Low water levels beach campers at Clear Lake


Water levels at some cascade lakes are shockingly low right now. They're about 15 feet lower than where they should be this time of year.

Chat with the campers like Gilbert LeBlanc and Katelyn Gustafson at Clear Lake, and you'll likely hear a lot of the same campfire talk.

"We've been coming here, this will be our fifth year and I've never seen the water level this low,” LeBlanc said. “We almost turned around"

Down at water, where you would normally see swimmers and boaters, you instead see exposed tree stumps, sludge, and a receding shoreline.

"We went to the middle of the lake and we were standing in it, you can't even swim anymore, it's insane!" Gustafson exclaimed.

It is easy to tell that from the edge of the water to where the boat ramp is now, the water level has dropped about 13 feet in just the last year.

It's not usual to see Clear Lake looking this drained in the late fall, after a long, dry summer. But it's not late fall, it's the middle of summer and some fear what the future has in store for the once pristine lake.

Another popular camping area, Detroit Lake, is about 60 feet below its normal summer level, and 19 out of Oregon’s 36 counties are considered to be in a "Drought Emergency."

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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