Early arrivals at new lake . Stripers in Diamond Valley Lake

spectr17

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Early arrivals at new lake

May 16, 2002

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

Mike Giusti knew the unwanted guest would arrive through the system some day. He just didn't expect it to be this soon, before the lake even opened.

Diamond Valley Lake, the new lake near Hemet scheduled to open in summer 2003, was found to have striped bass swimming in its waters, though how many is uncertain.

While collecting fish for a relocation project last month, a scientific aid caught a 4-pound striper while trolling.

Giusti, a Department of Fish and Game fisheries biologist, suspects the striper reached the lake through the state-water project from Silverwood Lake, which is connected to Diamond Valley.

Since stripers are very prolific and tend to overpopulate a fishery, they are not a welcomed species in Diamond Valley, but their arrival was inevitable.

Giusti, who planned the fishery from scratch, was hoping by stocking largemouth bass first, the bigger bass would feed on any smaller stripers that reached the lake.

"It was faster than I thought," said Giusti of finding them in Diamond Valley. "I was hoping it'd be 10 years before one was documented.

"But the fact we have one is not earth-shattering. Or if we have 50 to 100 stripers, that would not be earth-shattering. It's when they are causing a problem with the fishery that (raises a concern)."

Based on the history of other lakes connected to the state-water project that have striped bass, Diamond Valley won't see large populations of stripers for at least 15-20 years, Giusti said.

One plus is that striped bass thrive on shad more than it does the inland silversides baitfish, Giusti said.

Silverwood, which has a striper population, has predominantly shad as its baitfish.

Like Lake Perris, where stripers are not a known resident (though the possibility exists), Diamond Valley has mostly silversides.

Giusti has heard reports of stripers at Lake Perris but has never seen the fish there.

How will stripers affect Diamond Valley at this stage in its fishery development?

"I'm in a situation I don't know what to tell people," Giusti said.

"At this point, there's nothing I can do. They are in there and it's just a wait-and-see situation. Until people are fishing, I won't know how many we have out there."

One thing is certain. Anglers will be encouraged to keep any stripers they catch.

Meanwhile, the largemouth bass appear to be doing fine at Diamond Valley.

In a survey taken in early spring by electro-shocking, six largemouth bass more than 10 pounds were seen, along with four 9-pounders, and five 8-pounders. Giusti saw a 12-pounder last year.

"Those are all probably part of the original 217 broodstock put in in '99," Giusti said, adding that they are growing 2 pounds a year.



Shocking news: The first day of trying to recover fish from the percolation basins on the border of Villa Park and Orange proved less than fruitful Wednesday.

Officials from Santa Ana River Lakes hired Biofish Management to go in and electro-shock the basin.

An electrical current is put into the water, stunning the fish for a few seconds, or enough time to scoop up the fish with a net.

SARL is hopeful of collecting the mass populations of bass, crappie and catfish to restock in its lakes.

The Orange County Water District is draining the basins to put in a new pump and wants to avoid smelling up the neighborhood with dead fish.

Once the shock boat was operable Wednesday, however, only carp and shad were showing. They will try again today.

Yellowtail show: The prediction is that yellowtail will begin showing at San Clemente Island within a week.

So says Phil Friedman of 976-TUNA, reporting that the San Diego Fleet is on the bite at the Coronado Islands. It's a bite to watch.

All-you-can-catch trout: Irvine Lake has no-limit fishing for trout this weekend at its Ultimate Trout Fishout Derby. A lake first, it is another bite to watch.

Halibut winners: Conditions were less than ideal with little wind or current. Consequently, it didn't take much to win the first Shoreline Yacht Club Anglers Charity Halibut Derby.

Al Scheider of Orange and Max Krisher of Santa Ana took second and fourth with halibut weighing 9.1 and 6.3 pounds, and they won the team event.

The individual winner was Barry Mitchell of Lakewood with a 10.4-pounder. The event drew 150 anglers and benefited the 976-TUNA Youth Fishing Program.
 

Maverick

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Welll i heard enough... Drain the lake and start over..

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While collecting fish for a relocation project last month, a scientific aid caught a 4-pound striper while trolling.
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Sure it was only scientific that they were trolling?? somehing seems fishy here {sorry about the pun}
 

sportyg

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Stripers are good eating.. The lake is so big I don't see a problem.. And I want to be one of them scientific ads>>>hehehe
 

1SoCalHunter

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Anybody know for sure if Summer 2003 will still be the "official" opening of the lake? I don't know if they are still battling over what boats to allow on the lake, 4 strokers, 2 strokers EFI's, or no boats at all, etc. due to the recent C.A.R.B. law.  I sure can't wait to launch my boat on that lake and catch some nice bucket mouths...:big-grin-aqua:
 

sportyg

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They want to try to have it open for 4 July 03.. Nothing has changed on the boats permited on the lake..
 

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