Ell Lake update

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jim Wheeler, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

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    After the last few years of fighting those who thought Ell Lake was killed by the irrigators and growth in the Aeneas Valley area I have some good news. It's back! Who knows for how long but so far this Spring the water levels have come up about 4 1/2' and the scud population is prolific to say the least. It has continued to rise throughout the Spring due to water actually running into the ground. In years past we've had a few hard rains and then a hard freeze before it snowed in the Fall and Winter. What that does is that in the Spring when it thaws the snowmelt runs off not making it through the ice layer onto the Columbia instead of soaking in to the ground filling the aquifers. As all the lakes here are spring fed a solid, pressure from a full aquifer is crucial in maintaining lake levels. The level is now just about up to the boat launch. Those of you who actually know what that means know that's huge!!! I have been communicating with Bob Jattef with fisheries and we agreed that trying to put some fish in the lake for the summer to see what happens would be a good idea. So, "in the next week or so", according to Bob, the State will be introducing some "catchable fish" into Ell. With the incredible scud population I doubt it will take too long for the fish to get to the "fun" stage. Like I said many years ago, Ell Lake and the others around here are cyclical in water levels. Either way, this is good news. Oh, you have a brand spankin' new toilet too. Fully ADA compliant. Why? I have no idea. I thought the state was out of money?

    Jim Wheeler
    Spring Creek Prams
     
  2. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Good info Jim and hope things are good for you up in Tonasket.
     
  3. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

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    Great news! The last time I stopped by Ell a couple of years ago the level was so low...let us know if you get any comfirmation that it did get stocked. I might give it a few months and then give it a try.
     
  4. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    Jim, that is good news. Thanks for the update.
     
  5. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Thanks for posting. That was always one of my favorite lakes, and I was deeply saddened by it's demise. Let's hope it stays healthy.
     
  6. Golden Trout

    Golden Trout Active Member

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    The best news I have heard in many moons. Thanks for the very interesting post.
     
  7. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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    I drove by Ell Lake weekend when heading to my cabin but I thought it still looked real low from the quick look I had going either way. Great to hear that it's still got a pulse and is better than what it quickly appeared driving by. The next time out I'll have to wet a fly if there's something to fish for. Thanks for the report.
     
  8. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Jim, Thanks for the update. That is indeed good news. "L" lake had become 'I" lake it was so low and was once one of the fabled fly fishing lakes in Washington. I have fished the Okonogan area for about 30 years now and the loss of Ell was just tragic. Perhaps there is hope for Sidley too-it was once a destination lake also.

    If Ell does get some fish it might be a good bet the last week of the season.

    Ive
     
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  9. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Did you try the West Fork while up at your cabin? I'm assuming it's out that way if you drive past ell lake.
     
  10. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

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    Ive,

    Funny story (or urban/rural legend) is that back in the 50's Ell got so low that there was no water in it and the locals transported what fish they could get in 5 gallon buckets to Round Lake and, because the bottom of Ell was still damp they planted potatos as they didn't have to water them. Like I said, I have no idea of the validity of the story. And Dave, I guess "low" is relative. When we movrf here about 11 years ago it was about where it is now "maybe" a little higher but you still couldn't use the boat launch. Either way, it's a good sign. Oh, and Ive, don't tell anyone about the last week. Some of the best fishing I have ever had was the last three days of the season on that lake.

    Jim
     
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  11. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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    I've fished the WF of the San Poil many times. Plenty of people out there fish it too but there's some decent action to be found. One of these days, I'll get a tribal license and fish the stretch on the Reservation.
     
  12. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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    IMGP1280.JPG I went by Ell lake this past weekend and with the very light snow season this winter, it looks like it's already lost ground from last year even before Summer has really got going. Has anyone tried it this year?
     
  13. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Man, that looks pathetic
     
  14. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    I don't see any fish jumping!:(
     
  15. Golden Trout

    Golden Trout Active Member

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    Honestly I did not think it looked much better than this last year but I didn't want to spoil the possibilities. Did my annual dapping the Sinliheken on my way home from fishing Blue Lk this morning only to find late summer flows. This little creek is normally ripping this time of year. "May wild fires in Alaska" yea, Climate Change is just a myth.