Brush patch Sept elsinoreLow water is everybody’s business in SoCal and within a week’s time both Lake Morena and  Lake Elsinore (right) have been added to Diamond Valley as sharing the same issue–launch ramps out of service.

Today I got this from Beryl Buchanan, supervising park ranger at Morena:

“EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!! Due to low water levels, boat launching has become unsafe at Lake Morena. We have closed the lake to all private boat launches. We deeply regret any inconvenience this causes. Boat rentals are available seven days a week. Kayaks and float tubes will still be allowed.”

A similar notice was put forth by the City of Lake Elsinore last weekend on the main ramp, however, as of a few hours ago, it was still “launch at your own risk.” Of course, Elsinore has alternatives such as Elsinore West Marina.

BTW: Guide Gregg Silks, one of the best bass catchers in the state, if not the country, called me from Diamond Valley where he says everything looks in place to make the MWD’s February target date for private launching. Like everybody else, he’s really looking forward to guiding clients in his own rig.

Game on-1Here on the home waters, I got out with Jim Emmett of Canyon Lake at the behest of the Department of Fish and Game this morning. The department was looking for six, fresh caught largemouth bass, to be submitted for examination to determine if there are any health issues within the black bass population at Lake Elsinore. The step was mandated if the state is going to stock largemouth here from a private pond (undisclosed location).

While it’s been a couple of decades since I saw bass put on ice, the net gain for the lake was too large to ignore. As DFG biologist Quinn Granfors duly noted, “Six bass for 600 is a pretty good tradeoff.”

catseyeThe bigger issue (at least as I tossed and turned last night) was we had just 3 1/2 hours to get them–needing to meet the biologist at 10 a.m. Turns out, we actually had eight by then and finished the day with 12 bass, 2 wipers, 2 catfish and a carp–split 50/50 on spinnerbaits and under-spins. The fish were very shallow, less than two feet and all came from across the south end, both sides as well as the dike.

Besides getting yanked real hard a couple of times and doing our part to get the lake some new fish, I learned from Pat Kilroy of the Lake and Aquatic Resources Department that carp seining continues.

droppin somethingBut the numbers are going down from previous seasons. Today working out almost a half a mile out from the southeast shore, the net crew got only about 500 pounds of carp, and then had to hand pick and release almost 300 pounds of sport fish–mostly crappie.

And, just for entertainment, while we were checking out what’s left of the fences on the west shore, Hawaii Mars roared off into the wild blue yonder.


5 Responses to “Morena to Elsinore, similar ramp situations”

Sounds like you had a fun day. Through out the state lakes are squeezed by supply and demand issues. Barren shore lines continue to grow as our lakes become ponds. Parks maintenance departments are challenged by the loss of revenue as boaters look for more hospitable environments. Fry recruitment collapses as habitat is de watered.
The picture of the guy in the yellow shirt looks like Mike Gardener “Fish don’t have Hands”

Jim and Mike actually go way back–to the Saddleback and Rio Hondo Bassmasters days of the 1970’s. (Are we that old?)

Good update. Despite all of the fishing frustrations from the past year, from your report anyways, seems that there are good things happening. Maybe I’m a silver lining kinda guy. Private lake, eh? My guess its Lake Mathews.

Just might have to make the trip over the hill Friday or Saturday and find some line pullers. Where’d I put those buzz baits. 🙂

Here is a silver lining to the drought condition challenging our fishing holes: Prolonged draw downs provide an opportunity for terrestrial vegetation to take hold and provide a nursery and nutrients for future spawn in the eventual wet cycle. Grazing wild life also capitalise on the oasis.Subsurface moisture is abundant under drawn down shorelines and provides above average growth that can take advantage of the nutrient rich soil enhanced by the decaying remnants of algae and aquatic weeds. Cheers

I’ve been told that Morena will allow “car Toppers” launch but nothing on a trailer. Better call before the long trip. I used to work at this lake and have seen it at spillway and of course as “the pond” too. I prefer spillway myself.