The public access boat launches along Lake Almanor's western shores have been closed down by the US Forest Service. The announcement came in a press release on 4/15/20 from the Lassen National Forest and on 4/16/20 the facilities were officially closed, the dock at Canyon Dam was pulled and the road barricaded with concrete blocks and signs. For how long is a bit unclear at this time. The sign pictured below says through the end of this month, the wording in the press release says until the stay at home orders are lifted.
Following orders that came down in late March the USFS posted signs at the facility as well as locking the bathroom facilities, how ever they continued to allow boats to be launched and people to access the parking lot to fish the surrounding shore lines. I was told by a high ranking USFS official who I will not name, "It is our goal to keep access open for the locals so they have a place to launch their boats and an avenue to get outside and recreate during these times" He went on to say that they would be monitoring the situation and if things got out of hand they would take further steps to close off access. The three things in particular that he indicated they would be looking for were, 1) Large crowds of out of the area people not heeding the Plumas County travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines and trying to camp in the parking lot, 2) Vandalism of their locked bathroom facilities, and 3) Garbage and trash being left and accumulating at the site. Well in the last several weeks the launch at Canyon Dam has seen at least two of those three concerns violated. The parking lot has been packed with out of town rigs from the Bay Area, Sacramento and Reno as well as all of the surrounding counties. Multiple people had set up camps in the parking lots in recent weeks, some going as far as to have campfires right in the middle of the parking lots. I have opted to omit the pictures of these people. Garbage was also an issue, people leaving everything from pizza boxes to alcohol bottles to remnants of fireworks and even whole bags of trash. At this time I am not aware of any vandalism of the bathrooms.
So this is where we are left, Canyon Dam boat ramp as well as the USFS west shore launch are closed at least through the end of this month and maybe longer. I will continue to monitor the situation at the lake and post changes here, as well as on my social media outlets on Facebook and Instagram. Stay safe and healthy and once we are clear of this it will be back to our regularly scheduled program.
Capt. Bryan Roccucci
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