Fishing at Lake Nacimiento, California
Lake Nacimiento has a low fish population due to the high levels of mercury present in the lake, due to runoff from the closed Klau and Buena Vista Mercury Mines, south of the lake. Only a few fisherman manage to catch fish. Consumption of bass, crappies, carps, and catfish from the lake is dangerous, but blue gill and sucker fish may be eaten only once per week safely. The lake is unique among California reservoirs in that it contains, among other species, introduced white bass, which thrive in the lake and spawn in the river and inflowing creeks in spring. In fact, the world fly fishing record for a white bass was broken in 1981 at Lake Nacimiento. The fish was caught by Cory Wells, a member of the world famous musical group, Three Dog Night. The record stood for over 27 years. Lake Nacimiento can also produce power from a turbine at the base of the dam. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a safe eating advisory for Lake Nacimiento based on levels of mercury found in fish caught from this water body.
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