Corps to install temporary debris barrier at Pine Flat Lake

Published Dec. 18, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will install a barrier at Pine Flat Lake to prevent excess debris that could pose a safety risk for both the dam and the boating public from flowing into the lake.

The need for a debris barrier resulted from a combination of last summer’s Rough Fire, which burned more than 150,000 acres within the lake’s watershed, and the forecast for heavy rains this winter.

Wild fires remove vital vegetation that helps hold woody debris in place on hillsides. When heavy precipitation moves into the area, it washes the debris into the rivers and streams that feed lakes and reservoirs.

Within the next 30 days, a floating barrier will be placed downstream of the Trimmer Springs Recreation Area boat ramp. Installation should take less than a week. The barrier will be anchored near the high-water mark on the shoreline and debris will be regularly removed from the upstream side of the barrier.

Boaters will not be able to cross the debris barrier from the main body of the lake, but will be able to access the upper end of the lake by launching at Trimmer Springs, if safe conditions allow. The barrier will remain in place until the river flow subsides for the season, typically around July, and lake staff determine that it is no longer needed.

“We understand placement of the debris barrier will cause an inconvenience to some of our boaters but hope safer boating conditions throughout the rest of the lake will help outweigh this inconvenience,” said Pine Flat Lake park manager Jeromy Caldwell.

Although the barrier will catch a large amount of debris washing into the lake, boaters should remain cautious of floating or submerged obstacles that may be obscured as reservoir levels rise.
Luke Burns

Release no. 15-054