California’s lakes are full again but fishing remains in a drought

As he prepared to launch his fishing boat from the dock at Castaic Lake, longtime angler Dan Curtis recalled conditions two years earlier when the state’s worst drought shriveled the reservoir to nearly a third of its total capacity.

“It was like fishing on the surface of the moon,” he said, describing how Castaic’s bare, rocky shores stretched nearly a quarter of a mile from the launch ramp. The lake is now near capacity, but below the surface of the water, not everything has returned to normal. Five years of drought have stunted the size of the bass that spawned in the 3 1/2-square-mile reservoir near Santa Clarita, and Curtis has mostly been catching 6-inch-long bass — about half the size before the drought.

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