California Lake Goes Dry, Kills Thousands of Fish

And residents say something smells rotten
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2015 6:45 PM CDT
California Lake Goes Dry, Kills Thousands of Fish

A popular Northern California fishing hole went dry overnight last weekend, leaving residents scratching their heads and demanding answers, CBS Sacramento reports. Walker Lake, also known as Mountain Meadows Reservoir, is owned by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which uses it for hydroelectric power. A spokesperson for PG&E tells the Sacramento Bee that with California into year four of its massive drought, the reservoir has been under its minimum water requirement for weeks. “It’s a very flat, very shallow reservoir," he says. "At some point it was going to go dry."

But residents aren't buying it. They say people were fishing on the lake last Saturday; the next morning, thousands of fish lay dead and dying on the dry lake bed, CBS reports. “This makes me feel like they didn’t want to do a fish rescue and that it was easier to open that sucker up Saturday night,” lifelong resident Eddie Bauer says. PG&E officials deny anyone opened anything up; they say the lake simply ran out of water. Reservoirs all over the state are facing a similar fate. “We are reliant upon rainfall to fill those lakes of course, and until we get more rain we’re not likely to see any appreciable increase in the reservoir levels,” a Department of Water Resources spokesperson tells CBS. (The drought is so bad that parts of the state are sinking fast.)

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