Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Bingel: Why Clear Lake can't be closed

Lake County does not own Clear Lake.

Clear Lake is owned by the State of California and administered under the Public Trust Doctrine, which dictates that you and I, as citizens of this state, have the right to access this body of water 24/7. This right cannot be revoked.

The Department of Fish and Game has jurisdiction over closing a body of water to fishing or hunting for specific reasons, but they can't legally stop you from accessing the lake for boating, swimming, etc.

Closing the lake to public access would violate the Public Trust Doctrine.

What that meeting failed to mention was about birds transporting the mussels from one body of water to another.

Cache Creek is the only natural outlet of Clear Lake. The creek runs 79.8 miles and feeds into the Sacramento River. Otters arrive into Clear Lake via traveling from the Sacramento River. They could possibly carry the mussels in, or out of Clear Lake.

Closing a body of water would mean no release of any water from that source. Yolo County owns the water rights to Clear Lake and are irrevocable, unless 1) they fail to use the water, or 2) fail to adhere to the Solano Decree for discharge from the lake via the Cache Creek Dam. Closing the lake would violate their water rights.

I don't believe the state could feasibly close Clear Lake without legal ramifications.

Just my honest opinion.

Franz Bingel lives in Clearlake.


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