May 4, 2013

Lake Auburn: Good fishing in troubled water

Algae in the lake may be bad for lake trout, but smelt thrive without that predator, and as smelt thrive, so do the salmon – big ones.

By Deirdre Fleming
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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A fisherman and his faithful companion work Lake Auburn for landlocked salmon, which are thriving in the lake due to forces of nature that are rough for some species but good for others.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Eight-pounders are said to have been caught in this area of Lake Auburn, but fishermen are advised to cast when the fishing’s good because the algae may not last long.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Already the water district has spent more than $400,000 on the problem, including $150,000 toward monitoring that will be done this summer. On Wednesday, water district workers were spreading buoys anchored at five depths around the lake. Those will be monitored weekly to gauge the water clarity.

The water district also may consider an application of algicide to Lake Auburn if necessary.

A permit to apply an algicide is currently open for public comment until May 22.

"Nobody wants to do the emergency measure if it's not necessary, but if the same kind of algae appears and causes the fish kill, it would be prudent for the ecosystem," Storer said.

However, two weeks ago water district biologist Mary Jane Dillingham reported that the test for dissolved phosphorus indicated the lake has oxygen throughout the water column, a good sign.

By monitoring and working to prevent the growth of algae, water district officials hope to keep the drinking water clean and avoid the need for an algicide. And a lack of algal bloom will mean the togue stocked this spring will have a chance to grow, even if that also means an end to the fatter salmon in the lake.

The luck fishermen are having now is only a happy byproduct of the larger problem, Brautigam said.

Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

Twitter: Flemingpph


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Additional Photos

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Every fish may have its day, and these are good days indeed for the landlocked salmon in Lake Auburn. Except for those that are being caught, of course.

Telegram File Photo


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