HOW GOOD it looked in 2011.

HOW GOOD it looked in 2011.

Pictures sometimes say so much more than a requiem and having stopped at the West Marina this morning, I think three photos pretty much sum up the progression–or demise of the unique, natural setting that is Lake Elsinore.

Sadly, it’s taking its last breaths.

We remember (sort of) the record rain at the end of 2010 and early 2011 (photo at left). But since that time, even with more than 4 million gallons of reclaimed water pouring in daily, evaporation has nearly sucked the basin dry.

There was some hope this past winter when the promises of El Nino looked so bright, even filling-up Canyon Lake, upstream on the San Jacinto River, and soaking much of the state north of Fresno.

WHERE IT IS today.

WHERE IT IS today.

DECEMBER 2014 there was still plenty of water.

DECEMBER 2014 there was still plenty of water.

At the current rate, it would not surprise me if the marina shown here goes dry by this time next year. The City was hopeful, even stocking bass and catfish. But that may have been a fruitless effort.

Amazingly, there has been no major fish kill due to low oxygen as yet, but one would have to think that once the thick algae dies, the process of decay will burn the last available 02 and the inevitable will occur.

Of course, we know plenty of local lakes such as Sutherland, Vail, Barrett and Hodges have all felt the brunt of the drought, as have other reservoirs throughout Southern California. The difference here is, there is no dam; there is no canyon, just a flat sandy basin reliant on the rain.

Still, it is a rare environment, where time and time again, when you add water and a few fish, you get much more than you ever thought.

I’ve had 100 fish days here, caught lots of bass to 5 pounds and wipers to 8 pounds. Unfortunately, those are just memories right now.


2 Responses to “Lake Elsinore: 5-year slow death”

by Darlene Wise

This drought sucks!

by Edward Johnson

Now would be a good time to put in some rock piles on the south end as there is no water there now.but when it comes back the rock piles would be a good fish habitat