VIEW on Christmas Eve...

From December 19 through Christmas Eve, the unexpected–and the sorely needed–heavy rainfall hit the Inland Empire, and the resulting runoff raised Lake Elsinore more than five feet.

What’s more, the San Jacinto River continues to run at better than 800 cubic feet per second, even after the worst of storm. After the monster flows of Tuesday and Wednesday, the lake is spreading out, flooding new cover, assuring sufficient water volume for the next two to three summers, and quite likely supplementing the bass population by way of Canyon Lake.

THE STAIRWAY disappears...

...between the palm trees

Of course, the actual number of bass (crappie, catfish, shad and who knows what) is somewhat of a wild card, but as Pat Kilroy of the Lake Elsinore Aquatic Resources Dept. noted, the river was running “through the tops of the trees” as it rushed through the canyon to the inlet channel below.

Said Pat, “They shot the lake [elevation] this morning (Dec. 24)” and came up with 1247.1. To put that into perspective, on Dec. 19, the lake was at 1241.80. That’s a rise of 5.30 feet and is likely to inch its way up until the next official measurement on Tuesday. There is no concern, however, about the lake “spilling” as the outlet channel approximately 7 1/2 feet above the current mark.

Still, after crews went out and inspected the lake, they determined there was only limited debris on the water so the lake will be open. At least, at the Seaport Landing ramp. Over at the West Marina, the ramp was blocked today and may stay that way until crews can retrieve a wheeled courtesy dock that rolled out into the marina at the height of the storms.

You can see some landmarks in the marina that indicate the higher level, as well as the new flooded brush along the east shore, and even a little island near the “pipes.” But for a flat shallow basin like Elsinore, the conditions (two feet higher than all of last year) are nothing short of miraculous.

‘Tis the season.


9 Responses to “Elsinore Christmas: 5 vertical feet and rising…”

Well Merry Christmas George! It looks like this present will last you a while. I know you’ll take good advantage of it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Thanks, Terry. Best to you and yours.

Is that your house with the red boat parked in the garage?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year George.

by ernie Rodriguez

Maybe I’m missing something, but what’s with the fascination with this website and Lake Elsinore? Every time I visit this site their is some kind of article with this lake. Maybe someone can post a response. Thank You, Ernie Rodriguez

George lives near Lake Elsinore. It’s actually sometimes mistakenly referred to as Kramer’s Lake.

Yer not from around these parts, are you, Ernie? 🙂

Actually, I just don’t know another site that covers SoCal’s only natural lake and since I’m about 400 yards off the water, it’s something I keep track of so others don’t have to.

The lake’s “modern” bass fishing era stretches from the floods of 1969 through the peak flooding of 1981, the “Miracle March” of ’91 and every other peak water season in the watershed. After each of those, the bass population at Lake Elsinore has boomed incredibly (with fish from Canyon Lake, once Railroad Canyon Reservoir) upstream creating many 50 to 100 fish days downstream.

Sadly, in between, Elsinore has also suffered some bad times with low oxygen and fish die-offs. There are also other periods (the last year, for one) when there are much fewer bass per acre than the reservoirs.

From a technical standpoint, it’s murky water and acres of shallow cover make Elsinore a unique teaching venue, requiring techniques and tools that are foreign to SoCal’s typical, clear water reservoir scene.

Thus, somebody who gets ’em here regularly, in my view, is a pretty darn good bass fisherman.

by ernie Rodriguez

OK I see, now I understand. Very good info for the fishermen that visit Lake Elsinore. I hope the fishing stays good for all the locals. Good Fishing and Tight Lines To All. Keep up the good work, George.

Hopefully this year those elsie bass bite in the high water! Gimmie a call I’m up for the challenge!

Lots of targets for sure. Need more bass per acre and hopefully they got a few more with this storm. Fun place when its good and a real challenge when its not.