NMDE/Project Baseline: Tahoe, 2 February 2014 – Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada

New Millennium Divers Todd K and Martin M took advantage of a cold and snowy day (that was not forecast) to enjoy a Project Baseline: Tahoe dive to the Sand Harbor station.  It was a great dive out to the outer wall structure and ran 70 minutes at a max depth of 101 feet with an average depth of 49 feet but the most significant visual of this day was the water level never before seen by either divers in over 30 years of diving Lake Tahoe.  Please watch this 24 second video, it tells the entire story…
The level of Tahoe is now below its natural rim and to put some perspective to this image, in 31 months, July 2011 to February 2014 the lake has dropped some 5 feet as calculated from the data gathered by the Project Baseline conservation initiative presently underway in Tahoe.  In July, 2011 our Project Baseline depth benchmark read 25/26 feet and on Sunday February 2, 2014 it read 20 feet.  In a lake with 191 square miles of surface area this 5 foot drop equates to approximately 200 billion gallons of water!  
The divers did not observe any Diaptomus (zooplankton) or Mysis Shrimp on this dive.  Unlike the New Years day dive at the Patton Beach station where they were quite populace.  
Project Baseline Statistics
Depth: 20′ per benchmark gauge/17′ per digital gauge (FFW)
Visibility: 40-50 feet approaching 50′
Temperature: 44f per benchmark gauge/44f per digital gauge
Photo: Taken 5 October 2013 ( Just to the left of the depth benchmark )