It has been six years since I fished this lake. It is a long haul to get there and the road will rattle your teeth but I have been wondering if any kokanee survived the dry years. We have had 2 wet winters so I needed to find out, especially since they have been stocking 50,000 per year since 2008.
The lake coming around the bend:
The road is still the same beat up old dirt road. As I got closer, the wind was howling. Check out the ramp:
As a comparison, this is me 6 years ago:
The lake level is a good 30-40 feet below (or more) where it should be this time of year. The lower, smaller ramp is the only one available -- cartop boats or boats with small trailers. The bigger upper ramp is totally out of the water. I needed 4 wheel drive to just get around all the sand/dirt on the ramp. Does not look like anyone is taking care of the ramp area.
I came to do a recon mission so we launched my old little boat. The deepest part I found was 125 feet, due west from the ramp. The dam is shallower - only 60-90 feet in areas. Water temp on surface was 76 degrees. Ran my kokanee gear for a few hours at 50-60 feet and watched the fish finder. Did not mark anything that looked like kokanee. Circled around til I my one of my downrigger balls decided to hug a tree. I knew this lake had trees but I did not think they would be in the middle at 125 feet. Per the graph, they come all the way up to 50-60 feet. Picked up a couple of skinny trout and had a few ldrs - which I think were trout.
Check out this pic - the trees are the same ones in my pic from years ago - shows how what the water level used to be. And you can see the access road - the water level used to be a bit below that.
On a positive note, the water looked good. I just wonder how low Yolo County Water District will drain it come August and September. Near the launch area are still some dusty campgrounds and the bathrooms- I have no idea why any one would want to camp there. I do not think the store is there anymore. Sad story for what was once the best kokanee lake in California. I would have thought a few kokanee would have made it.
Some final pics --