Shaver Lake refill begins

SHAVER LAKE, Calif.

Visitors to /*Shaver Lake*/ continue to capture images of the historic dam renovation. "It's beautiful and it's neat to see the progress," said Carol Canaday of Sanger. She is one of thousands who traveled to see the lake when it was drained and now has returned as its filled back up. "To see it before, kind of in the middle and now it's all done and it looks great," said Canaday.

Crews with Southern California Edison drained the lake to repair the concrete dam built in 1927. "This year, they had to draw the lake all the way down to stream flow in order to complete the project, which is to take the geo-membrane down to bedrock at the base of the dam," said Richard Bagley with Southern California Edison.

This week, crews began refilling the lake with water. A process that is set to take about a month in order to prevent erosion. "We let the water in slowly at first and as it increases in the lake bed, we're going to be able to increase how quickly it can refill the lake," said Bagley.

The water flowing into Shaver Lake is coming in at a rate of 400 cubic feet per second down the stream where it's being released by surrounding lakes. "Water was held back in Huntington, Edison and Florence Lakes so that in anticipation of needing to fill. Fortunately they did that, not just relying on precipitation this winter because we're so far behind," said Bagley.

Because of the winter dry spell, project officials expect the water level this spring to be lower than last year. But they say the lake will be high enough for recreational use. "They were happy to see the lake filling again and hopefully some business comes back and we get a little more snow," said Doug Koerper with the Shaver Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The poor snow season has dealt a heavy blow to many shops in the area. But business owners are hoping an increase in trout stock will bring out more people for fishing this summer season.

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