Clear Lake is one of the oldest fresh water lakes in North America – Lakes have been reported at this site for close to 2,500,000 years.  Just like with any other land mass, Clear Lake has and continues to change shape over time.  It’s approximately 68 square miles of Lake Surface.

There is archaeological evidence that proves the Native Americans settled in this area during the past 12,000 years.  In the early years, Clear Lake had an abundance of bass – also known as the Bass Capital, carp, catfish, bluegill, and crappie.

Clear Lake inhabits large amounts of wildlife and birds. For example, birds around this lake share the winter space with white pelicans, and bald eagles. Year-round the space is shared with ducks, osprey, blue herons, grebes, pelicans, and egrets.  The wildlife includes bears, deer, raccoon, mountain lion and other animals.

This year due to the large amount of blue-green algae it has created a problem for humans to enjoy the lake. The algae smells, it gets trapped, it uses a lot of oxygen which cause the fish to die and float up to the shore line where swimmers are considering to swim.  After the swimmers assess the dead fish, awful odor and slippery algae, it doesn’t take long before the swimmer decides they’d rather not swim in this lake.

The fish die due to the lakes rapid temperature fluctuation.  At the bottom of the lake, the oxygen level is acceptable. When the temperature and oxygen levels change abruptly, then the fish begin to struggle with breathing. If the fish stay at the bottom of the lake they would have enough oxygen to maintain life.

It’s best to avoid drinking water from Clear Lake.  If the fish in Clear Lake do not have high levels of mercury, they would be safe to eat.  The large amount of algae does not cause contaminate to the fish – you can still eat the fish but the mercury level is a problem to be aware of.

If you’re brave enough, it is safe to swim in Clear Lake.  The report on swimming with the algae is that it’s extremely unpleasant; therefore, boating is preferred to swimming.

Additionally, Lake County is working closely with the State Department of Water Resources and the University of California to study the best way to reduce the levels of nutrients which will reduce the amounts of blue-green algae, thus Clear Lake would be clearer and more fun for swimmers.

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