15-foot rise in Walker Lake prompts Rehydration Celebration

People wade in Walker Lake.

People wade in Walker Lake.
Walker Lake Working Group

The nonprofit working to restore Walker Lake is hosting a celebration of the lake’s 15-foot rise thanks to 2023’s record winter.

A Rehydration Celebration is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at Monument Beach 12 miles north of Hawthorne, according to the Walker Lake Working Group.

“Historically, upstream agricultural diversions in Nevada and California dropped the lake 180 vertical feet and placed it on the brink of ecological collapse,” organizers said on Thursday. “This year’s increase has helped to stabilize the extremely high total dissolved solids that have prevented the re-introduction of Lahontan cutthroat trout and tui chub. The level has also brought thousands of birds back. Pelicans, phalaropes, avocets and ducks have been sighted along the north shore of the lake.”

The Walker Lake Loon Festival was conducted in spring for roughly a decade and a half from the early 1990s to 2008. However, over the years a reduction in the lake’s level meant fewer and fewer loons turned up

The celebration next weekend begins with a fireman’s breakfast 8-10 a.m. at the Walker Lane Firehouse.

Free, interpretive canoe tours run from 9 a.m. to noon. The event officially kicks off at 10 a.m. at Monument Beach with the Rehydration Ceremony at the lakeshore. Participants are encouraged to bring a bottle of water to share with the lake.

As a family-friendly event, kids may choose from a variety of activities including face painting, rock decorating, kite flying and fish prints until 2 p.m.

“An educational focal point of the event are presentations on the ecology and history of the lake,” organizers said.

Walker River Paiute Tribal Chairwoman Andrea Martinez, Cal State Stanislaus History Professor Dr. Phillip Garone, Walker Basin Conservancy’s Carlie Henneman, Great Basin Bird Observatory’s Ned Bohman and retired Nevada Division of Wildlife Biologist Mike Sevon are scheduled to speak.

Several raffles will be held during the event and food and beverages will be available.

For more information contact Penny Tator at 408-476-5152 or Nancy Hadlock at 760-258-6574.


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