The boat ramp at Lake Lahontan closed down, nearly two years ago. And it has stayed that way ever since. The reservoir is only about 10% of capacity and hardly looks like a place for recreation.

 

"This is awful," Torrie Boney, Silver Springs resident said. "Back when we were younger, especially when we were in school, this lake was hopping. There was people out here all the time. It's what we did."


The Boneys were hoping to take their kids for a swim at the nearly empty reservoir.  To their disappointment, four years of drought will not allow that.

 

"We came out here, with them, this afternoon to hang out and have a little bit of family time, here at the good old Lake Lahontan but there's nothing here anymore," Boney said. "It's just a little puddle."

 

"It's a pretty big shock to people when they finally see it for themselves what the impact of the drought has been," Tony Beauregard, Park Supervisor for Lake Lahontan said.

 

Plants are growing in areas that were under water just a few years ago.  Today, it looks like a forest of young trees.

 

"We're hoping to transplant some of those trees and some of them, that are stressed here from the drought," Beauregard said. "We can make a little nursery and try to get some of these newer trees that have come up and replant."

 

There are 69 miles of shore line when the lake is full. But the only substantial water to be found is on the east side of the park, near the dam.

 

"Over at the dam, we're about 12,000 acre feet," Beauregard said. "We should be at 100,000. There's a little, enough to get your feet wet."

 

Beauregard says the park's visitation is at it's lowest level ever, down 90 percent from a normal year.  But he says Lake Lahontan still has enough water to go fishing, and has plenty of other recreation available.


"It's still a good place to camp, trees and shade and things like that," Beauregard said. "But there's not much water to cool off in."

Fewer people visiting the park also means less revenue is coming in and that's lead to some layoffs of the staff. Other staff members are also working in other places like Lake Tahoe and the Rye Patch Reservoir.