California Drought Conditions in January

We have received little or no rain here on the west coast so far this winter.  The governor has urged water conservation and fishing closures have begun on many local rivers.   I took a hike to the decommissioned Benbow Dam on the Eel River and documented the river flow in the beginning of February.

benbowdryriver
Water trickles under an arched bridge behind the historic Benbow Inn
benbowlakeforest
Outdated sign guards a forest of willow saplings that have sprung up on the abandoned lake floor.

benbowdamlow2
South Fork of the Eel River; green with algae, trickles through the long-empty gaps in the Benbow Dam.

benbowdamlow
A short swim in toxic algae kept me from exploring this abandoned infrastructure.

benbowdamfishladder
Fish ladder from the lake days; now choked with rockfall and saplings.

 

Fortunately, as I am posting these photos, glorious rain is pouring down outside my window.  This winter has surprises in store yet.

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