Drought causes dangerous boating conditions at Pine Flat for Labor Day weekend

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – More Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies are patrolling the nearby waterways as people celebrate Labor Day weekend.

Sgt. Jeff Stricker said just in the last weekend, deputies have assisted with 10 rescues on Pine Flat and Shaver Lake.

“It has been a really busy weekend on the water. People are out there, they are having fun and they think they are fine,” said Stricker. “But it is really easy for a fun day to turn tragic.”

Stricker is in charge of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Boating Enforcement Unit. He said because of how low the water has dropped this year, boaters need to be aware of what is under the water below them.

“Some trees and actually some of the old town is being exposed,” he said. “That can cause hazards for boats if they are striking them and causing problems.”

For perspective on just how low the water is, right now areas that started at 300 feet deep are only around 25 feet deep.

Stricker said extra patrols are on both Shaver and Pine Flat lakes in case of emergency. There have been several accidents and drowning this summer at Millerton, Shaver, and Pine Flat lakes.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds people to wear a life jacket, don’t drink and drive, stay hydrated, and if you are under 40 you are required to have a boater ID card.

The Sheriff’s Office will decrease boating patrols after this weekend because not as many people are on the lakes after Labor Day.

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