The amount of water in Big Bear Lake has reached historic proportions of the negative kind. As the calendar turns to November, the lake level has dropped to 18 feet below full.

“This is the lowest it’s been since the 1977 judgment and the in lieu agreement,” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that manages the lake. “Before that we used to release water like crazy. The last release we had to do for the orange groves down the hill was in 1996.”

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