Drought 2014 The Way It Is
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Drought -- The Way It Is

Help us record the effects of the current drought!

02/25/14 -- Fish and wildlife are likely to take a big hit until this unusually long dry spell is broken. Help us record the drought's effects by submitting photos using our Share Your Photo button.

Lake Siskiyou Boat Ramp Area
Lake Siskiyou Boat Ramp Area, Lake Siskiyou. The water is way down but the fishing has been pretty good. Photo by Charles Walker
The Scott River Today. In normal years the Scott River would flowing good. This year, with the drought conditions, things are not so good. Maybe this series of storms will help. I took this photo today (Feb. 7, 2014) from the Island Road Bridge near Fort Jones. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
At one point yesterday, February 4, 2014, while driving and photographing the low water on the Sacramento River arm of Lake Shasta, my car GPS that indicated that I was currently in the water, when in fact I was high and dry. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
Instead of of bobbing in the water, this Lake Shasta speed limit buoy sits mired down in the mud near Lakeshore Drive. February 4, 2014 photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
Barely a trickle of water running under this Lakeshore Drive Bridge at Shasta Lake, February 4, 2014. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
Railroad Bridge over the Sacramento arm of Lake Shasta, February 4, 2014. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
I took this photo from the dry lake bed near the Sacramento arm of Lake Shasta yesterday, February 4, 2014.  In the foreground is the Lakeshore Drive Bridge that spans Lake Shasta.  In the background is the Interstate 5 Bridge. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
Railroad bridge over the Sacramento arm of Lake Shasta February 4, 2014 near Lakeshore Drive. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
In a normal rainfall year I doubt that I would be parking my car where it is in this photo.  February 4, 2014 at Lake Shasta in the Lakeshore Drive area. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Shasta, California, February 4, 2014, Mel Fechter
This is my car sitting on the bottom of Lake Shasta February 4, 2014 adjacent to the low flowing Salt Creek.  Up in the trees, beyond the railroad bridge is the Salt Creek Resort, high and dry. Photo by Mel Fechter
Lake Oroville, Houseboats below Lime Saddle Marina, November 2013. Photo by Chuck Giles, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Lake Oroville, houseboats below Lime Saddle Marina, November 2013. Photo by Chuck Giles, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Centimudi Launch Ramp near Shasta Dam on Lake Shasta, November 2013, photo by Frank Galusha
Centimudi Launch Ramp near Shasta Dam on Lake Shasta, November 2013, photo by Frank Galusha, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Fish Point north of Centimudi Launch Ramp on Shasta Lake, November 2013. Lake level was down approximately 130 feet from full pool. Photo by Frank Galusha, effects of 2013-14 drought
Fish Point north of Centimudi Launch Ramp on Shasta Lake, November 2013. Lake level was down approximately 130 feet from full pool. Photo by Frank Galusha, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Lake Shasta looking southwest toward Shasta Dam, November 25, 2013. Photo by Frank Galusha, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, effects of 2014 drought
Lake Shasta looking southwest toward Shasta Dam, November 25, 2013. Anglers were experiencing fair bass fishing and excellent trout fishing. Photo by Frank Galusha, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Lake Davis Ices Up, December 6, 2013, photo by Jon Baiocchi, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, effects of 2013-2014 drought
Lake Davis ices up on December 6, 2013 after first significant snow hits the Sierras. Ice fishing was possible but perilous. The lake received little snow for rest of December through January 23, 2014. Ice fishing came to a halt with warm temperatures in January. Photo by Jon Baiocchi, Baiocchi's Troutfitters.
Highway 89 to Lassen Park closed with seasons first snow, December 6, 2013, LVNP photo, effects of 2013-2014 drought
Highway 89 to southern entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park closed with seasons first snow, December 6, 2013, LVNP photo
Ice coming and going, Christie Beach, Eagle Lake, Val Aubrey, Eaglelakefishing.net
Eagle Lake, January 4, 2014, was down 14 feet from her prime. Only 0.39 inches of rain had fallen here since October 1, 2013. Photo by Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
Black Butte Lake looking southeast from Buckhorn Campground, January, 2014. Photo by Jesse Bible, effects of drought in California
Black Butte Lake, Tehama County west of Orland, looking southeast from Buckhorn Campground, January, 2014. Lake was at 10 percent of capacity. Photo by Jesse Bible, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Salmon spawning beds dewatered in Sacramento River near Red Bluff, January, 2014, photo by Dave Vogel, Golden Gate Salmon Association
Salmon spawning beds dewatered in Sacramento River near Red Bluff, January, 2014, photo by Dave Vogel, Golden Gate Salmon Association
Spalding Boat Ramp, Eagle Lake, January 2014, Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
Eagle Lake, Boat Ramp at Spalding was essentially unusable except for very small craft. Fishing season closed at Eagle Lake closed on December 31, 203. January 2014 photo by Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net

Satellite views of Northern California, January 13, 2013 vs. January 13, 2014, NASA/NOAA photo courtesy of FISHBIO.com
Satellite views of Northern California and Western Nevada, January 13, 2013 vs. January 13, 2014. Sierras, Warners, most of Cascade range and mountains of Trinity and Siskiyou counties are virtually snow free in 2014. NASA/NOAA photo

Drought Conditions, California, January, 2014, U.S. Drought Monitor illustration, courtesy of FISHBIO.com, effects of drought on Northern Caliifornia, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Drought Conditions, California, January, 2014, U.S. Drought Monitor illustration  showing severity of drought on Caliifornia.

Lake Levels, January, 2014, Calfornia Department of Water Resources, effects of drought on California Lake Levels, OutdoorBuddy.com,

Capacities (yellow), historical averages (red line) and current lake levels (blue) in California as drought continued in January, 2014. Illustration by Calfornia Department of Water Resources

Close-up of drought in California in 1400s -- a 33-year span of years estimated to have received mostly below normal precipitation.

Close-up of drought in California in 1400s (over 600 years ago) -- a 33-year span when this region is estimated to have received mostly below normal precipitation.
Lake Mendocino, Sonoma County, January 2014 impact of drought
Mendocino Lake is only a fraction of it's normal size. Water from the North fork of the Russian River supplies water for the lake. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, trout and striped bass are all in danger with these very low conditions. Spawning steelhead and salmon in the system downstream from the lake also depend on the water from the lake. January 23, 2014 photo by Dru Mogler
South Fork of Eel River, January, 2014, Mike Mogler, Impact of Drought
South Fork of the Eel River south of Benbow. I've never witnessed such low water levels for this time of the year throughout the state. The Eel is another example of this profound drought. January 23, 2014 photo by Mike Mogler
Eagle Lake, January 25, 2014, Val Aubrey EagleLakeFishing.net
Eagle Lake photo by Val Aubrey, January 25, 2014. Aubrey reports: "2006 water level was 5103 feet, 2013 was 5093 feet.  There aren't many people still living that have seen the water levels as low as they are bound to go this year.  We're going back to levels not seen since the 1930's.  2014 we continue to evaporate and have had only 0.39" of moisture since Oct. 2013. We are desperately hoping for a wet rainy spring.
Lake McCumber, Eastern Shasta County, California. R.L. Stew Stewart
This time of year, Lake McCumber on North Battle Creek at ~4200 feet elevation is normally snowy or covered with a thin layer of ice. PG&E controls the flows from Battle Creek and North Battle Creek Reservoir to the northeast in tune with the levels of precipitation. Fishing here is often good when the water is open and free of weeds. This year's warm spell has encouraged weed growth but the lake was well-below capacity and very fish-able on January 31, 2014.

Watch this page for more drought photos. Please use our Share Your Photo button to share your drought photos with our readers -- Thanks!

 

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