At least 50 volunteer for Caples fish rescue |

At least 50 volunteer for Caples fish rescue

At least 50 people had volunteered to help rescue fish from Caples Lake as of Tuesday. Officials had hoped to have 100 volunteers by later that night.

The El Dorado Irrigation District’s transfer of 4,000 acre feet of water out of Caples Lake to the district’s largest reservoir, Jenkinson Lake, began Friday.

“We started the transfer through Hazel Creek Tunnel to Jenkinson Lake,” said district General Counsel Tom Cumpston. “Although we hope to get as close to the 4,000 acre-foot maximum limit as possible, we will probably run short due to the drawdown that has already taken place.”

The district declared an emergency repair situation on July 1 to repair slide gates and other equipment.

Some of the water is being diverted through the district’s powerhouse to generate hydroelectric power.

According to John Voss of Caples Lake Resort, the lake is receding 7 inches a day. The lake can hold 22,000 acre feet at a depth of 62 feet when full. Voss said the lake was at 43 feet on Thursday. The lake is expected to be 11 feet deep on Sept. 20.

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The effort to transfer the fish in Caples Lake to Silver Lake is scheduled to take place Aug. 26.

More than 100 volunteers are needed to help the California Department of Fish and Game to conduct a 72-hour rescue effort for the fish.

Complicating the process is that volunteers had to fill out an application and be certified before they would be allowed to help.

Volunteers will be asked to work 8-12-hour shifts to get the fish out.