What a difference a year can make when it comes to water levels at Lake Isabella.
Last year, an abnormally snowy winter in the Sierra Nevada pumped water levels well above normal but this year the drought is slowly turning the lake into a puddle. As water levels drop, some store owners are seeing their business dry up as well.
Lake Isabella is currently holding about 100,000 acre-feet of water, far below its 190,000 acre-feet average.
"Low, really really low. I was surprised to see how low it was. By Kissex Bay there's trees sticking out about eight feet out of the water," said Gilbert Ahumada of Bellflower, CA.
It's quite a different sight than what most lake goers are used to.
"The piece of landing sticking out of the water here. I never knew that was here," said Jason Denhem of Lakewood, CA.
Last year, nearly 200% of snow pack fell in the Sierra Nevada creating too much water for the lake but now, what would have been underwater the year before, is now beach front parking for weekend vacationers.
"We're probably a good, I would say 30 feet, 40 feet closer to the water line than we've been ever and we're still a good 100 feet from the water," Denhem said.
But as the lake waters give way to more and more beach area, summer tourists are only dribbling in.
"We got here Saturday and it was a little crowded, but not as packed as I thought it would be. But hopefully Labor Day Weekend will bring a lot of people in here," Ahumada said.
It's a hope a lot of business owners in the area are aiming for as well. James Wyly runs the Mt. Mesa Market and says the one-two punch of mother nature and the economy are taking a toll this year.
"Lake levels doesn't help our situation on the weekends. People aren't coming up here as much to camp as normal and the economy has kind of slowed things down for us a bit," Wyly said.
Hopeful is the attitude Wyly has towards the Labor Day weekend. It's normally one of the busiest holidays of the summer, and one that helps Wyly's business weather the winter months. While hoping for the best, Wyly says he's preparing for what's been only typical of this year.
"I'm not ordering in like we used to, I'm not stockpiling the beverages in the back room and I'm almost keeping it as normal," Wyly said.
According to the National Weather Service, so far they're forecasting above average precipitation for the winter time, but it's too early to know for sure if that’ll happen.