New Hogan


By Dana M. Nichols
February 17, 2009
Record Staff Writer


SAN ANDREAS – Kathy Zancanella, the manager at the Calaveras County Airport, has been flying these hills in her small airplane since 1968.

She’s seen seasons spin from green to brown, the gradual fading of the black zones left by wildfires, old barns falling and homes arising. She knows the mood of the land, the level of the rivers and the data gathered by sensors at the airport.

The recent rains haven’t been enough to change her opinion of what she’s seeing from the windows of her 1946 Taylorcraft.

“It looks pretty dry,” Zancanella said.

Zancanella recently took an aerial tour of major Mother Lode reservoirs that provide water to farms and cities in our region.

Pardee Reservoir, on the Mokelumne River, appeared to be in the best shape. But Zancanella said because of how it’s managed, she’s rarely seen it drawn down much over the years.

In contrast, the much larger Camanche Reservoir just downstream is showing miles of shoreline.

And New Hogan Reservoir, the main surface water source for Stockton, looks the worst, with part of the original, smaller Hogan Dam emerging from the water because of the low level.

New Melones, the largest reservoir in the region, has steeper sides and a dramatic bathtub ring even though it hasn’t yet sunk to as small a percentage of its capacity as Hogan.

Contact reporter Dana M. Nichols at (209) 607-1361 or


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