Monterey County

Local lakes drying up due to drought

Record, statewide drought causing low water levels at lakes

LAKE NACIMIENTO, Calif. - Don't let looks deceive you. The weather may look nice outside Lake Nacimiento in South Monterey County, but the lack of rain is drying up Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio faster than ever before.

"Lake San Antonio is at an all time low, at 4.8 percent. Lake Nacimiento is lower for this time of year as well," said California Parks Company Marketing Director Chelsea Modlin.

At Lake Nacimiento that means park rangers who normally change these shallow water markers once a week are monitoring levels more frequently. Rangers are now moving the markers further out too.

Lake Nacimiento is at 20% full which is still enough to keep boat launches open. But at Lake San Antonio, both North and South Shore launches are closed and only hand launch kayaks or aluminum boats are allowed.

"Extreme decrease in our camping, unfortunately we have no launch ramps open, which means you can't launch your boat, so we haven't seen a lot of boaters on the lake," said Modlin.

Lake resorts typically take on reservations a year in advance and usually book up quickly, said Modlin. So far the park has seen a dip in the number of people looking to stay along the drying lakes.

"We are seeing people wait, they are waiting on the weather, if we don't see water soon there is a chance our level will drop," said Modlin.

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