How Did This California Lake Disappear Overnight, Leaving Thousands Of Fish Dead?

Residents in Westwood, California are scratching their heads after the Mountain Meadows reservoir, also known as Walker Lake, mysteriously dried up overnight. In the aftermath of the lake vanishing, thousands of dead fish now fill the empty space where the lake once sat.

The reservoir — which Pacific Gas & Electric Company uses for hydroelectric power — was flat and shallow, and it was likely only a matter of time before it went dry. The night before it was found empty, residents were fishing in it, and one resident said that there was at least two-weeks of water left in the reservoir. If it was draining, there would have been enough time to relocate the fish in the area, and one resident told CBS13 that perhaps PG&E opened up the dam to avoid having to proceed with the relocations.

“This makes me feel like they didn’t want to do a fish rescue and that it was easier to open that sucker up Saturday night,” he said.

A representative for PG&E is blaming the incident on years of drought, as well as a faulty dam that has been clogged up by dead fish. It’s not the first time the lake has gone dry, but never to the extent that it disappeared overnight. The four-year California drought has presented a threat to many bodies of water in the Western state, with its largest lake, the Salton Sea, experiencing a severe depletion. The Mountain Meadows Conservancy is currently discussing Walker Lake’s disappearance.

(via CBS13/Sacramento Bee)