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Alternate boat launch reopens at Don Pedro
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Despite the drought entering into its fourth consecutive years, boat owners have triumphed as a previously closed boat launch at Don Pedro Recreation Area has been reopened.

According to Don Pedro Recreation Agency spokesperson Carol Russell, water levels of the popular lake destination have risen enough to allow the reopening of the unimproved low water boat launch facility at the Moccasin Point Recreation Area, which has been closed since September.

As of Thursday, water levels at the lake stand at approximately 703 feet above sea level. Although this number is enough to merit the reopening of the alternate boat launch, it is not enough to open the main launch ramps at Moccasin Point or Blue Oaks Recreation Areas.

“In order to be able to utilize the main launch ramp at Moccasin Point, which has been closed since July, we would need to be 722 feet above sea level,” said Russell. “Additionally, Blue Oaks has been closed since June. To open that one again, we would need the lake to rise to an elevation of 728 feet above sea level.”

According to Russell, the last time the lake has been in a situation that has merited the closure of multiple ramps was in 1992.  

“Whether we are able to open the other ramps will depend on what the weather does,” reported Russell. “If we get precipitation or run off, that would bring the lake up very fast, but it all depends on what the weather is like.”

This ramp is perfect for launching shallow draft boats, including canoes and kayaks, but not for deep hulled boats, as the ramp’s grade is too shallow.

Fortunately for those excluded from using the alternate launch area, Russell reports that the boat launch ramp at Fleming Meadows Recreation Areas has remained open for all types of boat launching.

To access the newly-reopened launch area, drive from the entrance to the regular boat launch ramp and then take the roadway to the left at the base of the regular launch ramp.

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