Shad Die-Off At Lake Elsinore Continues

"Shad are sensitive," and tend to be the first species hit when changes occur in the lake.

Residents around Lake Elsinore are taking notice: Thousands of dead Shad fish are being spotted on the lake’s beaches this week.

Saturday, a Patch reader submitted the attached photos and expressed some concern about the dead fish.

"I went fishing this morning back behind the abandoned boy's military school off Grand and all along the shoreline for at least a mile there were thousands and thousands of dead Shad all over the place," Eric Ritchie said in an email.

Additionally, , a resident voiced her concern about the lake’s odor caused by the die-off.

But Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale told the audience assembled at the school this week that Shad are very sensitive fish that can easily succumb to sudden temperature change. He pointed to an earlier heat wave this month that was followed by a cool spell, and now more hot weather.

Tisdale said the hasn't changed, and the Shad die-off is something to contend with when the weather causes abrupt temperature flux.

Then Interim City Manager Pat Kilroy said, "Shad are sensitive," and tend to be the first species hit when changes occur in the lake.

Cat July 21, 2012 at 08:52 PM
This is very sad! And for people who are visiting the area & don't even know there is an Aeration system there, or know anything about this fish......it can seem rather horrifying! I'm sure that alot of people are thinking that there's something wrong with the water itself. That might deter people from bringing their families there to enjoy the lake, or if they're already there, not to ever come back. I think these poor unfortunate fish should be removed at once.
justme July 21, 2012 at 09:00 PM
What I don't get is why is it ALWAYS our lake? How many fish kills (to the extent Elsinore has) does Canyon Lake or Perris Lake have? We never hear of any from them, always Elsinore. The smell is terrible and that is one of the huge reasons it is called "Smell-some-more". It makes the town and lake gross. They need to pull it together and get some experts in to help with the lake or else we will forever be known as Smell-some-more. I personally wouldn't put my pinky toe in the lake fearing I would come out with an additional toe...
Cat July 21, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Well just by reading some of the comments here about the people there (Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Lakeland Village, etc..) perhaps the fish are just committing suicide? Just sayin..........
Chuck July 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
This is another warning that global warming is in our mist.
Roberto July 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Let's get the Jail trustees serving time and graffitti artist to clean it up and soon!
BLUESGUITAR777 July 21, 2012 at 09:31 PM
That fishing gear looks familiar... ;o)
Bill Bull July 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM
What else would the mayor say? Does anyone want to go swimming with a bunch of dead fish laying on the shore.?
Richard Ostrand July 22, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Nature has complex systems that aren't always easily remedied. Have some patience with the city officials; I'm sure they are just as concerned.
Roberto July 22, 2012 at 01:50 AM
How about a giant pool filter, aeration utilizing oil free air compressors for the affected areas?
Ken Mayes July 22, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Stolen September 9, 1850 This is what happens when you have a city council rather than a public trust corporation try to manage the lake. Most fish die-offs are related to low oxygen levels which is a manageable condition on a properly maintained lake.
Constant Comment July 22, 2012 at 05:23 AM
@Ken, you are so right! They should have cranked up the aeration a long time ago. Very poor management. As far back as the 60s LE was always known to be a cess pool. Fish been dying in it since I was a kid. The aeration system was put in there to prevent this from happening.
ItsJustMe July 22, 2012 at 06:22 AM
From what I have heard, this is a very shallow lake. Wouldn't dredging it to make it deeper help overcome this problem? I know it sounds like a lot to do, not to mention expensive for a lake this size, but it's an idea..........afterall, they did just spend 8 million on a new launch. I drive down Lakeshore into four-corners from Main St. almost every day and all I see are green waves and wakes. It's not something I'd exactly want to dive into.
ItsJustMe July 22, 2012 at 06:24 AM
@justme, I apologize for having a similar name to yours, I use it for all my blog posts. Not trying to copy ;-)
Ken Mayes July 22, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Dredging the lake is probably not an option because of the mineral composition of the soil. Interesting fact, a 1852 official California map shows the lake to be around 6,000 acres in size and names it Laguna de Sal (Salt Lagoon)
Christi July 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
If anyone would do the research they would find that the fish kill is from a very healthy lake. Temps cause it and so do allgie blooms, which pull oxygen form the water. Who ever said a clean lake didn't smell? Nature smells and our lake is a healthy part of our area. Unlike Perris lake, lake Elsinore has never had to close the beaches because of pollution, mainly from people using it as a bathroom. I can't tell you how many times this has happened in Perris, where at one time it was so bad they talked about closing them permanently.
Ken Mayes July 22, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Please enlighten us with the source of your research. As for Lake Perris what do you expect from a lake that has over 1 million visitors a year.
Roberto July 22, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Dredging is an option but not to deep. Lake Elsinore is Southern California's largets natural lake and sits on a clay liner that keeps the water fro all draining into the aquafier. BTW, Lake Elsinore has been closed due to bacteria from fecal matter and so has Canyon Lake. I would swim in Lake Elsinore before Canyon lake and it's drinking water!
Steve July 23, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Ken get a grip. Google Nature fish kills... Wish nature would take its course with all your posts
Cat July 23, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I like Ken Mayes posts. He knows an awful lot about history. I find him very interesting & unlike other ladies on here that I just scroll over, I read every one of Kens posts. I always learn something new or come away with a different perspective. If you agree or disagree, he's still a great contributer to the topic at hand. I've never read about him taking off the heads of anyone who attacks him, because they might feel intimidated by his intelligence. No, he's not a name caller or a sniper. He doesn't feel the need to play that silly game. Ken deserves respect.
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Steve Interesting reading but it still does not change my opinion of the cities management of the lake. They, the city and watershed authority, spent a lot of money putting in an aeration system to prevent this from happening and either they don't use it effectively or it was not placed properly. It also does not help that the inflow of the San Jacinto River was redirected when they built the levee eliminating a natural flow pattern in the lake.
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Thank you for the nice comments. I have made it my mission to become as informed as much a possible about this lake in order that it be properly returned to the citizens of the State of California. I fully expect to hear comments of all types as many people will be upset if this should happen along with the many more that will benefit.
Helen July 23, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Well I’m now glad I never went to the lake. Been here for a few years now and I drive by it a lot and always see people sitting along the shoreline fishing, boaters and other watercrafts out there and thought about tossing a line in. But after reading these comments….uh….no. Sounds like the lake has a lot of questionable issues that I’d rather not find out for myself. Maybe a solution will present itself that will fix it and the city will act on it but ‘til then, think I’ll just continue passing on by. :)
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Please go fishing. There are some bass in the lake and if nothing else you will have a good time.
Helen July 23, 2012 at 03:49 AM
I did read that they released bass in there (was it earlier this year that they did that?) and I thought that was great. I miss passing the time fishing (always peaceful, you know?) but I dunno.... Maybe it won't be too bad. I do the whole "catch-n-release" anyway. Just the comments on here have me a little leary...ha!
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Helen I enjoy fishing as well and no matter the political problems surrounding the management of the lake it is still a lake and has been for many thousands of years.
Roberto July 23, 2012 at 04:30 AM
FYI...Lake Havasu & Lake Perris also drinking water have been closed due to bacteria.
Marjorie Marrale June 17, 2013 at 01:53 PM
What about the fact that's it's the only lake in the nation that uses reclaimed water? YUCK!!!!!!


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