One of California’s trophy bass lakes sustained a catastrophic fish kill recently because of a toxic Golden Alga bloom.
George Coniglio, a big bass expert who lives on the Lake Mission Viejo, reports this:
“On Sunday, Nov. 9, the bass, bluegill, shell cracker, and crappie populations at LMV began to die off. The heavy losses continued until Thursday with thousands of fish dying each day.
“On Wednesday, I did a lap around the shoreline of the lake and counted 1448 dead bass ---15 of those bass I estimated were 7 to 11 pounds. Reports from some of the lake employees involved in the cleanup indicate that the majority of the lake’s big bass population is gone. Bill’s count 23 bass over 10 pounds, Adam’s count 10 bass over 10 pounds, Taylor’s count 15 bass over 10 pounds . . .
“Included in the count were two fish between 16 and 17 pounds, five fish in the 15-pound range, six fish around 13 pounds.”
Coniglio estimates that 90 percent of the bass and sunfish populations now are gone from the 124-acre lake.
And from Wired2fish, there’s this:
For 22 years, California big bass legend Joe Everett has been fascinated with chasing a unicorn. That unicorn is a 22-pound, 6-ounce bass that he has seen many times, both in his dreams and on trophy lake of choice, Lake Mission Viejo in California . . .
That dream, however, vanished in the past couple weeks when Mission had a Golden Alga bloom and the lake has since been decimated. The unicorn became a demon and thousands of game fish including very large bass, bluegill and bait fish all died as a result. With their deaths, Joe Everett’s dream died with them. Everett, a one of a kind big bass hunter, has a heart every bit as big as the dream he had about them and the lake he chased them on has had a major setback.
“My dream is over,” Everett said. “The kill has taken everything and now my quest will have to be taken up by someone else, I have even put my boat up for sale that was designed specifically for Mission. It’s over.
“It truly wasn’t about the big bass record as much as the potential of it coming from my little lake. This lake was full of small bass too and that gene pool has been destroyed. Hard to imagine that in one week, the bass all lined up and died from an algae bloom, but they did. I am sure some will survive but based on what I have seen at the lake, it won’t be many.”