Folsom Lake Level Soars

Good news for boaters, swimmers and other users of Folsom Lake

It’s nearly full!

Folsom Lake level is always a hot topic of discussion among local and visitors alike. We celebrate it’s beauty when it’s full, and worry when the level drops.

Created by the damming of the the American River in 1957, its primary purpose is flood protection for the Sacramento valley, but it also feeds the river below the dam, provides drinking water to several communities, and is used for boating and other recreation.

Its primary source of water for the lake is the melting of the Sierra Snow Pack, as it flows down the American River, and this year, there’s plenty of it.

The lake level usually peaks around June 1, as the snow pack wanes, while the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam, continues to release water in order to protect the river below the dam.

As recently as 2021, the lake was down to 37% capacity in June, causing water conservation measures, and keeping boat docks high and dry.

Runoff from record snow keeping the lake nearly full

Extended Boating Season

As of June 14, Folsom Lake level sits at 94% of capacity, which is 118% of average. That’s a lot of water. The lake holds 977,000 acre feet, and is currently at 916,000. To put that in perspective, Folsom’s domestic usage is about 24,000 acre feet per year.

That means that the boating season should last into late summer, possibly into the fall. Boats are usually required to pull out of the marinas when the lake drops to about 45%, and that can happen as early as July in dry years, or late September in years like this.

Families enjoying Beale’s Point Beach

All of this makes for lots of recreational opportunities, such as water skiing, fishing, paddling, swimming, and picnicking.

Get out there and enjoy it!