Fresno County lakes open for visitors on Memorial Day

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A day out on Pine Flat Lake might look a bit different in this COVID-19 reality.

"Everyone's still keeping their distance but having a good time at the same time," says Danielle Lavato, a visitor.

Although campgrounds are closed, the lake itself remains open.

"Everyone's pretty much keeping to themselves. The marina owners have also set out signs just reminding people of the social distancing. We are just conducting our enforcement business as usual," says Fresno County sheriff's deputy Alex Nikolich.

The sheriff's office started its boat patrols on Pine Flat Lake on May 20.

On Memorial Day, the office will have a total of six boats patrolling the lake.

Signs of the times - reminders are posted near the loading dock for visitors to practice social distancing while enjoying the lake.

Although the sheriff's office does not have specific directives to enforce CDC guidelines, deputies have seen a change in behavior from boaters.

"We really haven't seen any large groups congregating along any of the swim areas or swim beaches or loading areas for that matter," says Nikolich. "So far it's been busy, however, it wasn't the circus that we thought it was going to be."

Some are heeding those warnings but not letting the current situation dampen the holiday.

"Everyone's at this point now where they feel like they're not going to live in fear. There's no point in living in fear. You're definitely going to take the precautions and stay clean but we can't just stay indoors forever and not do anything," says Lavato.

Deputies do not anticipate the same amount of crowds out on the lake on Monday compared to years prior given the current economic climate.
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