• Whiskeytown Lake from the Davis Gulch Trail

    Whiskeytown

    National Recreation Area California

Dogs Diapers and Detritus

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Date: June 22, 2007
Contact: Jim Milestone, (530)242-3460

We need your help! Whiskeytown’s water quality needs to be protected. Whiskeytown’s water starts as some of the cleanest and clearest around, most coming from high in the Trinity Alps and falling as rain or snow on Shasta Bally Mountain.

How clean our water remains is largely up to humans and our visitors and park management activities. At Whiskeytown, our biggest potential threat to water quality is fecal material, both human related and “natural.” The majority comes from geese, dogs and humans – especially babies and toddlers wearing diapers while swimming or playing in the water! It is amazing how much damage one dirty diaper, or one uncontrolled and “indiscreet” dog that leaves a mess in or near the water can do!

Fecal material causes the growth of a number of bacteria, which grouped together are called “fecal coliforms”. These fecal “coliforms” are naturally found in most water in small amounts, and as long as they stay in small amounts, are not a problem. However in large enough amounts these “fecal coliforms" can and will make us sick!

So what can you do? We are asking everyone to help by following the rules – no babies with diapers in the water – and dogs are not allowed at Whiskeytown's four designated swimming beaches - Brandy Creek, Oak Bottom, East Beach and Whiskey Creek Group Campground. We also ask visitors not to feed the Canadian geese that frequent the beaches.

Whiskeytown staff is also doing everything we can to keep the park's water clean. In addition to monitoring water quality on a weekly basis, efforts include public education about diapers and dogs, and trying to reduce fecal material from Canadian geese that frequent the beach areas.

However, Canadian Geese, who are attracted by humans to some of our beaches and grassy areas, have become an increasing problem. Their populations have increased to an unnatural level – and many no longer migrate, staying at Whiskeytown and Redding’s play fields year round. We are working on discouraging year round habitation by encouraging people not to feed these wild animals so the goose population return to more natural numbers.

It is critical to maintaining the high water quality that Whiskeytown Lake is known for. It is important that visitors help us keep the water clean and healthy. For further questions regarding water quality at Whiskeytown Lake, please contact the Office of the Park Superintendent at 530-242-3460.

Did You Know?

Osprey

Whiskeytown is home to 14-16 nesting pairs of Osprey.