Now they’re angry. Hundreds of citizens, in fact around 2,000, had signed petitions to keep Klondike Lake open to boating and jet skiing. DWP, concerned about invasion of quagga mussels, did agree to provide access three days a week, but as the season winds to an end residents want more of Klondike.
Russ Markman, who heads up the Save Klondike committee, heard DWP would close Klondike the day before Labor Day. That detail tipped the emotional scales for many boaters who look forward to the Labor Day holiday.
Clarence Martin of DWP did assure that the Department would keep the lake open Monday, Labor Day. He pointed out that the normal schedule has been Friday, Saturday, Sunday. As for the future, Martin said that he would look at tracking use information and meet with Inyo Supervisors Marty Fortney and Susan Cash to discuss future use.
Two environmental documents related to DWP activities and the water agreement spell out the requirement for water activities and water skiing in particular in one document as mitigation measures for groundwater pumping damage.
Martin said that DWP is providing water recreation. Of the environmental documents, Martin said, “It doesn’t say we have to provide recreation 24/7.”
DWP’s issue is the pest quagga mussel. The Department does pay for staff to make sure boats that enter Klondike have been inspected. Staff is on hand three days a week for two hours per day. Martin said, “It costs us a considerable amount of money – $180 per week-end. The $10 boat inspection fee doesn’t cover that.”
If quagga mussels invade Klondike and get into the river and the aqueduct, big problems would follow for LADWP. The mussels have clogged the works in other major waterways.
Klondike Committee members say they will go back to the Inyo Supervisors to press for use of their long-time and favorite lake.