Big Bear Lake at The Brink Of Spilling Over

First Time in 15 years Big Bear Municipal Water District Releases Water


BIG BEAR LAKE,Calif./ April 11, 2011 – This winter season marks the first time since 1996 that The Big Bear Municipal Water District (BBMWD) has released water fromBigBearLake. December 22 was the first time this season BBMWD opened the flood gates at the Big Bear Dam to let water out. Ever since then there have been three major water releases and some minor releases throughout the month of March.


This past week a weather pattern brought more precipitation toBigBearLake, which caused BBMWD to release even more water from the lake. Currently there are some sections on the lake where water is lapping over the shoreline. At the time of this press release Big Bear Lake’s water depth is at 72 feet 3 inches, which is just a mere 0.07 inches from maximum capacity. Also, snow pack from the mountain tops will continue to flow into the lake through the end of May, which will ensure the lake remains full to the brim. 


“This season the lake has really kept me on my toes. I have to assess the water level daily to determine if we need to release more,” said BBMWD Lake Manager Mike Stephenson. “Our goal is to be full at the end of all this, and not flood the valley. It’s absolutely awesome having a full lake like this.”


A full lake means a healthier lake, too. The recent inflow of water into the lake has improved the water quality and clarity. The current clarity level is approximately eight to nine feet, and will continue to improve for the next couple of months when the water flow subsides. It is natural for fish and other inhabitants to thrive when the lake level is up, which creates an all around healthier lake.  


“When the quality of water is up, the fish grow faster and just do better; it’s going to be a great year for fishing at Big Bear Lake,” added Stephenson.


The boating and fishing season is already underway. BBMWD opened The Carol Morrison Public Launch Ramp (east launch ramp) on April 1 and will remain open through November 30. The Duane Boyer Public Launch Ramp (west launch ramp) will open Saturday, May 12, and will stay open through October 3.


All six BigBearLakemarinas are now open for business. The marinas offer pontoon and fishing boat rentals, which are great to cruise the lake or target hot spots for rainbow trout, largemouth bass and catfish. Licenses and tackle can also be purchased at the marinas. Licensed fishing guides offer a more in-depth fishing experience for trollers and downriggers. When the lake begins to warm up the marinas will rent kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, jet skis and other types of watercraft to explore the seven-mile long lake.



There are three open routes toBigBearLake, making it an easy drive to enjoy the brim-full lake. The open routes are Hwy. 38 (throughRedlands), Hwy. 18 (through San Bernardino/Crestline), and Hwy. 18 (throughLucerneValley).


To see the most current lake level reading or to learn more about BigBearLakevisit To learn about activities and events in Big Bear Lake, to book lodging accommodations, or to request a Visitors Guide, log on to or call 1-800-424-4232.


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Big Bear Lake Quick Facts:

Big Bear Lake is a fresh water lake that stretches seven miles long and is approximately one mile across at its widest point.  Its maximum water depth is 72 feet 4 inches. The average depth is 35 feet. There are 22 miles of shoreline. Big Bear Lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains at 6,743 feet altitude.


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