As of Thursday, July 27, the ring around the Lake Kaweah basin was becoming more visible by the day. In fact, in terms of the elevation of the reservoir’s pool, it is currently lowering at the rate of between 1.5 and two feet per day.
The July 20 Lake Kaweah stats:
Pool elevation: 691.08 feet above sea level
Storage: 137,425 acre feet (by Aug. 15 it will be below 80,000 acre feet)
Mean inflow: 634 cfs
Outflow: 1,875 cfs
One week later (July 27) those numbers are:
Pool elevation: 679.93 feet
Storage: 117,166 acre feet
Mean inflow: 577 cfs
Outflow: 2001 cfs
That’s nearly four times the flow going out to downstream users than is coming in from the Kaweah Rvier drainages.
“The good news is that the road down into Horse Creek Campground reopened Friday, July 21, and about half of the 80 sites are dry and now available,” said Phil Deffenbaugh, Lake Kaweah’s general manager. “It’s not pristine in there yet but there’s good lakefront camping and plenty of firewood.”
Phil also said that some or all of the Kaweah Trail in the bottom of the basin should be reappearing in the next several weeks.
“The huge lake pool is always great to see but when the basin begins to drain we get our recreation facilities back that have been underwater,” Phil said.
This year as the water recedes in the area of above Slick Rock, plans are to complete and open to the public a Frisbee golf course at the east end of Lake Kaweah.