Droughts can do significant harm to the industry, dropping water levels so low in lakes, rivers and streams that boaters can't use them and dealers, boatyards and marinas lose significant business.

The concrete launch ramp at Bidwell Canyon on Lake Oroville shows that although boating conditions have improved dramatically, the water level in late January stood at only 39 percent of capacity.

Can El Niño turn the tide?

Californians are reveling in the effects of El Niño, which has brought rain to the parched, drought-stricken state, but no group is happier than boat dealers, who have faced hardship after hardship since the housing bubble burst in 2008.

Study says California drought is worst in 500 years

Researchers knew California’s drought was a record-breaker when they set out to find its exact place in history, but they were surprised by what they discovered: It has been 500 years since what is now the Golden State has been this dry.

El Niño could mean drought relief in California

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that this El Niño could be among the strongest in the historical record dating from 1950 and that means rain — lots of it — for California.

Drought forces Lake Mead marina to move

One measure of how hard the Western drought has been on boaters and marina owners in the West can be found at Lake Mead in Nevada, where crews recently began the process of moving a marina farther out into the lake.

Bidwell Canyon Marina on Lake Oroville in northern California in a photo taken in February.

No water, no boating

While the East Coast was digging out from one snowstorm after another this winter, the West Coast was digging in for another year of severe drought.

VIDEO: California lake will close because of drought

In a blow to boaters that underscores the growing extent of California’s water squeeze, the level of Diamond Valley Lake is falling so low that it will have to be closed to recreational users on April 15, the Metropolitan Water District announced Tuesday.

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