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UC Davis reports Lake Tahoe clarity down in 2015

Winter returns Lake Tahoe level to natural rim

News story first appeared in the Tahoe Daily TribuneĀ Click here for story

Lake Tahoe’s famed water clarity took a hit last year in part due to California’s fourth consecutive year of drought. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, announced this week that average mid-lake clarity dropped nearly 5 feet in 2015 when compared to the previous year.

Tahoe Daily Tribune Lake cover

According to UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, lake visibility averaged 73.1 feet, a 4.8-foot drop from 2014.

While at face value it may appear to be headline-grabbing news, research center director Geoffrey Schladow said it’s not a cause for concern.

“If it declined another 4 or 5 feet next year that would be concerning,” he said. “I don’t expect that.”

Schladow described the change as a relatively normal year-to-year fluctuation that may have in part been influenced by record-low snow and warmer inflow from streams and creeks last year. Both leave fine particles closer to the surface. Continue reading UC Davis reports Lake Tahoe clarity down in 2015