Merced woes leave gap in fishing holes
EXAMINER OUTDOORS WRITER
May 2, 1999
©1999 San Francisco Examiner
THE BOATS started being hauled away from Lake Merced last Tuesday, and by Friday, the last one was towed off, and right behind it, the tackle shop was carted away. That left San Francisco and the Peninsula - and its 2.5 million residents - without a single location for boat-and-motor rentals or a lake fishing program.
According to the City of San Francisco, a new concessionaire, Chor Lee, owner of the Boathouse Bar & Grille at Merced, will take over "operations" at the lake this weekend. But that will initially consist of a few rowboats available for rent, and little else, and Lee has never before operated a recreation concession.
There are are no boats with electric motors, canoes, a shop for bait, tackle, drinks and snacks, fish plants, trout derbies or tackle rentals for youngsters and newcomers.
This meager offering will raise the importance of lakes and marinas elsewhere in the Bay Area, where boat rentals and water recreation sports are available.
According to a personal survey, the Bay Area has 43 lakes with public access, and of those, 13 have some type of rentals available. Four have powered boats (gas or electric motors) or rowboats available, another six have rowboats available, and three provide kayak or canoe rentals. On the Bay, of 19 saltwater marinas with boat ramps, only one has power boat rentals and four have sailboat rentals.
Here is a detailed listing of the locations with rentals, including contacts:
* Lake Merced, San Francisco: Rowboat rentals are available. No concession phone number connected. Phone (415) 831-2773.
* Lake Merritt, Oakland: Rowboats, paddleboats, canoes and sailboats are available. (510) 444-3807.
* San Pablo Res., near Orinda: Fishing boats with 4-cycle outboards, rowboats. (510) 223-1661.
* Lafayette Res., Lafayette: Rowboats, paddleboats. (925) 284-9669.
* Lake Chabot, Castro Valley: Boats with electric motors, rowboats, paddleboats, canoes.
* Shadow Cliffs Lake, Pleasanton: Rowboats, canoes, paddleboats. (925) 846-3000.
* Contra Loma Res., Antioch: Kayak rentals, windsurfing boards. (925) 778-6350.
* Lake Elizabeth, Fremont: Canoes, paddleboats, kayaks and sailboats. (510) 791-4340.
* Del Valle Res., Livermore: Boats with motors, rowboats, patio boats, paddleboats, kayaks. (925) 449-5201.
* Loch Lomond Res., Ben Lomond: Boats with electric motors, rowboats. (831) 335-7424.
* Lake Vasona, Los Gatos: Rowboats, paddleboats. (408) 867-3654 or (408) 358-3741.
* Cunningham Lake, San Jose: Rowboats, canoes, paddleboats, sailboats. (408) 277-4792.
* Almaden Lake, San Jose: Paddleboats, inflatable canoes, windsurfing boards. (408) 277-5130.
* San Francisco Bay: Powerboat rentals featuring Boston Whalers are available at Bay Adventures, Sausalito, (415) 331-0444. Sailboat rentals are available at Rendezvous Charters at Pier 40, San Francisco, (415) 543-7333; Marina Plaza Harbor, Sausalito, (415) 332-4723; Cass Sailing School, Sausalito, (415) 332-6789.
* South San Francisco Bay: Sailboat rentals are available at Club Nautique in Alameda, (510) 865-4700 and Spinnaker Sailing in Redwood City, (650) 965-7474.