Low water levels on Upper Klamath Lake

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, July 4 2014 at 3:26 PM, Updated: Fri, July 4 2014 at 7:39 PM

Upper Klamath Lake is busy with boaters this holiday weekend...and some of those boats are at risk of running aground due to drought conditions.

Klamath County Marine Patrol Deputy Lon Parton doesn't want boaters to get stuck...

"The water level is currently fairly low now, and it's just going to get worse with the temperatures starting to rise."

At 133 square miles in size, Upper Klamath Lake is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in Oregon - but it's only 5 to 7 feet deep in most areas.

Boater Isaac Hoffman notes that there are a few specific problem areas to watch out for at the south end of the lake...

"And that's anywhere I'd say south of Bare Island."

"Actually, right out here in front of the Yacht Club there's a sand bar that catches a lot of people."  Adds Corporal Daren Krag, noting there are also trouble spots at the north end of the lake.  "Outside of Williamson River, and Pelican Bay out at Rocky Point."

And if you do get stuck, call 911 and the Marine Patrol will respond.

Marine Patrol deputies say they'll be out in force this weekend, with a particular focus on alcohol-related boating incidents.

They'll also be checking to make sure there are life vests, and whistles or horns on all sizes of watercraft.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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