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 Post subject: Suspension of private boat launches at Diamond Valley Lake
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:17 pm 
Written by Metropolitan Water District
Date: October 2, 2008
To: Board of Directors
Member Agency Managers
From: Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager
Subject: Suspension of private boat launches at Diamond Valley Lake

In an action that clearly demonstrates the need for water conservation throughout Southern California due to the statewide drought and supply challenges, Metropolitan will indefinitely suspend private boat launches at the region’s largest reservoir—Diamond Valley Lake—at the close of business Monday, October 13.

With Diamond Valley Lake storage levels receding as water is drawn to meet the region’s supply needs, it is projected that the lake’s water levels will drop to the 1,682-foot elevation or about 480,000 acre-feet which is the end of the existing boat ramp at the lake’s marina by October 13. We caution that the lake’s boat launch lanes could close earlier if conditions warrant. We will be discussing possible options about extending the ramp at the October board meeting.

In taking this action, Metropolitan understands the public recreation impacts at the lake, recognized as one of the premier fishing spots in Southern California. We all remain proud of Diamond Valley Lake and the recreation it provides; however, we also realize that the reservoir’s primary purpose is to help maintain water supply reliability for Metropolitan, our 26 member public agencies and nearly 19 million Southern Californians.

During the suspension, Diamond Valley Lake will remain open to the public. In fact, about five additional miles of shoreline will be opened to fishing this Saturday, October 4, for a total of 6 ½ miles of shoreline fishing available to the public. Also, rental boats at the lake will remain available until such time that it becomes impractical or unsafe to operate and maintain the rental fleet. Kayaks and canoes that meet lake guidelines will be allowed to launch as long as the boarding docks are serviceable. In the meantime, the Lake View Trail will remain open to the public for hiking and biking, as will the North Hills Trail for hiking and horseback riding.

We are in the process of informing the city of Hemet and Riverside County officials of this decision. We are also working with Urban Park Concessionaires, the district’s contracted marina operators, to notify annual pass holders and dry storage renters. The California Department of Fish and Game will contact the organizers of the upcoming scheduled fishing tournaments that will be impacted by the suspension. In addition, we will produce and distribute flyers at the marina, DVL Visitor Center and local fishing shops.

In the interim, the community OctoberFish event will take place at the lake this weekend, October 4 and 5, in partnership with Urban Parks and Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District. Also, Valley-Wide’s aquatic center will celebrate the closing of its third season and the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology will host its second Science Saturday, drawing elementary and middle school children to the Western Center and DVL Visitor Center.

We will keep you informed as the water situation changes at Diamond Valley Lake, and we will be discussing this matter at the October Board meeting.

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