Hume Lake drained to fix leaky dam

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Those who venture up to Hume Lake are in for a surprise-- the lake is empty. It was drained for the second time in two years to repair the leaky dam. (KFSN)

Those who venture up to Hume Lake are in for a surprise-- the lake is empty. It was drained for the second time in two years to repair the leaky dam.

On Wednesday at Hume Lake, there was only one man near the water. A fisherman named John Babb from Visalia.

"Sure went a long way for nothing."

Babb didn't realize the lake had been drained. Reduced to a muddy pond so engineers can finish working on the dam.

"I've been coming here for five years and I've never seen it this low," said Babb. "It looks a lot different than when it's full of water, that's for sure."

Carol Hallacy is a district ranger with the Forest Service and she said in 2012 old age caught up with the dam and it started leaking. Repairs started last fall but were paused for the summer. This time around, Hallacy said the dam will be ready by November.

"At that time we will start filling the lake back up to the winter level in preparation for winter storms."

In the meantime, the shallow water is a slight problem for the Hume Lake Christian Camp. Bill Carroll said the camp rely's on the lake for recreation and drinking water.

"Having no lake and having guests come up is definitely a concern for us, but we've planned ahead and we feel really good about it."

Fortunately, Carroll said there is a stream behind the camp and storage tanks to get by.

"Definitely an inconvenience but well worth the inconvenience."

In the end, there will be a stronger dam designed to last another 50 to 100 years. Which is also good for Babb-- the lone fisherman. Who managed to catch a few fish even on the worst of days at the lake.

"Oh yeah, my worst day of fishing beats my best day at work."
Related Topics:
societyfresno countyenvironmentHume Lake
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