Lake Elsinore fish survey aims to preserve ‘jewel of the city’

Daily Bulletin –

Joe Kearney helped pull the 450-foot-long, quarter-inch mesh net to Elm Grove Beach on Lake Elsinore’s eastern shore and place fish in a large plastic bin.  “I almost lost them a couple of times,” said the volunteer coordinator for the city of Lake Elsinore.  Kearney then measured, weighed and tagged the fish.

He was among 15 volunteers, scientists and city officials who spent Wednesday, Sept. 4, catching fish at three locations on Lake Elsinore. The fish were evaluated, then tossed back into the water.

Led by Chris Stransky, senior aquatic scientist and toxicology program manager for Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions in San Diego, the team intends to return two more times — in late September and early October — to capture and evaluate more fish. They are assessing the number and type of fish in Lake Elsinore, levels of pollution in the 3,000-acre body of water and the overall health of the lake environment.

Stransky said the study, expected to be completed by early 2020, builds on the last such fish survey conducted more than a decade ago.

“We’re hoping to find an improvement in the fishery,” Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos said, “and to identify ways in which we can continue to improve the fishery.”

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