Mystic Lake in IE nearly full for the first time in 15 years

NUEVO, Calif. (KABC) -- Mystic Lake in Nuevo is said by many to have been named by how it often appears almost by magic.

Thanks to recent rainfall, the Riverside County community is celebrating that magic once again.

"All of a sudden I just glanced up and said, oh my God, the lake's back," said Tom Trakes with California Fish and Wildlife. "It happened that quick."

Just two months ago, the lake that once spanned thousands of acres east of Perris was completely dry. But after heavy rain in February, the lake is as full as it's been in more than 15 years.

"Just look at the absolute beauty," said Trakes, looking out onto the water. "First thing in the morning when the sun's coming up you get the reflection of the mountains and the lake.

"It's just the most beautiful place in the world."

And he expects it get even more beautiful in the coming weeks. Not just because of an expected flower bloom, but an influx of wildlife.

"All the ducks, the shorebirds, the bald eagle," said Trakes about the animals he's already seeing. "All kinds of hawks, skunks, possums, bobcats."

"I eat and breathe this place, I love it."

Mystic Lake is part of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, and is open from dawn through dusk, and is currently free to the public. California Fish and Wildlife urges visitors to bring sunscreen and insect repellent, and stay on marked roads through the 9,000-acre area.
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