DIAMOND VALLEY algae bloom this week...

Okay, so the more correct term might be algal bloom, but the fact is, put enough nutrients in the water, fire up the daytime temperatures, and sit back and watch the phytoplankton start to grow.

Got a look at that a couple of days ago in the form of the attached photo from James “Jimmy” Emmett of Wildomar as he was over fishing Diamond Valley Lake. This photo was taken in the center of the lake over 100 feet or more of water, pointing up the fact that when the conditions are right, these things go off, be it Lake Cachuma or Casitas or even a natural basin such as Lake Elsinore.

Fertility is the key. You’ve got to have nutrients in the water and sometimes these come from a specific water source, or they might be from run-off. The fact is, not all these nutrients are visible (just like microscopic phyto-plankton or “algae”) so you can’t always point to their presence before the bloom.

But though the green sheen is up in the water column, it’s not a consequence of a “turnover”–at least not while the water temperature is still hovering around 70 degrees. You need colder surface water to sink and displace warmer water below for that to happen. Instead, sunlight promotes green growth (photosynthesis) so it would make sense that the bloom moves upward, or rather, takes place in the upper stratum, where its chlorophyl is most exposed to sunlight.*

Is it good? Is it bad? On one level, it blocks sunlight from penetrating deeper, so in clear reservoirs it might help the angling by make the fish below less finicky. And, except for the angler feeling a bit squeamish about the “soup” it doesn’t seem to affect the fish in off-color water–initially.

But, no doubt, when the green dies and you get the brownish turn, that could be a problem, if only in isolated spots. Dead and dying algae decays, using up oxygen in the water–the worst of it the morning after a peak bloom in shallow lakes or very shallow portions of deeper lake.


*But if a scientist out there has a more correct explanation, we would welcome it.


4 Responses to “There’s no bloom like an ‘algae bloom’”

I went today for a little look about and wow. Never seen anything like it! The biggest bummer is how bad the lake is fishing but as always someone will crack the code for next weekends NBW tournament. I hope the key that my partner and I found unlocks something more than fools gold. One plus I see with all that slop is the shad and silversides have lots to eat which make for a possible boom next year!

gotta love turnover. it’s especially “bloomy” this year because the state water coming in is entering at 180-200 ft, further stirring up the water column on the west end where the prevailing wind blows it east.

by George Kramer

Prognosis, Doctor? 😉

yeah, anglers will complain about it.