Heavy rainfall causing debris problems at Bass Lake

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As heavy rainfall and runoff send water pouring into the lake, debris is also flooding the waterway. (KFSN)

This storm system is bringing high water levels to Bass Lake but it's also bringing debris into the flow.

As heavy rainfall and runoff send water pouring into the lake, debris is also flooding the water way. Banks along the lake look more like swamps with floating wood chips and logs.

"It's really hard to tell, right now is the problem is we're really not going to be able to do an assessment until the inflow of water stops of how much debris is actually there," Cmdr. Bill Ward with the Madera County Sheriff's Office explained.

The natural flow of the lake pulls toward the dam.

"By late spring, early summer most of the debris will be brought down there anyway, so it'll be easy for ourselves or PG&E to collect," said Tom Tuso with Bass Lake Boat Rentals and Water Sports.

It may not be peak season, but even little debris can cause a lot of damage for boaters.

"If you're going to be boating, you need to be careful just because the water bringing different things down the streams a lot of it ends up in Bass Lake other waterways as well," Ward said.

"Hopefully, we'll have a handle on it before the summer hits," Tuso said. "We tell our boaters just to be careful."

Tuso's been on Bass Lake for almost four decades, so he's used to the water level fluctuating and what comes with it.

"Last winter, almost all the docks were on the ground." he said. "The winter before, everything was on the ground."

Being open year-round, Tuso says this is one of the few recent winters when almost all docks are usable.

"We went form an extreme drought to really just a ton of water," he exclaimed. "It's great. It's great for us, for recreation, for farmers and the California economy."

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weathermadera countyBass Lake
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