Low water levels close Anderson Lake to boaters for season

It's the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, but boaters who planned to head to Anderson Lake will have to find somewhere else to tie up their vessel for upcoming holiday weekend.

The water district had to start using the water there earlier than planned, so low levels were making for dangerous conditions. On Monday, the signs went up, officially closing the lake for boating.

It was an unexpected end to the boating season. The Santa Clara County Parks Department thought they had more time, but the water in the Anderson Reservoir simply dipped too low and loading boats in became unsafe.

"We were hoping to stay open all the way to Labor Day. That's what we were quoted. But things change and we have to go with the flow. And the flow is actually leaving the park right now," said Park Ranger Matt Piedmont.

The reason: a broken pipe coming from the San Luis Reservoir left the Santa Clara Valley Water District scrambling to adjust.

"That meant we had to draw water from Anderson to feed our water treatment plants. And that's why the water level dropped sooner than we expected," said Marty Grimes with the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Still, after four years of drought, boaters say they're grateful to have had any season at all.

"The numbers of lakes available for people to go to are now more limited than they were," said Bill Quigley of Topside Marine.

In Santa Clara County, the drought has also forced the closure of Stevens Creek and Lexington Reservoir, though neither had been open to motor boats.

Boaters in the region have just two options left with Coyote Lake and Calero Reservoir. Boater Jerry Foster said he was disappointed to hear Anderson Lake closed.

"I was planning on going there in just a couple of weeks, so this is terrible," said Foster.

Labor Day weekend would have been one of the busiest weekend for the lake all summer. Now boaters will be forced to go elsewhere.

"I don't know, I guess we'll have to back to the delta," said Foster. "It's a long drive, but at least they have water."