Fishing Tournaments in Big Bear Lake for 2017

Fishing Tournaments in Big Bear Lake for 2017

April 1- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier  800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

May 6- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166  www.bigbearbassfishing.com

May 20-21- Hall Family May Trout Classic 909-866-5796           www.bbmwd.org

June 3-4- Fishin’ for $50k Trout Derby, Big Bear Visitors Bureau 800-424-4232 www.bigbear.com

June 10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

June 17-18- 14th Annual Carp Round-Up, Big Bear Municipal Water District 909-866-5796 www.bbmwd.org

July 15- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

Aug 12- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

Sept 9-10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament of Champions 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com, Western Outdoor News Troutfest, 949-366-0248, www.wonews.com

 

Return of Big Bear Fishing Tradition

Return of Big Bear Fishing Tradition by Big Bear Grizzly

Aaron Armstrong saw a need in 2016 and Big Bear anglers answered the call.  The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association was reborn and after a lengthy hiatus to help promote and revive fishing in Big Bear Lake.

“We feel it’s pretty important to bring the fishery back tot he way it was,” says John Cantrell, Big Bear Lake Fishing Association president.

The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association is focused on improving, maintaining and growing the sport of fishing on Big Bear Lake.  The organization is seeking interested members.  The next meeting of the association is 5:30pm Wednesday, March 15, at Denny’s Restaurant, 41196 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake.

Cantrell says the group will also bring back the Shoreline Cleanup event firmly run by Alan Sharp.  The Shoreline Cleanup is set for May 6 and 7.

“We have 40 members right now,” Cantrell says.  There is also a membership option called Tagged Fish Members Program.  So far there are 19 individual and business Tagged Fish members.  Prizes and tag fish numbers and winners will be posted on the association’s website throughout the season.

Membership fees and donations help make an impact on the lake with fish plants of fertile fish, which will reproduce and provide fish for years to come, Cantrell says.

For more information, visit www.bigbearfishingassocation.org

Big Bear Municipal Water District hatches plan for Fish

Big Bear Municipal Water District hatches plan for Fish

by Natalie Williams of Big Bear Grizzly

The Big Bear Municipal Water District is considering opening it’s own fish hatchery.

The MWD purchases it’s trout from hatcheries, many of which are in Northern California and have been affected by the drought.  This altered the availability and price of the trout, board president John Eminger said.

After visiting the William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery in Anchorage, Alaska, January 30 with four board members and two staff members, the Municipal Water District is considering moving forward with it’s own fish hatchery.

“We haven’t had a plan yet,” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the MWD.  “We learned a lot.  We saw an identical facility to what we’re considering.  Again, it’s information only so we’re now trying to sit back down and hash out some ideas.”

The MWD developed an ad-hoc committee specific for the hatchery consisting of board members Bob Ludecke and Vince Smith.  The committee members will soon discuss their thoughts on the hatchery and then recommend how the district should proceed.  A date for that committee meeting has yet to be determined, though Stephenson expects it to be within the next month.

One potential location for the hatchery could be the former mobile home park next to the MWD office, Eminger said.

A timeline for completion is uncertain at this time, Stephenson said.  The MWD could receive the parts in-house within six months.  “It’s pretty preliminary to even get there yet,” he said.

Planning and environment work would need to be completed as well.  Stephenson said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not require them to complete California Environmental Quality Act paperwork, but the MWD will go through with the process anyway.

Good News for Trout Anglers in Big Bear

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Good News for Trout Anglers

The summer of 2015 went down in Big Bear Lake history as one that was lacking if you enjoyed competively fishing for trout. Two tournaments—the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic and the Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby—went on hiatus for a variety of reasons.

Here’s a little advance notice to all you anglers out there. Check out your fishing gear and get ready. Two trout tournaments are on the schedule for May and June in the summer of 2016.

The Big Bear Visitors Bureau recently applied for and received a permit to bring back the Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby in June. Dates for the two-day fishing tournament are set for June 11 and 12. More information will soon be available online at www.bigbear.com.

The other tournament is considered a new derby hosted by the Big Bear Municipal Water District, but there will be a familiar face at the helm. The MWD presents the Hall Family May Trout Classic tournament with Jason Hall as the volunteer executive director. Hall told The Grizzly that registration forms will soon be available at the MWD office. The event is scheduled for May 14-15 with the weigh-in station at the MWD parking lot.

The event is also co-sponsored by the Big Bear Visitors Bureau. There will be an awards ceremony at The Convention Center at Big Bear Lake.

More details will soon be available, according to Hall. Meetings are being held to finalize all the details.

This is great news, not only for anglers, but for the spring economy of Big Bear Lake. Fishing tournaments attract large numbers of eager anglers, providing local lodges, marinas and restaurants with a much-appreciated boost during what is usually considered the shoulder season.

If El Niño comes through with a stellar rain and snow season in February, March and April, the lake level will rise. And with Fishin’ for $50K and the Hall Family May Trout Classic, along with Aaron’s Bass Tournament series, the Carp Round-Up and the World Outdoor News October TroutfesT, Big Bear Lake’s sport fishing season is shaping up to make 2016 a very good year.

Kathy Portie writes about sports and recreation for The Grizzly. Follow her on Twitter @BBGrizzlyKathy.

Fish

Fishing Big Bear Lake

Dax Wood, aka "the fish whisperer", Fishing Big Bear Lake
Dax Wood, aka “the fish whisperer”, Fishing Big Bear Lake

Thought this was an interesting article published in the Big Bear Grizzly regarding trout fishing in Big Bear Lake.

Catch on to help with Big Bear fish plants

There’s a lot to be said for a day spent trout fishing on Big Bear Lake. There’s the camaraderie, a oneness with nature, the hope that springs eternal with every cast.

But last year, those hopes were dashed for many trout anglers, who experienced a lake of declining rewards. And make no mistake, for many if not most fishers, catching is the best part of fishing.

So what made the worm turn for the worse?

Trout plants by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2013 were roughly half of previous seasons, Mike Stephenson, lake operations manager for the Big Bear Municipal Water District, told The Grizzly in November. About 157,000 pounds of trout were stocked. Expect a similar number in 2014, as the Department’s fish plant program struggles with a fry-size budget and a costly new requirement that hatchery fish be infertile to avoid breeding with wild strains.

You didn’t need a solunar table to figure out what would happen: Big Bear is a put-and-take lake, and the size of the trout harvest is directly proportional to the size of the planting.

Dry, mild winters also may be a contributing factor, resulting in lower water levels and increased angling pressure, which reduces the number of holdover trout available in the spring.

Stephenson acknowledged to The Grizzly late last year that the lake used to be a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10 for trout fishing. Last season, he said, he’d give the lake a 7. The water district already spends about $45,000 on fish plants, Stephenson said, and can’t afford to pick up the slack lines left by the state.

In many places, poor fishing would be little cause for concern. But in Big Bear, when the fishing suffers, the local economy suffers.

Trout tournaments and trout fishing attract thousands to town, often in the shoulder seasons when area merchants and lodging providers need a boost. Marinas, bait and tackle shops, and guide services are important employers in Big Bear, and as the fishing goes, so goes business. Even the real estate industry hinges in part on a productive fishing lake, and the resulting word-of-mouth advertising. For many, tight lines are an important part of the Big Bear lifestyle.

So what’s a town to do?

Officials with at least one local tournament— the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic—are taking a proactive approach to improving the fishing. Tournament officials are reducing prize money to plant more trophy rainbow trout in the lake in advance of the tournament May 17 and 18.

Similarly, organizers of the 2014 Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament Championship series are accepting donations from anglers to pay for a bass plant.

Other outdoors and business organizations should follow suit, and cast about for ways to put more fish in the lake.

Local residents could ask their state legislators to support Big Bear by increasing funding for fish plants.

And anglers can lend a hand by handling trout carefully, and practicing catch-and-release.

Weeds in Big Bear Lake

Informative article by Judi Bowers of the Big Bear Grizzly.

Weeds. There are good ones and bad ones. There are required weeds and ones that you want to get rid of in hopes they never come back. And if you are the Big Bear Municipal Water District, weeds are on your to-do list every day.

Also called aquatic plants, weeds were the subject of a recent MWD workshop. And apparently weeds gain the attention of more than Mike Stephenson, lake manager. The board workshop drew seven people and a reporter to the audience, the largest attendance at a MWD meeting in some time.

The MWD began harvesting weeds in the 1960s, introducing the use of the Aquamog from 1984 to 2004. No one knows when Eurasian milfoil found its way to Big Bear Lake, Stevenson said. Milfoil is not native to the lake and is highly invasive. Native aquatic plants include coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, common elodea, widgeon grass, water smartweed, sago pondweed and chara, which is macro algae.

Coontail is also considered invasive, and the curly-leaf pondweed can be invasive, but isn’t here, Stephenson said. “It rears its little head and waves at me a little bit then poof—it’s gone,” Stephenson said about the pondweed’s occasional appearance in Big Bear Lake.

Current weed management efforts
• Treat milfoil with systemic herbicide

• Harvest natives for navigation purposes only

• Treat natives with contact herbicide for navigation when appropriate

• Treat all blue-green algae blooms

Current lake conditions
• 134 acres of milfoil

• 300 acres of coontail

• 100 acres of macro algae

• Fair variety of other natives

• Very high dissolved oxygen

• No planktonic algal blooms

• Very good water clarity

Managing the aquatic plant life in Big Bear Lake is a scientific balancing act. A certain percentage of lake weeds are required to meet state agency requirements for fisheries and total daily maximum load levels for sediments. The macro algae is ugly, but it’s good for the fishery.

The littoral zone is the area in which weeds can photosynthesize and grow, Stephenson explained. Right now the littoral zone is at about 1,104 acres, he said.

In 2008, the entire surface of the lake was covered with a blue-green algae. Some forms of the blue-green algae are toxic and were recently blamed for the death of 100 elk in New Mexico. Commonly referred to as pond scum, Anabaeja flosaquae, a form of blue-green algae, produces a neurotoxin that is lethal to wildlife.

The 2008 bloom in Big Bear Lake did not cause wildlife death, but Stephenson said “it was brutal,” and posed a health issue. Blue-green algae blooms are treated as they are seen, he said.

Harvesting milfoil is a bad idea, Stephenson said. That’s how Big Bear Lake ended up with 1,090 acres of milfoil in 2000. Herbicides are a better approach, Stephenson said. But removing milfoil allows coontail to increase, but Stephenson said he would rather deal with coontail than milfoil any day.

Paul Beaty, who recently retired as the owner of an aquatic management firm in the Imperial Valley area, suggested the MWD research the use of sterile fish, which will eat milfoil. It was successful in Imperial Valley and could be another tool to battle milfoil, he said.

A narrow window for treating weeds exists: June 15 to Sept. 15. Due to the dry winter in 2012-13, the streams quit running early and the temperatures in May were similar to mid to late summer, said board member Vince Smith. That put the MWD behind in its weed battle. Milfoil can grow up to a foot per day, Stephenson said.

Bob Amezquita, of Big Bear Lake, said he is concerned because the number of people coming to Big Bear to fish is decreasing. He said the decline is due to the increase of weeds.

Stephenson said based on boat permits issued by the MWD, visitor numbers don’t show a decline. Fishing may have declined for other reasons, but that’s the subject of another workshop, he said.

It’s not just fishing that is impacted by weeds, according to Jim Dooley, of Fawnskin. Dooley owns North Shore Trading Company and is the organizer of the annual PaddleFest. While not a fisherman, Dooley said it is hard to get to the beach by kayak, and he sees the problems fishermen are having due to the weeds.

The Nov. 22 workshop was a first look at the possible ways to treat weeds in the future. A full-scale harvesting program would include purchasing a second harvester, semi-tractor, conveyor and other associated equipment, to the tune of $625,000. Annually, that would cost the district about $263,000. In addition to pesticide treatments of about $106,000, the annual proposed costs sit at $370,270.

Stephenson will begin researching availability of equipment. The board asked for recommendations as soon as possible for consideration so equipment and staffing will be in place by June 15.

 

Boating/Fishing Season Slowing Down in Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake (November 2, 2013)

Boating/Fishing Season Slowing Down in Big Bear Lake

I saw one boat on the lake this weekend as I was out driving around showing property.

The public launch ramps along North Shore Drive are closing down for the Winter. The Duane Boyer Public Launch , also called the West Ramp, closed for the season on October 7th. The Carol Morrison Public Launch, or the East Ramp, is still open from 7am to 3pm through the end of the month (November 30th).

Big Bear Lake never officially closes, but we’re at a point in the season where boating and fishing will be uncommon occurrences.  The Municipal Water District, who oversees the recreational aspects of the lake, will start cutting back on Summer staff with respect to the Lake Patrol and staff at the launch ramps.

Make sure you check back later in the week to view an update on lakefront sales in Big Bear for 2013.

Big Bear Marina has a new owner

 

Big Bear Marina

I’ve always loved reading Alan Sharp’s Fishing Blog.  It’s good information for all levels of fisherman.  There was a rumor that Big Bear Marina had sold …..and now it’s official  🙂  Congratulations to the Fengler’s.

Article written by JUDI BOWERS of Big Bear Grizzly

Steve Fengler has lived in Big Bear for more than 30 years, He’s a fixture at Bear Mountain, and horse people may know him as their farrier. He’s adding another hat. Steve and his wife of eight years, Shelly, are the new owners of Big Bear Marina.
The couple were having dinner at Thelma’s Restaurant in Big Bear City and picked up a real estate magazine. Why not look at lakefront property, Steve says he told his wife. Instead of a new house, they saw the marina for sale and realized it could be just what they were looking for.

With a lot of research and plenty of prayer, they made an offer, which was accepted. The Fenglers took over Jan. 15 and the marina opened for the season March 29. Steve, having worked in the resort arena for many years, is aware of the peaks and valleys of owning and operating a business in Big Bear. He and Shelley are adamant about quality customer service and have a great deal to bring to the table. Shelly is a flight attendant with Jet Blue, so customer service is second nature to her. Customer service is their No. 1 goal at Big Bear Marina, they say.

When they took over, there was no delay in getting down to business. There was plenty of administrative duties to sort through before boats and docks were in the water. Shelly says when the first check for a slip rental arrived, she knew they were the owners. She had a photo taken of her holding that first check, she says.

In honor of the loyalty of slip holders at the marina, Steve and Shelly offer a 20 percent discount in the retail store and a 5 percent discount at the gas dock to slip holders during the 2013 season.

Alan Sharp is staying on to help with the transition this first year and will oversee the fishing tournaments. A solid core of the workforce is returning as well, but some new faces will be added, Shelley and Steve say.

A new addition is the flyboard concession, Aqua Flight, operating out of the marina, Shelly says. The operation opens for business May 15. The Big Bear Queen will remain, and Big Bear Marina still holds the designation as the official weigh station on Big Bear Lake. Big Bear Marina offers clean pontoons and fishing boats for rent. Also available are personal watercraft, paddleboards, including stand-ups, canoes and kayaks for rent. A store is onsite featuring bait and tackle, apparel, beer and wine, snacks, beverages, sunscreen, fishing licensees and boat permits, “and Dramamine if you need it,” Steve says. Big Bear Marina is a Berkeley pro shop and has gone green. All live bait sold at the marina is sold in Earthsmart products, which contain no Styrofoam.

The marina also offers repair and maintenance service and boat detailing, with dry storage and winterizing at the end of the season and unwrapping and launching services for the start of the season. Quagga mussel inspections are also done at Big Bear Marina.

A few days prior to the March 29 opening, Steve and Shelly were busy making final preparations for the big day. It didn’t seem real, Steve said. They are committed to making a visit to Big Bear Marina the best experience possible. Shelly says she wants families to come to Big Bear Marina and create memories.

“This is something families do,” Steve says. Fishing has grown as an affordable recreation and family activity, and the Fenglers plan to make sure more people enjoy it at Big Bear Marina.

Not many people get to ski all winter and play at the lake all summer, Shelly says. “It’s been a blessing and amazing how everything fits for us,” she says. The Fenglers hope Big Bear Marina is a good fit for their customers as well.
Big Bear Marina is at 500 Paine Court, Big Bear Lake, adjacent to the Big Bear Municipal Water District office. For more information on the marina, call 909-866-3218 or visit www.bigbearmarina.com.

Asking for Help isn’t a Bad Thing

Fishing Big Bear Lake

Asking for Help isn’t a Bad Thing

My wife and girls have fished several times in Big Bear Lake this Summer and have gotten shut out (they haven’t caught anything). Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

I will admit, half the time they’re eating, watching movies and soaking up the sun, but I was a little surprised that they couldn’t pull anything in.  Donna is somewhat prideful and I know she was frustrated…she’s so much more of the fisherman than I am.

Another little tidbit….our 4 year old daughter is fishing with a pink Dora fishing pole…so I don’t expect her to be reeling in a big trout but she enjoys the experience and feels like she’s out there trying too.

I decided to go over to Big Bear Sporting Goods and seek some help from someone who has experience.  I talked to Greg, a talkative but friendly guy who knows his stuff.  He pulled out the liminology chart that the MWD puts out and gave us a brief overview of the oxygen levels, how a slip bobber works and what depth you want your bait to hang out (15-25′ down).  I’ve seen the liminology report before, but never questioned why they reported it and how you interpret it.  He also explained that normal power bait isn’t working as well as power bait with garlic and what areas are good areas of Big Bear Lake to fish.  In 5-10 minutes, we got a very quick but informative lesson on how to fish Big Bear Lake.

The next half hour was killed getting over to KFC for a bucket of chicken, getting on the boat, and cruising over to Papoose Bay (our favorite part of the lake).  But as the sun went down, something magical happened!  I actually caught a fish!  It wasn’t complicated and it didn’t take very long.  I thought to myself, “why didn’t we do this sooner”?

Sometimes asking for help isn’t such a bad thing.  You feel a little vulnerable and out of your comfort zone, but sometimes all it takes is one or two tips from someone who knows what they’re talking about to make the difference.

I equate this to buyers who want to look on their own without the help of a real estate agent.  They want to drive around and do their homework on their own.  There’s nothing wrong with “getting a feel” for the area and discovering what you like or dislike, but once you know what you are looking for you might save some time seeking the advice of a realtor who follows the market daily and knows the ins and outs of the area.  Obviously, all real estate agents are different, but if you can find someone who listens to what you want, and knows the inventory, they should be able to save you time.

Hope you’re having a great Summer, and if I can help in any way [ with real estate, not fishing 🙂 ] don’t hesitate to call or email me.

 

1st Water Released from Big Bear Lake since 1996

Stranded Dock off of Gibralter Road

Saw this in the LA Times this morning.  Mike Stephenson, Lake Manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District said in the Big Bear Grizzly that a full lake usually translates to a busy Summer recreation season.  “If the lake is down, (lake) usage is down, if the lake level is up, the usage is up”. “It’s the only consistent thing in 28 years of tracking the numbers.” According to the MWD, the lake was three-hundreths of a foot over full on April 8, which triggered 600 acre feet of water to be released at the dam last weekend.

By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Big Bear Lake—

Icy lake water has swamped the kayak hut and gangplanks at Pleasure Point Marina, and owner Roy Brownie couldn’t be happier.
After near-record amounts of snow and rain in the San Bernardino Mountains over the last year, wind-blown waves are cresting over Big Bear Lake’s 74-foot dam and have forced the agency managing the lake to release water downstream for the first time in 15 years.
For Brownie, the bountiful snowmelt has scrubbed away the residue of the most recent dry spell, which brought a 17-foot drop in lake levels, years of cracked-earth shorelines and, at the lowest point, a gratis rain dance by a sympathetic Shoshone shaman.
“A few more inches and the water would be in all the buildings but, you know what, a high lake is a good lake,” said Brownie, 77, a retired computer engineer whose marina was once owned by singing cowboy Roy Rogers and wife Dale Evans.
The battery of storms that swept through California this winter filled lakes and reservoirs throughout the state to near capacity, as well as recharging groundwater caches, bringing an official end to the latest of California’s cyclical droughts.
The Sierra snowpack, the all-important water source for nearly a third of Californians, remains 165% above normal, and some of the state’s largest reservoirs already are releasing excess water that is flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and, ultimately, San Francisco Bay. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies drinking water to 19 million people from Ventura County to the Mexican border, has a year’s supply in reserve.
“It’s been really pretty phenomenal, especially considering that back in the fall we were looking at La Niña conditions that tend to indicate a relatively dry winter,” said Frank Gehrke of the state Department of Water Resources and chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys program. “During California winters, you can go from feast to famine.”
In 2010 alone, Big Bear was inundated with 64 inches of snow and rain — the fifth highest level in the last century and twice as much as it received the year before — topped by 6 more inches of fresh powder in early April.

The late storm will allow the Snow Summit Ski Resort to stay open until Easter, but even that gift to skiers and snowboarders hasn’t been enough to rescue the resort, and the mountain communities around it, from a subpar winter tourist season.
“At lot of people are surprised to hear that,” said Chris Riddle, spokesman for Big Bear Mountain Resorts, which owns the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski areas. “It’s been a great season for skiers and snowboarders. Businesswise, it was an average to slightly below average year, even with all the snow.”
Riddle blamed the lingering effects of the recession, as well as damage from the very storms that delivered the abundance of snow and rain. A series of fierce rainstorms in December washed out Highway 330 to Running Springs, which is the quickest route up the mountain to Big Bear for most Southern Californians and remains closed to all but local residents.
“It’s just a combination of those bad things. I’ve seen a 20% drop in business since last year,” said Jaymes Nordine, owner of the Grizzly Manor Cafe, a popular breakfast spot known for its heart-stopping “Blob” — biscuits and gravy, bacon and cheese, all topped by eggs. “Right now, everyone is just trying to make it until summer. Because we know it’s going to be a great summer.”

With all the fresh snowmelt streaming into the lake, and stagnant, oxygen-depleted water being released from the bottom of the Bear Valley Dam, the water quality in Big Bear has risen and the rainbow trout are flourishing. Spawning season has been robust in the streams that course into the lake, enlivened by the pools of ample snowmelt trickling down from the still-snow-covered mountain to the west.
“We’re going to have an amazing spring and fall on the lake,” said fishing guide Cliff Fowler, who works out of Pine Knot Landing on the southern shore.
Braving a recent 45-degree morning, with a biting wind from the west, Fowler led a young family onto the lake and hooked 17 trout in just two hours. Fowler, who moved up the mountain from Glendale in 1972 and ran a local sporting goods store for decades, said he’s never seen the lake in such prime condition.

“Even after the ‘Miracle of ’93,’ the lake didn’t get quite this full,” said Fowler, referring to the year when Big Bear was pummeled by storms that dropped 61 inches of snow and rain in January and February.
The Big Bear Municipal Water District, which manages the lake, plans to keep it as full as possible for as long as possible — even though lakeside beaches are underwater, and erosion on the north shore has some juniper trees on the brink of toppling over.
“There’s no way to tell if next year will be dry or like this year,” said General Manager Scott Heule. “There’s no average year in California.”
There is minimal risk of flood or lakeside homes being damaged, Heule said, because a rise in the lake would send water spilling over the dam — and eventually into the Santa Ana River. The agency began releasing water from the bottom of the dam, built in 1911, to keep it from spilling over the top.

Federal forestry officials said the wet winter should keep the wildfire danger at normal levels in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains until July. The snow and rain also provided relief to forests ravaged by bark beetles, which are most destructive during dry spells when the trees are stressed. More than 1.5 million dead and diseased trees, mostly Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines, have been removed from the San Bernardino Mountains since 2002 — and millions more remain.
From Crestline to Big Bear, wildfires have stripped entire mountainsides of their forests, leaving behind skeletal remains of the once-towering conifers. The rain and snow have allowed chaparral, sages and grasses to flourish in the burn areas, which may create an increased fire risk when they dry out in the summer and fall.
“Overall, it doesn’t lend itself to an early fire season, that’s for sure,” said Robert Krohn, a meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Riverside. “Over the years, we were off to the races in the spring.”

At nearby Lake Arrowhead, which unlike Big Bear is a private, closed lake, the storms have allowed officials to release water into the Mojave River for two years running.
The abundance of water has also quieted the feud between the local utility that taps the lake for the local drinking water supply and the homeowners association, which has fought to end any major withdrawals that might drop the lake level.

It was pretty emotional a few years ago when the lake was down 25 feet and people couldn’t get to their docks,” said John Hoagland, general manager of the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District. “It’s a far different story now. When the lake’s full, everybody’s happy.”

RELATED ARTICLES:

Big Bear Grizzly- Lake Overflows with Optimism

KLTA– Too Much Water, Officials Say Big Bear Lake is Full, Releasing Water for First Time in 15 years

Below is a graph I put together showing the annual precipitation at Bear Valley Dam tracked since 1884…interesting stuff.

Annual Precipitation Measured in Inches