According to a recent press release by the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID), during their August 11 meeting, EID Board members heard a staff update on the emergency repairs needed to ensure safe operation of the main dam at Caples Lake reservoir.
EID staff reported that the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will conduct a fish rescue consisting of netting the fish and placing them in hatchery trucks for transport to nearby Silver Lake.
"This is good news and the first part of a multi-phase attempt to save as many fish as possible during the critical work we are doing to ensure public health and safety," said George Osborne, the District's Board president. "We must replace the slide gates at the dam and fix other problems that were discovered in mid-June during an underwater investigation."
"That means we have to draw down the reservoir so the repair crews are not endangered," Osborne continued. "As soon as DFG determined the drawdown will have impacts on the reservoir fishery, we began working with DFG, the Forest Service, the California Division of Safety of Dams, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as our local advisory committee and many other stakeholders in the region, to make the best of this emergency."
The third step in the plan is short and long-term restocking efforts following recommendations from the Department of Fish and Game, who successfully implemented a similar plan at Lake Davis in 2006.
Meanwhile, Caples Lake will continue to provide angling opportunities throughout this season.
Staff will bring the plan to the Board for formal consideration and funding approval at the August 25 Board meeting.
For information, call Karen Cross in Placerville at (530) 642-4168.