Tahoe is creeping toward its highest point in six years

Lake Tahoe's waters have almost reached the lake's brim, and will likely hit that level by the end of the month, according to water officials.

The lake has not reached such a height since June 2000, said Chad Blanchard, hydrologist with the federal watermaster's office in Reno.

At 6,228.9 feet high Wednesday, the waters of Tahoe were only one-fifth of a foot below the federal legal limit for the lake.

Despite opening two gates of the Tahoe City dam last week, which released 305 cubic feet per second into the Truckee River, the lake is still filling by an average of two-hundredths of a foot each day, said Gary Stone, the federal watermaster in Reno.

"Once it fills, we'll keep it full," Stone said.

The difference from last year to this year is evident at Homewood's Obexer's Boat Co., even though their deep-water ramp allowed them to launch boats through the low-water years.

"Before our ramps were almost treacherous to walk down because they were so steep when the water was so low," said Sarah Obexer, co-owner of the marina. "This year they are flat."

At just a few inches below the lake's brim, the high water has pushed up the floating slips at the marina to their maximum height, she said.

"When people see there is high water levels there is more excitement about boating," Obexer said.

And Lake Tahoe is not the only body of water in the area gorged by the heavy snowpack now melting under sunny skies. Stampede, Prosser and Boca reservoirs have all filled up early.

"We've filled them all," said Stone. "Stampede is full and spilling over the spillway."


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