KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As massive amounts of rainfall appear to be bringing back the long dried-up Tulare Lake, Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson has warned residents not to try to take boats into the water.

“Some people know. Some people don’t. We have a lake bottom in Kings County. It used to be the largest lake west of the Mississippi,” says Robinson. 

Robinson says after several dams were built, the lake dried up and was turned into farmland. Due to recent storms, some of the farmland that is in the area of Tulare Lake has flooded. 

Several public roadways do go through the lake bottom. The Sheriff says the lake bottom is private property and people are showing up with boats and kayaks thinking it’s a recreational lake.

Robinson says they will be enforcing the area over the course of the next few months and asking everyone to stay out of the area.