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Last week, I rode Stevens Canyon trail. The creek crossings were bone dry. The canyon was quieter and warmer. This is the first time I've seen this in 12 years or so. This is a big creek and there are a few ponds here and there but it has stopped flowing.

What happens to the fish?

How's your local creeks?

fc
 

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I rode Hole In The Ground late last month (3 weeks ago I guess). Every water crossing along the entire trail was bone dry.

South Yuba two weeks ago had considerably lower river levels.

American River is extremely low.

Folsom lake is a puddle.

Yeah.
 

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I made an observation yesterday though. I was out on the lake (Lake Natoma) with my wife. I saw areas along the banks and some islands where people had engraved their names, years, etc in to the rock. Some were from quite a while back. The water levels were this low in the past, they'll come back ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
nachomc said:
I made an observation yesterday though. I was out on the lake (Lake Natoma) with my wife. I saw areas along the banks and some islands where people had engraved their names, years, etc in to the rock. Some were from quite a while back. The water levels were this low in the past, they'll come back ;)
The sunken town of Lexington is about to resurface.
http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&q=3...37.19639,-121.98722&spn=0.016033,0.01826&z=16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington,_California

The drought and the pipe work will reveal the old town I hope.
 

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Almost everything out at Coe has dried up, less the stock ponds, springs, and a few stagnant pools here and there. That's pretty common by this time of year, but it did seem to dry up much earlier this year than in previous years, due to the fact that we had almost no spring rain.

These spots on Red Creek and Orestimba Creek, respectively, would normally still have water in May, when these shots were taken.
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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Not to be a norcal snob, but santa clara county is central california :p

I'm at 5000 feet in the sierras a couple hours north of Tahoe (North of Downieville) and we've still got some water. It's low, but the major creeks and all of the rivers are still flowing. The lake levels were down this year, as they are everywhere in the west, but it's a natural cycle. I have a creek outside of my house that's usually a '10 month' creek...this year it was more like a 7 or 8 month creek. Basically everything that's fed by a spring is still flowing, and everything that's usually snowmelt is dry. Horrible snowback after a really warm month of March pretty much did us in this year. I'm hoping for a big winter!!
 

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CommuterBoy said:
Not to be a norcal snob, but santa clara county is central california :p
You're telling me, Commuter. When I was thru-hiking the CA PCT, it seemed like Central California would never end! As I was cruising by Lake Tahoe, it was hard to believe that I had not hit Norcal yet! According to the PCTA, Hwy 80 is the break between the two parts, from a PCT perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Diesel~ said:
You're telling me, Commuter. When I was thru-hiking the CA PCT, it seemed like Central California would never end! As I was cruising by Lake Tahoe, it was hard to believe that I had not hit Norcal yet! According to the PCTA, Hwy 80 is the break between the two parts, from a PCT perspective.
Norcal means NOT SOCAL.

fc
 

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francois said:
The sunken town of Lexington is about to resurface.
http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&q=3...37.19639,-121.98722&spn=0.016033,0.01826&z=16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington,_California

The drought and the pipe work will reveal the old town I hope.
They let water out of Lexington periodically. I guess to leave capacity for winter rains. Part of my commute goes along the Guadalupe river levee. I know when they let out water because it's wet or muddy where the path goes under Tasman. It was wet last Friday.
 

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Razorfish said:
Well if you see water, then it's dry for a couple hundred yards, then water again that could be the case. But like you implied, that wouldn't help the critters.
You make a great point Razorfish. There are often spots where if you follow what appears to be a completely dry creek, it will re-surface a distance later.

The pics below are some examples of otherwise dry (above ground) streams re-surfacing for brief periods. They are of the same creeks above, not far from the other shots I took, and were taken on the same day.

Often, the rock, gravel, and sand does a good job of filtering the sediment out of the water, resulting in very good clarity.

The second to last one was a shallow, stagnant pool, and there were a bunch of turtles and 12"+ trout hanging out. Compare that to the deep pool from the same month in 2007, and there was a bit of a difference (I have an 8' reach).
 

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Santa Rosa is dry.

Santa Rosa creek has a little water in it, but Annadel is dry Definitely some influence by man going on there.

By influence I mean someone turned on the valve for the lake drain...and forgot about it...for a month.
 

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Once in a while the idea that CA should be split into 2 states comes up. You should see where the North /South boundary is in that discussion. It's up above any major city. Marin County would be SoCal.

As far as Lexingtonm is concerned, they have been draining it to put in a larger drain pipe at the damn this year. It's a double whammy between that issue and the lack of snowpack.
 

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Where are the Fish?

Northern, (except for Humboldt-ish northern) Central, and Southern California streams all run dry to a greater or lesser degree in the sumer. This has been a VERY dry summer -- so the streams and ponds have dried up more than, say, last year. But I don't think it's off-the-charts dry yet.

And -- while there may be no surface water, there is definitely underground flow. Adult anadromous fish (all the different salmon and steelhead) have gone out to see by now, so won't mind if the stream runs dry. The non-adult fish rely on ponds. If the ponds dry up -- the fish don't survive and the stream has to wait for winter to be repopulated by returning fish.

All the local fish -- they're just screwed. Amazingly, though -- just enough always find a way to survive and keep it going!
 

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It seems............

most of the creeks and streams here in Far-Nor-Cal are dried up. Shasta lake is down 140 some feet, no snow on Mt. Shasta or Lassen and it seems that some of the native vegetation is dropping their leaves and a-corns awful early.:bluefrown:
 

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