Big Bear Lake at highest level in more than a decade due to wet winter

Leticia Juarez Image
Friday, May 17, 2024
Big Bear Lake at highest level in more than a decade
Big Bear Lake is at its highest level in more than a decade due to back-to-back heavy storms this winter.

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- A big silver lining to the heavy winter rains in our local mountain communities is that the lakes are full or near-full.

It is a big turn around for Big Bear Lake just two years after dropping to its lowest level due to years of drought.

"Currently we are 3 feet 10 inches from full," said Travis Scott, CEO of Visit Big Bear.

Scott credits back-to-back heavy winter precipitation, which helped increase the lake's water levels by more than 14 feet since December 2022 - the highest it has been in 12 years.

"The higher water levels lead to less algae bloom, clearer water throughout the entire summer season...It also improves the fishing for both land and boat anglers," Scott said.

Lower in elevation, Lake Arrowhead is also experiencing high levels. Recently, waves from Lake Arrowhead were seen spilling onto the pedestrian walkway along the Village store fronts.

"We're actually a little bit over full, so its just about the most ideal setting you can have for a having great summer season here," said Mike Pate, general manager of the Arrowhead Lake Association.

The summer season is just about to get underway. The Memorial Day holiday is usually the jumping off point into summer on the lake.

"Usually we go out on the boat or we go out kayaking because everybody comes from down the hill up here," said resident Paul Mendoza.

While Big Bear Lake is open for public recreation, Lake Arrowhead is a private lake for members of the Arrowhead Lake Association.

Tom and Wendy Braun, who just bought a home on the lake front, are preparing for their first holiday weekend.

"It's beautiful, the community is wonderful and very embracing of us," said Wendy Braun.

But you don't have to be a homeowner or Lake Association member to enjoy Lake Arrowhead. There are other activities for visitor to enjoy and partake in, according to Pate.

"Well you can still enjoy the surroundings. The context of the lake is absolutely beautiful, and there is shopping up here, the Village is up here, there's hotels on the water," he said.

MORE: Lake Tahoe expected to fill up this spring, officials say

For the first time in five years Lake Tahoe is expected to fill up this spring, officials say.