California boaters concerned about emergency drought barriers

Drought barriers in the Sacramento River could significantly affect the boating community.

Boating enthusiasts in California, particularly those close to the Sacramento river, are concerned that new plans to install drought protection barriers on three sloughs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will be harmful to the boating community. The barriers are intended to preserve water quality and protect water supplies upstream from where they are located.

Recreational Boaters of California, an association of boating hobbyists, believes that the barriers, which will be installed at Steamboat Slough, Sutter Slough and False River, will make it difficult for the boating community and economy to thrive during its most important season, from May to November.

According to Trade Only Today, a boating industry news source, there are a number of specific concerns that the group has brought up with state authorities:

  • Boat ramps that will be included as part of the design of the barriers will not be big enough for any vessels over 22 feet. As a result, boaters won't be able to transport their vessels over the barriers to other waterways.
  • The boating community was not actually involved in the planning of the barriers.
  • There is some speculation that drought conditions are not as extreme now as they were when the barrier plan was first conceived and these measures may not be necessary in the first place.

Whether you plan to boat in the areas where the barriers will be installed or you park your vessel elsewhere in California, drought can have a significant effect on how and when you take your watercraft out. In these situations, it is crucial to have your boat equipped with marine electronics from ePal, such as a high quality transducer. This will help you judge depths more accurately and determine if your boat is in danger of hitting underwater objects that have become a threat due to lower water levels.

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