Not that any one wants to go fish Lava Lake now, but I mentioned to some of you via private message about Lava lake and that I’d fill in details when I heard back from the local ODFW fish biologist. Here is the report I got from him:
We have a bunch of nets in there for chub removal and are catching some larger rainbows. I am confident that there was a fish die-off in the lake during ice-over. It was not a complete fish kill but most must have perished. The two-year algae bloom and low water is most likely causing the lake’s Dissolved Oxygen to decrease during iceover to levels that are not good for fish. The exploding chub population is taking a toll on the zooplankton which eat decaying algae. The lake is sick and will need some good winter snowpacks to fix.
We reduced the numbers of fingerlings by ½ and found some extra legals to stock to maintain some sort of fishery. I expect more of the same this winter if the algae bloom continues and another year of low water. Maybe the reduction of stocked fish and chub removal will help to eliminate a winter kill but if that lake turns over during a summer wind storm, it could be trouble.