Sweetwater and Loveland

Discussion in 'Freshwater' started by Everydog, May 17, 2020.

  1. Everydog

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    Unbelievably, on the eve of the SWA meeting to decide the fate of the opening , or not, of the Loveland reservoir
    This Guy:
    Forest Supervisor
    Forest Service
    Cleveland National Forest, Forest Headquarters Finally admits that his USDA Department of Forestry has manegerial powers over the fishing program at Loveland Reservorir, and states the he wants to leave it up to the Sweetwater Authority.

    Why would he try to hide these powers for almost a month? And I am not exaggerating. He only admitted it because I got confirmation from the Bureau of Land Mangement that it was true , and put the email they sent me in his face.


    Anyway , I know some of us are hoping that the SWA does the right thing tonight, let's see. They are aware that their secret agent at the Cleveland National Forest is not secret anymore.

    You bet your whatever I am going to try to go whistle blower on this obstructionist dude.
     
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  2. Everydog

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    It was an interesting meeting , They were on the verge of passing a soft opening and wanted staff to contact me to get my thoughts if that was acceptable. They wanted me to speak but I didn't have a microphone. Nobody else from the public commented . Only my comments were read.

    Management seems against opening the lakes and presented all the negatives pretty much.

    The three directors acting as a subcommittee for the lakes question were none the less favorable to opening the lakes.


    They don't understand that very few people will fish at Loveland in the summertime after that first week of novelty rubs off. In the last 30 seconds of the meeting the lake crew manager got on and basically says his staff can't do it. I think it's shelved but progress is happening. I guess I had misplaced place faith in him.

    Like we have thought ,they are worried about toilet cleaning, specifically the portapotties accessed for cleaning by boat. As we all know some lakes in san diego have that exact situation and are operating fine. Director Martinez tried to get work arounds for that, but the lake staff manager wasn't on anything but keep the lakes closed. Not very open minded at all. He wants it closed. Hopefully they will get someone with different view, or maybe they just realize he is doing CYA. If City of San Diego people can clean portapotties and get it done they can. They will have to admit that.


    They would not address my comments about the windfall they have from not operating the lakes for three months that could and should be applied to this problem.

    Lots more , but I don't know if people want to know more than wether or not the lake is open.
     
    #42 Everydog, Jul 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  3. sherpa

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    Shoveling shi—- against tide, they don’t want to hassle with it
     
  4. Everydog

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    Quite a bit more shi- shoveled against the tide this morning.


    Dear Participants of the July 15 2020 Operations Meeting.,


    Thank you for the time and consideration that you all put into the issue of reopening the lakes


    I was in the meeting via zoom and took notes throughout the discussion.

    It wasn’t possible for me to respond to director Martinez’ invitation to speak because I had no microphone. I appreciate that he made that gesture.


    This morning I did some research on a few of the topics I was not clear on that fit within the scope of opening these lakes. I will focus on Loveland Reservoir in these comments. However, I am sure the amenities at the Sweetwater Reservoir are greatly missed by the people who would be going there if it were open.


    To start off, I do not agree with a “soft reopening”. It would be more appropriate to discuss a “phased reopening” that includes milestones for operating Loveland Reservoir at full schedule in accordance with the easement we are all familiar with now.


    I am sure a full reopening does not pose significant problems, but I understand the Sweetwater authorities trepidation going forward. Some lack of familiarity with the public use patterns at Loveland Reservoir is possibly amplifying perceptions of expense risk , and other trouble going forward.


    I am glad that at least two of the board members understand that cost is not a significant obstacle. If we consider the savings of not operating Loveland Reservoir for 3 months into that financial equation it is even further diminished as a negative.


    In the meeting the veracity of my claim that all Lakes in San Diego are operating at pre -stay at home order levels was challenged. Two lakes, Jennings and Santee were pointed out to have slightly reduced hours. Those lakes are not a good match for program operation considerations at Loveland. There is combination of camping and day use going on at both of them. There may be other minor omissions to schedules, for instance Barrett is not operating it’s rental fleet, but for the most part the lakes are on full operation.


    Every lake in San Diego County except for Ramona Lake is significantly more impacted by users than Loveland Reservoir. This is especially true in July through February. Peak usage and anything that would challenge the notion of social distancing at Loveland reservoir occurs in the spring when largemouth bass are easy to catch , and ambient temperatures are mild. Even then, Loveland Reservoir is a comparatively low use lake. Images of Lake Murray, for instance, with hordes of people do not apply. Loveland is the introverts paradise of San Diego Lakes. The parking lot is rarely above 1/10th capacity. Often, there are less than four cars and that will be the norm shortly after the novelty of having Loveland open again wears off.


    Having pointed out how the low use at Loveland is ,I want to make one thing clear. Having fewer days of the lake open does not diminish density of recreational users it amplifies it. We have seen this over and over in the last few months.


    I have long guessed that the porta pottie issue needed to be aired out. Sorry about the pun. Other lakes in San Diego have the exact same situation with dispersed toilet facilities only accessible to cleaning and stocking by boat. In fact they have the exact same removable boxes that get swapped out with clean ones while the used ones go back in the boat for cleaning at a facilities area of the lake, just like at Loveland. San Vicente and Barrett are two places where I have seen this in the last month. The porta potties are open and operating.. Walmart bathrooms with that intense usage get cleaned. Porta potties at construction sties get cleaned. This should not be an issue. I suggest the SWA facilities people contact their City of San Diego counter parts to ask about the managing of porta porties.


    The floating dock at Loveland is also a potential concern. Fishermen naturally meet social distance requirement by the fact that operating our rods and reels requires space . Fear of being hooked, or hooking someone else, is a constant inhibitor to crowding . We sometimes, somewhat cordially, guard our territory hoping the big one is lurking within range of our efforts. The fishing float may be the only exception but not by much Most of what I said still applies to the fishing fishing float. Fishing piers are opened in San Diego County and they are more crowded than what the dock at Loveland would typically be. I could see a requirement of masks at all times on the fishing float matching what we are seeing in other places. There could be a limit of 6 people on the fishing float for instance. I think that density exceeds the comfort level of anglers anyway.

    I have never seen more than 6 people on the fishing float at one time even in prime season of spring.


    My suggestion for reopening is every other day for a week as a “soft opening ‘ for the benefit of staff and full opening in the second week unless hordes of people show up. That is unless Loveland reservoir is more impacted than other lakes San Diego County, which is impossible.

    There should be some milestones for increased reopening in any case.


    Thank you for you consideration,


    Regards,


    Russell Walsh
     
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  5. Everydog

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    Summary of where it appears the SWA stands on Loveland

    There is some good faith amongst board members at SWA. A lot with some of them. All three assigned to this agenda wanted to open Loveland Reservoir as of the close of the operation meeting July 15th. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday. One reservoir caretaker employee spoke in the last 30 seconds of that topic and it appears he was allowed to derail that progress. I am not sure yet , as I have no new feedback since Wednesday, how this non-health expert would be allowed to derail the board of supervisors , and the committee of upper level managers , an engineer and an attorney , I am not sure. It may have something to do with him being a union employee, and his crew also , but I have not verified that. I am still not convinced that any good out would not be greedily embraced by the SWA. I will repeat though, there was a lot of apparent good faith....finally.


    Having one caretaker per day involved in the lake operations is supposedly a serious liability to their mission to provide safe water to their water customers during the Covid-19 situation. They always had to have one caretaker to open and shut the gates and they would usually make one boat trip to the legal fishing section per day and spend approximately 20-40 minutes there.

    SWA employees could come in contact with fisher people. The gate opener/closer and person on the boat hardly ever does, and absolutely does not have to come within 20 or more feet of the small number of fishing people. that use Loveland . The only time they do is when they get out of their trucks to have unofficial chit chat sessions with customers in the parking lot. These caretakers are safer outdoors, or in their trucks and boat at Loveland Reservoir than they are at home.

    Providing basic PPE , and an extra hour or so per day to put a little extra effort into sanitizing high contact areas of porta potties is a mountain not a molehill even though they have had a 3 month financial break from operating two lakes.

    It's apparently too dangerous for Sweetwater Authority staff to clean porta potties even though everyone in the world is doing so , including in the exact same situation with remote porta potties at San Vicente and Barrett , but with much fewer users at Loveland.

    They don't have a revenue stream for Loveland fishing. They never had a revenue stream for Loveland fishing and it is not a condition of public rights via the easement. They got a lot of land ,which by their own written admission at the time was a windfall. The lake is 74% full of water. That's a lot of money.

    They are vulnerable to getting sued if they don't open it like the other lakes are opened , and they know it. I'm pretty sure they feel vulnerable to getting sued if they do open the lakes too. The public should not get punished for SWA fear of this perceived vulnerability that every other lake managing organization has and is coping with.

    There is no valid reason not to open Loveland Reservoir in full accordance with the easement. Sunrise to sunset seven days a week.
     
    #45 Everydog, Jul 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  6. fisheromen

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    Fished there a few times and never saw a boat!
     
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  7. Everydog

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    I received another 82 pages of Sweetwater Authority documents about the fishing program today.
    DF&G, as it was called back then, wanted the whole lake open for fishing. USDA dept of Forestry pushed that aside as an unrelated matter to the land swap. Some people wanted it to be catch and release only and SWA didn't want that responsibility.

    It is clear that the SWA agreed to adopt the maintenance of everything involved in the fishing program except maybe
    some of the Kiosk and Forestry signage up on Japatul. There is no room to find ambiguity about who is blocking fishing currently at al, It's the Sweetwater Authority.
     
    #47 Everydog, Jul 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  8. Everydog

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    Fishing is not on the next board meeting agenda this Wednesday. Progress on opening Loveland has possibly stalled. Best case scenario ,so far , is that they were talking about opening the lake 3 days a week. That trivializes the public guarantee of the easement. It should be 7 days a week sunrise to sunset year round excepting a few holidays.

    https://www.sweetwater.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/1426?fileID=2697

    The public can always comment. It's easy, Enter the meeting date 7/22/2020 6:00 PM
    Written comments will be read by a secretary.

    Comment here. Comments must be submitted by Wednesday Afternoon. You don't have to say confrontational or legal stuff , just that you would like the lake to be open and why would be great.

    Sweetwater Authority, CA
     
  9. Everydog

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    Sweetwater Authority seems to have hunkered down to see how much longer they can keep the lakes closed with out even trying to defend their weak arguments anymore. Well that's what it looks like to me and I have been pretty close to this topic.


    Dear Ms. Jacob,

    Your aide , Mr. Wilson has informed me that your position on the argument the between me and the Sweetwater Authority board and management continues to be to encourage the two parties to communicate and work on the issue. That is the same position as the Supervisor for the USDA Department of Forestry, Scott Tangenberg.

    It is very hard to understand why the Sweetwater Authority is keeping the lakes closed after the weak arguments that have been exposed.. Arguments that are proving to be weaker every day that all the other lakes in San Diego are open.

    If there is any thing special about the Loveland fishing program operations is that it is much simpler than that of the vast majority of lakes in the county.
    There are no person to person transactions between staff and user., no concessions, no on water recreation such as boating , skiing and wake boarding. no joggers or bike riders, no camping .

    The Sweetwater Authority continues to tell the public that the fishing program at Loveland reservoir , with very low traffic, and an average of one part time caretaker per day, is a hazard to their mission to supply safe drinking water.

    Communications had improved, perhaps due to the fact that you encouraged the Sweetweater Authority to try to respect my concerns on behalf of the public. However, I have not heard from the Sweetwater Authority since the 7/15/2020 Operations Commitee meeting to discuss the reopening despite the fact that board supervisor Martinez suggested staff reach out to me, and that I have emailed and used their communication portal a few times to attempt to follow up on that meeting, which I attended via zoom.
    .
    There have also been no public updates regarding fishing by the Sweetwater Authority.

    It appears that my earlier suspicion that the Sweetwater Authority is deliberately failing at opening the lakes is correct. They can no longer defend it , yet continue to obstruct the sunrise to sunset easement for fishing , hiking and bird watching that is in favor of all U.S. citizens but most importantly those of our local communities.

    Please advise.

    Sincerely,

    Everydog
     
  10. Everydog

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    I've neglected a lot of potential updates. A few of us kept consistent pressure on the board through email and input via the website portal that I I have been linking here on this thread and by submitting comments to all Sweetwater Authority operations and Board Meetings. Diane Jacob's assistant claims to be "encouraging both sides to try to keep working on it". I guess that is probably true. The Forestry guy is not sympathetic with me at all and that's mutual. He ignores me after lying to me until he was caught. The he went back to ignoring me.

    Some of the Board members excuses for not wanting to open the lake, despite and existing Easement for fishing, were absurd.

    * They are not our water customers so why should we do anything for them.
    * If it's true that 18-20 other lakes are open , then why do they need ours?
    * My district has a lot of coronavirus issues so why should we open a lake( despite the fact that all the other lakes are open)
    *Why should we care if only one guy is complaining ( at least 7 unique indviduals spoke at various recent board meetings about the fishing program.)

    Anyway , this Email I am pasting will catch this thread up to date,:

    Dear Sweetwater Directors and Staff,



    Based on a comparison with other Lake program operations and a good understanding of Loveland Reservoir operation and public use patterns at the lake, a good argument has been made by members of the public to the Sweetwater Authority that the Loveland Reservoir was held in an obstructed state for a least two months . It is reasonable to conclude that it was longer than that.

    It has been shown, and is documented, that some Staff and some Directors at Sweetwater Authority took a complacent attitude regarding public rights to fish in accordance with the Easement Grant. Some Staff, some directors, and even a USDA Department of Forestry Official, demonstrated a fairly pervasive hostile attitude towards the correct goals of opening the lake. Even now, after I have asked many times in writing, the SWA will not defend shutting the lake at 6:00 PM instead of sunset as the easement dictates. This letter will probably not garner a response. My only recourse is to spam your board meetings. .

    Currently with the “soft opening” the situation remains problematic with regards to delivering the full fishing access in good faith.
    I was out at the Loveland Reservoir for the re-opening day Saturday on 08/01/2020
    I read the Compliance outline on the Sweetwater Authority Website and observed the signage recently placed at Loveland Reservoir. I observed that staff, conducted operations the same as in pre-Covid-19 times. From these things it is self-revealing that the public is not getting a fair return with a 3-day fishing program in replacement of the appropriate 7 day, sunrise to sunset access. Sweetwater Authority should be responsive to this discrepancy.

    Fishing should be open 7 days a week Sunrise to Sunset excluding the historical Holiday closures schedule. After tolerating the burden of excessive closure and a long fight to get Sweetwater Authority moving in the direction of doing the right thing., it appears that the Sweetwater Authority expects the public tolerate a “soft obstruction” for as long as Sweetwater Authority can get away with that.

    I know and understand that structurally making changes to operations at Sweetwater Authority is slow when your organization decides there is no sense of urgency. Please just do the right thing. Call an emergency meeting if you have to, and get it done. In the face of recent SWA conduct on this matter, that is what is appropriate.

    Sincerely,

    Everydog
     
    #50 Everydog, Aug 2, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  11. Everydog

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    Here are the links for comment again and I'll be back with more Sweetwater Authority board meeting comment opportunities as they come up. We can ask for a full Loveland reopening and that they leave the parking unlocked until actual Sunset,, like the easement says it should be. instead of 6:00 PM.

    Or Just ask them when the lake is going to be open on a normal schedule. That would be helpful. At first they wanted to revisit the topic in a year. Now they have agreed to review it in a month. Review for them Guarantees kicking the can down the road for many more months at least. Through the good fall bite when the weather cools down and shore fishing gets easier again.

    Sweetwater Authority, CA

    Sweetwater Authority , with this big beautiful lake called Loveland Reservoir, got an exceptional deal and a dinky fishing/recreation program to uphold compared to other lakes. A real sweet heart deal and they don't even want to do that.
     
    #51 Everydog, Aug 2, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  12. Everydog

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    Going over the first page of this thread. Just want to make it clear . Juan Vargas' office didn't do squat. I am actually in his district .
     
    #52 Everydog, Aug 2, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  13. Everydog

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    Here's where I think we stand. With the "soft opening" AKA , "soft obstruction" and restricted hours, the Sweetwater Authority is wrongfully taking Public Rights of Access to Loveland Reservoir for approximately 16 days a month plus the hours that the gate is locked after sunrise and before sunset. They are only cooperating at about 40% of the fishing easement.
     
  14. Everydog

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    So now out of the blue, this overzealous caretaker came up to me in the sweetwater boat, turns on her camara and started making a federal case of my feet being wet. I argued back a bit that it was incidental to fishing and she said either way it was going up her chain of command. The Easement that I have been posting here says water contact incidental to fishing is acceptable. I told her she was just harassing me for fighting with them to open the lake. Claims she didn't know who I was , but I told her my name last week and they all know me, so I have my doubts. Could be true that she didn't . I absolutely was not wading and I pointed to my pants with her filming me to show her that they were dry except for some wicking from the cuffs. It's just a rough bank to fish from.

    The easement says water contact incidental to fishing. I can't see where having wet feet is a breach? I'd like to see them fish that lake for a few miles of shoreline and not get their feet wet. The bank is muddy. I am asking myself how many people have they cited in the history of the lake for wet feet? Bogus. It should just fly unless they are retaliating, and I guess I am ready if they do.
     
    #54 Everydog, Aug 16, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  15. Everydog

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    Oh yes, forgot to add, she said that I was a threat to spread quagga mussels?
     
  16. Everydog

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    Less than two weeks until Sweetwater Authority is supposed to review operating hours. Loveland is currently open only 3 days a week , instead of 7 as it is supposed to be. I just wrote them to remind them that on behalf of all the citizens in the US, I still care. Specifically I would like to see them commit to opening the lake each day until sunset in what looks like would be lawful compliance with Easement


    Dear Sweetwater Authority Directors and Staff,

    Thank you for the progress you have made by partially fulfilling the fishing easement requirements at Loveland reservoir. I'd like to revisit the hours of public access granted to all US citizens in the Easement.

    The easement for fishing at Loveland Reservoir is from sunset to sunrise. Historically, the Sweetwater Authority has blocked access later than sunrise and earlier than sunset. I will focus on why this is inappropriate specifically in later spring, summer, and early fall.
    The Loveland Fishing Easement Document is written for sunrise to sunset as they are in the rest of they country for reason that are practical for the health , safety . quality of fishing experience and general enjoyment for all, including non-fishing people. This access belongs to us so it makes sense for it to be optimized.
    As spring goes on recreational areas such as Loveland reservoir are more frequently subjected to oppressive heat that can be dangerous to a large percentage of the population , effectively closing recreation for all but the super fit among us. By cutting access hours short, on one or both ends of the day, Sweetwater Authority is taking much of the healthiest, safest and most enjoyable hours of the day.

    This situation is easily remedied. Sunset tables for San Diego are here:https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/san-diego
    Other lakes in San Diego have signs at the entrance which are altered periodically to ensure that the public know when they open and close as these sunrise and sunset times fluctuate through the year. Some lakes, announce a warning that the lake will close in 10 minutes . Sweetwater Authority caretakers already do this at Loveland reservoir, just not in compliance with the Easement Document.


    As we all know , Sweetwater Authority is reviewing the reopening plan by September 1, 2020. Please include fixing this breach against the easement at that time.

    Sincerely,

    Everydog
     
  17. sherpa

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    I just read a post about fishing at SW, they posted a lot of fish and pics,
     
  18. Everydog

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    Cool
    Was that on this site or another?
     
  19. sherpa

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    Another site
     
  20. Everydog

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    We were promissed a review of lake operations by 9/1/2020. However Fishing access is not on the agenda for Board meetings up until beyond that time.

    My feedback about that situation to the Sweetwater Authority.

    Dear Sweetwater Directors and Management,

    I have noticed that opening Loveland reservoir access beyond the current 40% of full schedule is not on the Agenda for the board meetings on 8/25/2020 or 8/26/2020. It was previously agreed that the fishing schedule would be revisited within 30 days from the "soft opening" of 8/01/2020. My understanding is that there is no real progress on these things without board involvement and approval. Is it possible to meet the agreed 30 day review in a good faith manner if it is not even on the agenda? It seems, after all these long delays and short changing of the fishing program that the public should be provided transparency on this issue within those 30 days. The lake should be opened seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

    Thank You,

    Everydog
     
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