Lake Tahoe reached an important milestone over the weekend: The lake level rose to 6,223 feet above sea level, which is Tahoe’s natural rim.
There’s a much missed sound babbling through Tahoe City.
Lake Tahoe rose up to its natural rim over the weekend, and as of Monday, water is trickling into the Truckee River.
It may not seem very impressive, but the fact that any water at all is flowing is a major accomplishment.
The lake last reached its rim 10 months ago, and then only stayed there for five days before dropping back down well below the dam.
“Well, I’m glad to see it’s up to the gates now,” said Tahoe City resident Roger Schaefer. “What’s it been like? Sand. Dry. Lots of extra space along the lake.”
Truckee’s two rafting companies never even got into the water last summer.
So while the lake reaching the rim is encouraging, they need quite a bit more to start floating, said Richard Courcier of Truckee River Rafting.
“Yes, everyone’s all excited – and it is exciting – but if you look at the river, it’s just like a garden hose going down,” Courcier said. “You need to get more elevation above the rim to actually get a flow, to get a push down the river.”
But considering the lake was 18 inches below the rim going into winter – and there’s still snow on the peaks – there’s no reason not to at least be optimistic about summer tourism here at Tahoe City.
“We’re talking just a couple of inches,” Courcier said. “Two or three inches can make the difference between having a full summer of rafting and no rafting at all.”