On Monday, the city of San Diego has completed their planned drafting of water from Lake Morena, leaving the lake over 21 vertical feet lower than it was on December 1st. During that time span, they drew 20 million gallons of water out of Morena each day.
On November 25th, the last posted water level update for Morena before they began lowering the lake, the gauge read 105.76 feet. Today, the lake’s gauge sits at 84.6 feet.
On January 22nd, when we posted the update ‘Lake Morena Dwindling Away’ the level was at 95.91 feet.
In total, they’ve taken approximately 55% of the water that was in the lake on December 1st.
What does it mean in the short term, the next few months? Fishing should be better than average as trout plants continue and fish are forced into a smaller pool. But the summer will almost assuredly bring about a large scale fish kill affecting small fish first, and then the big bass that Morena is known for.
The good news, if any, is that the city has closed the valve at the lake. So any water that comes via rain or snow will remain in the lake. Lake Morena’s watershed totals 114 square miles, mostly to the north and east of the lake. That sizeable watershed area means that should the area receive a decent amount of rain, say in the 5″ level over the next few months, we will see a noticable improvement of the lake’s water level.
Even a few inches of good rain in the next couple months could save the lake from an otherwise almost certain fish kill this summer.