• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Heavy rain, snow cause Big Bear Lake to overflow

April 12, 2011 12:05:53 AM PDT
Water brimming at Big Bear Lake may not appear like a big deal to many people, but for the people who know it well, it is.

Heavy rain and snow has caused Big Bear Lake to overflow, prompting water district officials to open release gates for the first time since 1996.

According to the Big Bear Municipal Water District, the lake is just three inches from its maximum capacity of 72 feet.

"I never thought I would see this day," said Dan McKernan, spokesman of the Big Bear Lake Resort Association. "I've been here seven years. I had no idea I would ever see this much water being released from the lake."

Especially because McKernan says it wasn't too long ago that the situation was dire.

"I thought it was normal that the lake looked like that, and as I looked closer, I said wow, this lake really is down."

Seven years ago, Big Bear Lake was 17 feet down, one of its lowest levels ever.

A full lake will probably mean a busy lake this summer.

Not only will there be more boats on the water, but more fish in it.

"The fish are good right now, real nice," said Dan Clayton of Highland. "We haven't even caught anything small right now. It's great."

The heavy rain and snow are to thank for it.