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Message started by bodfish on Oct 20th, 2011, 12:12am

Title: salton sea?
Post by bodfish on Oct 20th, 2011, 12:12am

    I may ask this from time to time...

    has anyone heard of anything besides tilapia being caught down there lately?


Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by Lew_Riffle on Oct 20th, 2011, 6:13am

Sadly no.....all things must pass I guess...a very transitional situation    LEW

Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by bodfish on Oct 21st, 2011, 6:14pm

hey lew you seem to be in the know, what is the latest on the Salton Sea? what is going on there regarding the water and environment?

Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by Lew_Riffle on Oct 22nd, 2011, 6:25am

Getting "saltyer" every year with less fresh water to dilute it.  It is the result of importing Colorado River water for agriculture which becomes more dear and efficient in its use.  Agriculture comes first. Fixing the lake (which is a by product) is a very low priority other than dealing with it and not letting it become to big a mess.  There was talk of making two lakes which would allow one to be a more fresh water lake but as we all know the world moves on economic incentive and well.... there ain't much incentive to fix the ole cesspool....she's work'n fine...smells a bit though.     LEW

Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by Forum Admin on Oct 23rd, 2011, 12:58pm

Yes, the salinity increases every year and fresh water is much too valuable to use for a fishery. In addition, fertilizer and pesticides wash into the sea and build up every year; after all, it is an agricultural sump. There is even some industrial pollution coming from Mexico. The resort industry that the accidental sea spawned has died out and the ghost town atmosphere, the dirty water and smell of rotting algae blooms and fish kills have made it a forgotten destination for tourists and fisherman. I hear parks and towns that blossomed to attract visitors are now closed down. The old yacht club is now a museum and home to a movement to restore the sea to it's former glory; a task that most say is impossible. I seem to remember one of the proposed solutions was, in part,  to build a dam and create two lakes, one for recreation and a second to become a slough for waterfowl? It would seem a monumental and super expensive project that could never be funded.

It appears that the fishery has seriously declined in the last 10 years. I hear tilapia are the only fish that can survive there now. I guess tilapia, an African import, can survive in some pretty disgusting water (makes me think twice about eating tilapia.) The amazing fishery that once existed in the 60s when I first came to California, for Corvina, Sargo and Croaker is gone.  If I'm not mistaken, even Stripers were there at one time but didn't do well. Would be interested, if you decide to give it a try, to hear a report on the area and the tilapia fishing.

PS: you might want to wait for cooler weather and water temps so the algae blooms won't be too big a problem. I've also heard, if the water gets too cold it causes tilapia kills.

Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by bodfish on Oct 23rd, 2011, 9:58pm

    Well... The only reason I ask about the Salton Sea is that I had  heard recently about some corvina being caught by a tight lipped group of fisherman who were still fishing it regularly. I can only hope.

    I started fishing the Salton Sea about 6-7 years ago and had an opportunity to experience it's final days of glory. I first saw the Sea while location scouting for work, and was shocked that such a place could exist so close to LA. It is absolutely vast! It is one of the most unusual and interesting places I have ever seen, and by far the most incredible fishery I have ever fished! The history of the Sea is long and colorful, and makes for great reading . I encourage everyone to research it just for the entertainment value of reading about the largest body of inland  water in California.

    Now about the fly fishing,....

    Imagine if you will a fish, a salt water fish that bit a streamer harder than ANYTHING you had ever fished. And I mean HARD!! (There is an 8 weight rig on the bottom of the Bombay Beach that was ripped from my hands one moonless night in August that will attest to this.)  A fish that smoked your fly line out of your reel and into your backing so fast it made your head spin. A fish that almost no one had ever heard of let alone caught. A beautiful silver sided, bronze backed missile, with bright yellow fins and an even brighter orange mouth full of half inch long teeth. A fish that regularly reached the 25-30lb mark. A fish that lived in the largest inland body of water in the state of California. A body of water that almost everyone had heard of, almost no one knew of where it was, and had never been to, let alone fished.

    Sounds like the preamble to a Steinbeck novel. This was/is the Salton Sea and the Orange Mouthed Croaker. Corvina.

    I spent long hard days and nights learning about and learning to love the Sea. I caught fish there that most fly fisherman only dream of. And I did it virtually alone! There was never anyone there!!

    And now it is gone.

    I have been trying to stay abreast of the goings on down there but it is a daunting task and the information available is becoming increasingly murky. I can't make out what the plan is and who is in charge.

    The sea is not dead. It is just sick. and I hope anyone that reads this will please investigate the sea and support what ever it takes to revitalize by far, THE FORMERLY, MOST PROLIFIC FISHERY IN THE COUNTRY!!

    ( The Salton Sea was for some time considered, by quite a few agencies, to be the most prolific fishery in the United States with fish populations per square acre that were so far and above the national average that it drew international attention)



Title: Re: salton sea?
Post by Forum Admin on Oct 25th, 2011, 1:52pm

Yeah, it was quite a fishery. If there are still some corvina left, from what I've heard, it will only be a matter of time before the last ones are gone. I'm told the eggs can't survive the high salinity and without reproduction they will all disappear. I remember people saying this day would come.

It would seem even with the agricultural and industrial waste along with the salt that the water carries if more fresh water could be allotted to the sea it could get better. Of course if you want to flush the sea, water would have to removed too. The sea is below sea level so it would have to be pumped out. How about salt mining with evaporation ponds to remove saltier water as it's replaced with more fresh water from the agriculture drainage? It's hard to imagine water being allotted to a fishery. California uses water to make money, not fisheries. Look at how hard it is to get water for the Delta and the coastal rivers; the fight there is to protect native, threatened and endangered species and it's still hard. The Salton Sea was an accident and it had no fish. All the fish there are species that came from somewhere else and are not threatened.

I sure would like to see the Salton come back to what it was!

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