Lower Desert Waters, June 23 report

SALTON SEA: The heat has really hammered the tilapia bite. The action was fair to good through the middle of last week (most anglers reporting 20 to 40 fish catches, which is down from the 60 to 100 fish catches of earlier this season), slowed dramatically by Saturday (only a handful of fish reported), and then completely died by Sunday. The action had not come back on by mid-week this week. Before this heat spell, most of the tilapia showing were in the 10 to 12-inch range, and all were being caught on nightcrawler pieces. Temperatures peaked at 124 degrees Sunday, and they are expected to rise to 114 or so by the weekend again this week. On top of the heat and slow fishing, the flies are horrible again. There was also reportedly a fish die-off on the west side of the sea, but no dead fish have been reported on the east side over the past week. This report is from the state park headquarters jetty and the nearby Salton Sea Yacht Club jetty. The water level is still so low that launching is nearly impossible except for small boats (boaters should check with the main office at the recreation area before bringing a boat). The camp store is open Friday through Sunday. Information: Camp Store at 760-289-9455 (open Friday-Sunday). Salton Sea State Recreation Area main office at 760-393-3059, or the ranger station kiosk at 760-393-3052 (or mobile phone at 760-331-9944).

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