Lake Tahoe Water Levels Wreck Truckee Rafting Operations

Steven Agar | RaftRaft
Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City
Tahoe White Water Rafting. Credit:

After a delayed opening due to too much water in the Truckee River, two Tahoe City rafting companies have had to temporarily cease operations due to not enough water.

Truckee River Rafting were in to their 9th day of rafting when the Federal Water Master closed Lake Tahoe Dam last Wednesday, July 12th. The level of the lake had dropped below the agreed elevation of just over 6,229ft, an agreement that has been in place between homeowners and water rights holders since 1917.

Federal Water Master Chad Blanchard explained, ‘When we don’t need to spill anymore and natural flow is meeting our needs downstream, we cannot legally release water’.

Water flowing from the dam
River Truckee, California. Credit: Little Mountain 5 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Richard Courcier, of Truckee River Rafting, said “We had an inkling it was coming, we just didn’t know when the hammer would fall’.

Truckee River Raft Co. were also affected and had managed 10 days rafting before the dam was closed. Both companies expect to restart rafting operations towards the end of July, and are anticipating a good end to the season.

River Truckee rafting near Tahoe Dam California
White Water Rafting on Truckee River. Credit:

Following several years of not enough water, in 2015 they didn’t open at all, both companies said that the amount of water currently in Lake Tahoe should enable at least 2 or 3 good summers of rafting. Rafting operations further downstream have been unaffected.

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...