Folsom Lake CA speed limit down to 5 mph for low water levels

A 5 mph speed limit will go into effect Thursday on Folsom Lake as water levels drop, leaving most of the boat ramps dry and creating hazardous conditions for fast-moving watercraft, park officials said.

The low water level has left rocks on the lake bed closer to the surface, which could scratch boats or create worse damage in some of the more shallow areas, according to a news release from California State Parks, which operates the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

The last time authorities implemented a low-water speed limit was Nov. 6, 2018, park officials said. It was lifted Jan. 18, 2019.

Park Superintendent Richard Preston-LeMay said visitors are welcome to enjoy the lake, but officials want to make everyone aware of the increase in underwater hazards.

“We urge people to exercise extreme caution while boating on the lake, both for their safety and to prevent damage to their watercraft,” Preston-LeMay said in the news release.

As of Saturday, the only boat launch ramp available was the Hobie Cove ramp located at Browns Ravine in El Dorado County, park officials said. Rattlesnake Bar, Granite Bay, Folsom Point and Peninsula boat ramps were all out of the water and closed.

The Granite Bay Low Water Ramp will surface and should be accessible once the lake elevation drops below 397 feet, park officials said. Day-use and picnic areas all remain open, but park officials warned it’s a long walk to the water’s edge.

Park officials reminded boaters to follow public health guidelines to prevent further spread of COVID-19. For more information about Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, call the Gold Fields District Office at 916-988-0205.

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Rosalio Ahumada writes breaking news stories related to crime and public safety for The Sacramento Bee. He speaks Spanish fluently and has worked as a news reporter in the Central Valley since 2004.

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