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Lake Berkeley Water Drained, Fish Removed

Over 8,000 pounds of fish were caught and moved by contractors as dam repairs continue.

It turns out that last Tuesday was a good day to fish on nearby Lake Berkeley -- and it's likely to be the last in quite some time.

Dam repairs continue on the Berkeley Lake dam, and part of the process was removing all of the fish in the 88-acre lake.

Berkeley Lake's Mayor Lois Salter reported that over 8,000 pounds of fish had been removed.

The catch included a 60-pound carp, a 12-pound catfish, an eight-pound bass and a number of five-pound bass.

The fish were removed by a process called "electrofishing," said the mayor who explained that it causes the fish to jump out of the water and they are then scooped up while they're still stunned.

A good number of fish were transferred to other lakes. "The contractor delivered many of them alive in special trucks to other lakes that had requested them," the mayor reported.

Approximately 50 residents watched the process many of whom took advantage of the opportunity of harvesting the fish. Salter said residents filleted about 200 fish on the spot to put in their freezers until a neighborhood fish fry could be organized later.

No turtles were found during the fish removal. Apparently as the water dropped over the past few months while the lake was drained, the turtles had moved on to other areas. Berkeley Lake resident Steve Seitz and several other citizens worked with the contractors to arrange the fish removal to other lakes.

The work on the earthen dam is expected to be complete in February 2013. No word on how long it will take for the city's namesake, Lake Berkeley, to fill with water.

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