Ramp Conditions

11-20-17
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Kayakers:  No matter where you launch, be sure keep an eye on the wind speed and direction posted for the days you go out.  You don't want to be caught an hour paddle away from where you launched if winds pickup over 10mph.  Our wind comes up quick when it comes up, regardless of direction predicted.  NOAA link on weather has been pretty accurate.  BE VERY CAREFUL WALKING DOWN THE "HANDICAP" WALKWAY AT CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA.  THIS HAS LONG BEEN A HAZARD FOR MOBILITY IMPAIRED PEOPLE AND FALLS FROM TRIP HAZARDS HAVE OCCURED.  DESPITE THAT LNF HAD PROMISED TO REMOVE THE HAZARD THE USFS HAS LEFT IT FOR FOLKS TO GET HURT OR INJURED WHILE WALKING DOWN TO THE BEACH.  Just trample the vegitation and make your own paths down, it's a lot safer.  I advise making your way to the gravel bar to the northwest rather than right below the handicapping ramp down.  the shoreline is soft, very smelly (worse than the outhouse) and leaves a nasty coating of organic matter on your craft that dries hard.  Similar to the cow poop on the road that sticks to your car paint like cememt.  It's better off the gravel.
 
Kayaks have limited availability.  It's a shorter romp thru the grass now off the old Aspen Ramp (head towards the rock pile, firmer ground and not far away) but we have to get through tules and water grasses/weeds and soft stinky muck to get to the lake.  Getting a craft down to the water isn't the hard part, getting it back up hill several hundred feet is.  We are also having to deal with getting through the new tules along the shoreline just about everywhere before we hit open water.  Christie isn't too bad for getting through, but shore fishermen lost some good spots due to the weeds.  This will be a new normal as the water rises in the future but it will be good for the fish eventually.
 
Another option for kayaks is driving into Eagle's Nest and launching off the gravel bar.  That road (Gallatin) is also in terrible shape.  About 20 minutes to get in once past Camp Ron McD.  I pity the home owners in there for having such nice places, pay LNF for leases and get crappy access to them.  The trail from the parking area just past Camp Ron McD is the longest and steepest from the parking lot, plus some rough terrain getting of the hill and down towards the lake.  Eagle's Nest and the low water ramp are about the only launch areas for kayaks that don't have tules to get thru to get to the water.  These aren't too bad, just make sure there is nothing like a rod hanging outside the craft.  Peddle drives have a little more to deal with but it is doable for most with some effort.  
 
Wildcat Pt shoreline is still pretty good and has less weeds, but the road in is a mess.  Winter fishermen really tore it up last year.  Ruts are deep, mud is deep, side roads getting around them are as bad. Use the buddy system.  No tow truck is going to come in a get you out no matter what kind of service you have.

Driving into Pelican Pt, Slough Pt, Shrimp Island and Lake of the Woods is illegal.  The area is open for foot traffic only. No vehicles are allowed at any time.  This is a wildlife area and fines can be stiff.  Camera traps have been used in the past and folks received their tickets in the mail from DMV about 3-4 weeks later.  LoL.  This area is also patrolled periodically.  
 
GALLATIN LOW WATER RAMP:  The dock remains in the water for now.  But it could be removed at any time.  Water temps closer to what we normally see in December.   It is not difficult to launch or load without the dock, just wear hip boots or waders.  But north winds can be a killer.    DO NOT PARK AND UNTIE YOUR BOAT STRAPS BLOCKING THE ROAD TO THE LAUNCH OR THE TURN AROUND AT THE BOTTOM.  THERE IS PARKING WHERE YOU  GET YOUR BOAT PREPARED TO LAUNCH, THE ACCESS POINT IS NOT THE PLACE.  THIS RAMP IS FOR EVERYONE.  Generally the dock is pulled around Dec 1.  But that can always depend on the weather, amount of snowfall and how cold it gets.  So far we only saw a little snow which has melted rapidly.  The dock can get frosty and slick so be careful.  It's a good idea to have some ice trekkers or traction devices for your boots.  
 
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING:  No Go, at least not advisable.

STONES LANDING:  High and dry. 

ROCKY PT:  Lake level dropping,  Kayaks can make it but it's a long paddle over the weeds before finding clearer water.  Small boats should consider launching down at the south end. 
 
 
 
SEE LAKE ELEVATIONS SINCE 2010 ON LAKE CONDITIONS PAGE.
 
NO HANDICAP FISHING OR BEACH ACCESS: Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements, cinder gravel for carts and wheelchairs is not compliance to ADA requirements.   

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2017-11-20