Lake Tahoe is getting very high after spring and summer snowmelt continues to fill it, and soon officials will begin releasing water into the Truckee River.
Beaches around Tahoe this summer are especially tight as the lake level is nearing its legal limit of 6,229.1 feet above sea level. As the East Bay Times reports, that water release is likely to begin this weekend at Tahoe Dam, which is in Tahoe City.
Dave Wathen, deputy water master for Lake Tahoe, tells the paper, "There were big beaches at lower water levels. Sand Harbor Beach near Incline Village is a very big beach. A lot of people could fit on it. Now, it’s tighter. It’s drastically different.”
As ABC 7 notes, Lake Tahoe is now eight feet higher than it was in 2016, at the end of the drought.
Higher water levels mean higher boat docks as well, and some soil erosion in certain parts of the shoreline.
The legal height limit for the lake was set in 1935 following years of court battles that were spawned by an especially snowy winter in 1907 that also caused a dramatic rise in the lake's level — flooding many homes and businesses.
Tahoe's famous clarity also improved dramatically in the last two years, going up by ten feet in the last clarity test.