle told KRCR's Sam Chimenti on Monday. "That we get that water in here, we get those inches of rain, and then this lake will start to shoot up. We've heard the Army Corps of Engineers state that it might take anywhere from four to five years to fill this lake back up, and in three cases, it filled up within a couple months... so the lake has potential to actually recover."

"Being here for 20 years, I've seen definite recoveries, and very fast. The biggest thing is going to be water management," Doyle added.

Doyle says 800,000 acre-feet of water was dumped from Shasta Lake in 2021, water he doesn’t think they needed to drop; had Lake Shasta maintained the water they lost, Doyle believes the lake would be at normal levels today.

Nonetheless, Matt is optimistic this week of (forecasted) heavy rain will set them up nicely entering the new year.

Another positive happening out at Shasta Lake: an influx of tourists visiting the caverns. Doyle says the landmark saw 150 guests on Christmas Eve, one of the largest turnouts in recent memory.

That much activity isn’t common this late in the year. According to Doyle, the caverns get 80% of their business between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

But they aren't complaining. In fact, because of the number of people passing through, the caverns have added extra tours to accommodate travelers—weather permitting, of course.


Comment bubble

To report errors or issues with this article please email the editorial team.

Loading ...