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Lake Oroville houseboats stuck ashore

Houseboat owners say the DWR cost them thousands as more than 100 boats have been sidelined for months.

Posted: Feb. 16, 2018 6:08 PM

"The houseboat lifestyle is really great - you can have three or four generations out there - keeping your children off the computers and out in the fresh air,' said houseboat owner Susan Henderson.

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You could say Henderson was living the dream ... Until a year ago, when it all became a progressive nightmare.

"It's just a huge bummer for everybody that this was all mandated by the state of california," said Lime Saddle and Bidwell Canyon Marina manager Bill Harper.

As the DWR scrambled on a deadline to repair a busted spillway before the next rainy season, they dropped the water level to about 700 feet - making it dangerously shallow for a houseboat to remain docked.

"If they drop a foot at the dam, it's 5 to 6 foot on shore, so every day you have to push your boat back out or get beached, and it's a lot of work" said Henderson.

130 boat owners volunteered to pull our of the water. Little did they know that 6 months later, there'd still be too little lake to go back into.

This is not normal - when you consider the cost of moving one of these in and out of the water? Owners say this should never happen.

"$700 one way and they still have to pay their mooring while the boat is out. The larger vessels cost more than that" said manager Bill Harper.

With fees piling up, houseboat owners tried ask the DWR to pitch in.

"We need to file a class action suit because I know several people who got the paper for their papers to get help from paying the fees to pull the boats out - they submitted the form, paid the $25 filling fee - and the DWR's sent them back and said they're not going to pay the claim.

Manger Bill harper says those claim reimbursement forms were cut-and-dry, provided by the DWR - and now it seems the department's going back on their instructions.

"The state's gauging us, DWR is mis-managing our lake - this is our home, our lifestyle, where 3 or 4 generations get together," said Henderson.

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