Tuesday, 16 July 2024


LAKEPORT – Lake County Agricultural Commissioner Steve Hajik says that because of the uncertainty of dates, new Department of Pesticides Regulations (DPR) regulations governing the application of pesticides during the dormant season will not be enforceable.

NORTHSHORE – Extra State Department of Fish and Game (DFG) staff rolled back into Lucerne Monday night, air boats in tow, in preparation for an assessment today of the situation on the lake following last week's avian cholera die-off.

DFG veterinarians ruled last week that the thousands of ruddy ducks that have died over the past week and a half, interspersed with grebes and other waterfowl, succumbed to avian cholera. That disease commonly affects wild birds during the winter months, the agency reported.


Collecting dead animals is critical to keep the disease from spreading, according to DFG.


Last week 13 DFG staff using five boats collected nearly 5,000 dead birds, according to Lynette Shimek, a local DFG game warden.


Over the weekend, a small crew composed of Shimek, fellow warden Loren Freeman, wildlife rescue group SpiritWild and other volunteers continued the collection effort.


Shimek said on Monday evening that they didn't go out on the lake Saturday due to foggy conditions.


They also decided it would be good to give sick birds a chance to rest and keep them from moving toward other bird populations.


On Sunday the fog only left the volunteers a four-hour window of time to collect animals, Shimek said. In all, they found 120 birds, bringing the collection total to more than 5,000.


Although the number of birds found has decreased dramatically – there were days last week when DFG collected 1,000 birds – Shimek said a smaller DFG crew has returned to take a look at the situation and decide if more staff is still needed.


Six staff members and three boats will be on the lake today, she said. By day's end, she added, they'll know if more staff will once again be required.


Despite finding fewer birds, Shimek reported that the outbreak is still having affecting the birds.


“There's still birds dying,” she explained, recounting finding sick and dying birds during Sunday's collection.


Still, she is receiving only scattered reports from area residents finding dead animals, and few reporting more than one or two at a time.


One resident did, however, report seeing numerous dead birds near Rattlesnake Island. Shimek said they'll head over that way first thing today to look for the dead waterfowl.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Blaine Baker was honored at the year in review event. Photo courtesy of Linda Juntunen.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The annual year in review for the local watershed groups is always a fun, informative evening, and this year’s look back at 2006 was no exception.

A crowd of 50 enjoyed a potluck dinner and presentations by Greg Dills, watershed coordinator for the East Lake and West Lake Resource Conservation Districts (RCD); Dwight Holford, watershed coordinator for Upper Putah Creek Stewardship; and Linda Juntunen, project coordinator for West Lake RCD.


The crowd was welcomed by Kevin Ingram, the new chairman for the Big Valley Coordinated Resource Management and Planning (CRMP) group. This was the first time for the group to host this event, and they did a tremendous job.


The evening was one of celebration and congratulations for all the work that the watershed groups do throughout the year. Each year the public is invited to attend the event to learn more about the contributions these ambitious volunteers make to their communities. Along with the impressive presentations, the crowd enjoyed an excellent potluck that seems to get better and better each year.


Dills started the evening by highlighting the activities of the watershed groups, the resource conservation districts and their numerous partners in the Upper Cache Creek Watershed.


The presentation reflected a remarkable list of accomplishments during 2006, and also reminded all in attendance of the enormous storm and subsequent flooding that started that year. It was a haunting backdrop for the work that’s been accomplished in an effort to heal the flood damage.


Presenting an equally inspiring list of accomplishments for the Upper Putah Creek Stewardship, Holford offered some stunning photographs of the watershed, and touched on the many valuable activities the group has accomplished.


Upper Putah Creek Stewardship provides outstanding guidance and care for the watershed in the southern area of Lake County, and does admirable work for the good of their community.


Juntunen joined the list of presenters this year, showing the activities and monitoring outings of the Upper Cache Creek Watershed Stream Team. These volunteers are trained members of a citizens’ water quality monitoring team that visited numerous creeks throughout the watershed.


Later in the evening a portion of a letter was read from the Central Valley Region of the State Water Quality Control Board, commending the group for their “care for the watershed and water quality.” The Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance awarded these outstanding volunteers with personalized binders, complete with the Stream Team logo; each binder contained a copy of the letter of commendation from the state.


The West Lake Resource Conservation District also joined in the evening’s presentations by bestowing their annual “Partner of the Year” award. This year’s well-deserved award was presented to recently retired Upper Lake and Covelo District Ranger, Blaine Baker, along with the U.S. Forest Service, Mendocino National Forest.


Recognized for their continuous support of the RCD’s popular ”Kids in the Creek” program, this branch of the Forest Service has been an outstanding partner to the RCD and local watershed groups.


Baker, a longtime partner, has given mainstay support for the “Kids in the Creek” program since its inception. West Lake Director Chuck Morse made it clear, as he presented Baker with a beautiful plaque, that the program would not have become what it is today without Baker’s support.


Jeff Tunnell, fire prevention technician for the Upper Lake District, received a second plaque on behalf of the Mendocino National Forest personnel who also are actively involved with the program.


This year’s event ended with a real surprise for the attendees, with gifts purchased by the Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance from local Kelseyville merchants. To give recognition to those in attendance for caring about Lake County and its watersheds, the gifts were distributed by random-number selection.


Another highlight of the evening was the drawing of the winning number for the raffle of an incredible gift basket, donated by the Lake County Winegrape Commission.


Good food, great volunteers, caring members of the community … the perfect combination for another successful annual meeting. Keep an opening on next year’s calendar for the 2007 Year in Review.



LAKEPORT – The presentation of a motion for a change of venue for the murder trial of Renato Hughes Jr., scheduled for today in Lake County Superior Court, has been put over until Tuesday, Feb. 27, according to District Attorney Jon Hopkins.

LAKEPORT – Earlier this week a man received 240 years in prison for a laundry list of felonies committed during an attempted kidnapping and burglary last May.

Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Board of Supervisors
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.16.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop
07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Workshop

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.