Don Pedro Houseboat Marina to Move as Reservoir Dries Up

Courtesy of Don Pedro Recreation Agency|

A houseboat marina anchored at Don Pedro Reservoir’s Moccasin Point will soon be moved to deeper waters, as the lake is expected to dry up beneath the boats this summer.

“They want to move it down before the water goes out from under them,” said Carol Russell, Don Pedro Recreation Agency Director.

The move is just the latest sign of a historically dry water year. This summer’s irrigation season could effectively empty Don Pedro Reservoir, for the first time since 1977.

The Don Pedro Recreation Agency is operated jointly by the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts. The lake’s two marinas are operated by an independent contractor, Forever Resorts of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Per the marina’s contract with the districts, the marina is supposed to be moved to four different successively deeper mooring sites as the water level declines. But the top three mooring points are all expected to dry out this year, necessitating an immediate move to the deepest waters available.

“It has to do with the extreme decline in one year,” said TID Director Michael Frantz.

The moved marina will likely be moored near the Lake Don Pedro Marina, near Fleming Meadow, Russell said.

The move will probably occur around April 1, Russell said. At the same time, the Moccasin Point boat launch will be shuttered.

The wet close to February did help get the water year on track, but will have little effect on either TID growers or houseboat owners. Just 11.01 inches of precipitation fell in the TID watershed through the end of February, well below the historical average of 15.52 inches.

That means TID growers are unlikely to get more than the 20 acre-inches of water previously allotted as part of a dry scenario forecast.

“This rainfall that we’ve got is enough to keep us on track with that dry scenario, not enough to pull us up,” said TID Utility Analyst Jason Carkeet.

Though recent rainfalls were not enough to drastically change water year forecasts, TID Board of Directors President Ron Macedo and others at the district were still pleased by the precipitation.

“Everybody’s nerves and tensions are a little bit better here, I think,” Macedo said.

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