The water level at South Lake becomes a concern

South Lake - Bishop, CA (Inyo County)

by Parchers Resort Gang
(760) 873-4177

With the rapidly dropping water level, South Lake Landing is now closed for the season. This is the first time we've ever heard of that the landing has closed in July. Barring a miraculous amount of rain, the lake is scheduled to be at minimum pool by the end of August, possibly another first.

Although the lake is still open to shore anglers, access around the shoreline is a bit tough right now with loose sand or mud making it hard to get a good foothold close to the water. Best access is in Boiler Cove or around the west shore as the rocky shoreline is a little easier to navigate than the saturated sandy areas.

Fishing was reported to be pretty slow this week although Jeff Hulse from West Hills, CA used a Panther Martin spinner to land an incredibly streamlined 23" holdover Alper that weighed in at 3.82lbs.

The reservoir is at roughly 2500 acre feet which is about 20% of capacity, disproportionately low compared to other reservoirs in the Sierras (except Sabrina as we're both in the same boat). To put this in perspective, since 1960 the lowest lake level at the end of July was approximately 5400 acre feet, so we're less than half of the lowest level since then and still dropping. We sure hope those managing the water understand the unfortunate implications for locals, area visitors and small businesses in the area.

On the bright side of things, even though South Lake will almost surely receive no fish stocking this season, having spoken with the DFW hatchery folks we were assured that they would do their best to stock the fish allotted for South Lake in the other Bishop Creek Canyon waters, hopefully providing a nice boost to the already solid bite at North Lake, Intake II, Weir Pond and all three forks of Bishop Creek. Conditions of course will determine if the whole allotment makes it in the canyon, but the probability is good as the aforementioned lakes and streams are expected to remain easily accessible through the end of the season (November 15th).

Photos #1 & 2: Photo #1 shows the actual South Lake water levels on July, 2013. Photo #2 shows the projected South Lake water levels on July, 2013.

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