Saturday, February 6, 2016

Views Of Millerton Lake Winter 2016

Dale Matson

Click On Images To Enlarge
Looking At The Madera Side Of Millerton Lake

Many Fresnans probably don’t know that there is a half million-acre feet reservoir less than a half hour from the center of Fresno. Millerton Lake was created by damming the San Joaquin River as a means of flood control and water containment for agriculture.

Millerton Lake is named after the town of Millerton, which was the original county seat for a much larger Fresno County. Millerton was situated along the San Joaquin River. After a flood, it never recovered and the county seat was moved to Fresno.
Other than the courthouse, which was moved to higher ground, the town of Millerton is now under Millerton Lake.

Clarence King was an early California state geologist and the first head of the USGS. Two desperados, who saw him pocket a pouch with gold in it, once chased him starting in the village of Visalia. He rode his fast steed Kaweah to Millerton on his way to Mariposa and lost them on the way.

There is a large state recreation area on the north side in Madera County and on the south side in Fresno County. The annual state park pass fee is now over $100.00 but worth the money if you are at the park regularly. There are various boat ramps available on both the Madera and Fresno sides. It is a popular summer place for boating, water skiing and fishing. There are also lots of picnic areas and an area for camping near the boat ramp on the Madera side.

My friends and I swim there once a week from late spring to early fall. I have also kayaked there and ran with friends for years on a trail along the shore that leads to Winchell Cove. This trail has the typical wilderness sightings of Bald Eagles, Hawks, Mountain Lions, Bobcats and Rattlesnakes.

The lake is usually low this time of year in anticipation of spring runoff. This year it is not painful to see the low lake level knowing that we have lots of snow again in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which translates to a good water year. At this point we only need two more inches of rain in Fresno to equal our yearly average amount. China Peak, our local ski resort near Huntington Lake has already received 255 inches of snowfall. Green is not the usual color one sees around the lake. Rather it is a golden brown most of the year.

These Photographs were taken with a Sony A7R2 with an Adapted Sony a-mount 70-400mm lens, a native Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and a native Sony Zeiss 16-35mm f4

 Trail To Winchell Cove
 Shuteye Peak (8,358')

 High Sierra Further East
 Kaiser Peak (10,300')

 Millerton Courthouse

 Water Level Rings On Island

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