Lake Lanier at lowest point since 2009

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

Lake levels are just a few feet short of record low. This photo was taken at Bald Ridge Marina on November 26, 2012.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - Lake Lanier is at its lowest level since 2009 and experts predict it will go even lower.

Monday morning, the lake stood at 1,057-feet, just 7 feet higher than the all-time low. Docks are once again stranded in mud with the water well off the shoreline.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Rob Holland said the Corps predicts the lake will fall another 2 feet by Christmas. He does not believe the lake levels will come close to the record.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot spoke with Bald Ridge Marina General Manager John Stovall who already closed one of his boat ramps. He's worried he'll have to close the second one soon.

"You have to end up closing the ramp," said Stovall. "That's the first difficulty. That one's just before being closed. So we're close. Real close."

Stovall wanted to remind boaters that the lake is still open as are his docks, and he hopes they'll take advantage of the warm weather and put their boats in the water.

"The lake is open," said Stovall. "You can see how clear the water is. You can see all the low spots out there and that gives you an idea where the fish are hiding at the drop offs, so it's not all wasted."

Full pool is 1,070-feet, though Holland said normal autumn pool is usually around 1,064-feet. The all-time low is 1,050-feet, set back during the bad drought of 2007-2009.

Mike Ruggiero and Cody Shadburn put their ski boat in the water, but discovered it took more time getting it out of the water than they spent in it because the end of the boat ramp was nearly exposed.

"We dropped it in the water, ran over to Sunset Cove and back," said Ruggiero. "And it's taken us as long to pull it out of the water as it did to do all of that."

Holland said the Corps continues to release water through Buford Dam according to federal law.