Current Fishing Report
Eagle Lake Best Fishing Locations Depths
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
Copyright Protected and Registered by Valerie Aubrey.
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FISHING SEASON IS CLOSED UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
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January 2, 2018
The lake is closed to fishing Until Memorial Day Weekend. I will be updating the weather page every week over winter and begin a new photo album for winter/spring photos.
SEE 2013 THRU 2016 CREEL DATA HERE. WHEN DFW CHECKS YOUR FISH WEIGHT AND LENGTH AND ASKS QUESTIONS OF HOW LONG YOU FISHED.
Wondering why your fish don’t have fins or have split tails?
SEE TROUT PLANTINIG AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING.
Up next will be what spring brings, winter hasn’t been too kind when it comes to water so we hope for a better spring. Hopefully Pine Creek will flow. I will be taking photos and doing more videos once the new site is up and to the point I can add photos, which should not be too long. Bear with us. I think you will like the new site, gallery and UTube channel. Remember, I do this website for you, the viewers and anglers of the lake. I don’t do it for myself. I simply got tired of seeing all the old news in other fishing publications that was several weeks old and asked myself “how can people depend on that to catch fish?” LoL. The rest is history, literally. I have done this fishing report now going on 14 years (doesn’t seem that long). I have gained many new friends and associates. My aim is to give folks an edge on catching their limits and having a good time. Good times and catching fish brings you back to our Heaven on Earth.
All lake elevations are also posted on Lake Conditions page going back to 2010 so it is easy for you to compare. All launch ramp photos are posted in the 2017 ramp album for you to view. All surface temps for areas are also located on Lake Conditions, even though I add a few here.
At least the cattle have been moved this winter. Damage already done by grazing them up north all year long. We believe that the heavy nutrients led to our massive blue/green algae problem last season and it won’t be going away now. Rotting weeds from recently being covered in water contribute to the nitrate loading too. The north basins were dry for a long time and it will take a little time to get the food supply back as well as any numbers of trout.
In spite of seeing a few larger fish in 2016 season, the numbers of fish caught were dramatically decreased. For the first time in my 55 years, the lake was green and massively cloudy all 2016 season. So far 2017 we have seen clearer water up until mid July when the green hue began getting more obvious. Visibility around 2-3ft by mid July and as August waned to Sept. By October we began to see some clearer water again and poof, November we were cloudy again. But it’s normal to see cloudier water in Nov/Dec.
With reduced trout planting a smaller trout the last few years, the tui chub have expedentially reproduced and have pretty much taken over the lake in 2017. It’s going to take a heck of a lot of trout to put a meager dent in the minnow population and the stage two tui chubs are too big and protected by gardian chubs and the trout rarely even target the 5 to 7″ chubs. Personally, I think we need to get rid of several million chubs or they will be competing for the food for the trout. A 7 to 10″ trout isn’t going to eat a 4 to 7″ chub. This happened at a lake in Oregon this year. OFW ended up netting several thousand pounds of chubs every day for several weeks just to balance the population as their trophy trout fishery tanked due to too many chubs eating the food up. Fewer trout in this lake is not the answer. As with nature, some foods dwindle and others take off. The trout change their diet, often by choice rather than necessity. The zooplanktons have been so heavy that they foul your lines and downriggers the last several years.
We saw a lot fewer trout in the tributaries this spring than in years past. I was more amazed by what I didn’t see than from what I did see. Papoose creek had up to a couple hundred, Merrill Creek just a handful. Both of these tributaries have traditionally had well over a thousand fish in them, even in years with less water we have seen 1700 to over 2000 in them. Considering no trout have been imprinted by planting in the northern basins over the last many years, we were lucky to see any at all. Pine Creek finally drafted around 1200+ over 6 weeks not all were spawners (this is normal) but DFW had to close the gate and prevent free passage upstream for a while so we haven’t really had a native spawn so far for this season. DFW needed every ripe hen they could which was in violation of the conservation plan for free passage for the native spawn so it was manipulated again this year. Then had to resort to electro-shocking in the lake for as many more as they could get. DFW wanted and expected to get 3.1 million eggs and after many weeks of good flow in all the main tributaries had to electroshock in the lake and still only got 1.3 million eggs. Hello? And they don’t see a problem? LoL. It took well over a month of flow before any trout had come up Pine Creek (not normal) and DFW had to work through the first week of May. Pine Creek started flowing in mid Dec and continued to trickle through the winter under the ice. Generally, eggs collected that late in the season aren’t generally as viable as earlier eggs. Time will tell but we are seeing a lot fewer fish than we have in years past…absolutely no doubt about that. Many of the fish that did get to go upstream late in the flows, stayed between the A1 bridge and Spalding bridge….then flows receded quickly stranding quite a few in low water and low DO. It is always a waste of resources to prevent the fish from heading upstream the moment they want to go. Holding them back several weeks only leads to a predetermined outcome. Water temps shoot up quickly in slower flows and eggs can’t generally hatch, reduced flow strands not only the spawners but the fry as well. Result is not natural when restricted by humans for their own convenience. One of my major beefs with DFW and the biologists who do what THEY want, not what the fish are telling them. They are wasting resourses and money trying to get the trout to spawn above highway 44 when all the natural spawning that HAS occured from the trout heading upstream from the lake in spring has been below that level.
We’ll have to wait and see what spring 2018 brings. It wouldn’t be the first time in our history that our main water came in spring. Just keep your fingers crossed. We are still 10ft lower than prime and the 2017/2018 winter hasn’t given us much moisture yet. We will see a wee bit from the springs, but we need the local moisture now in a bad way.
Don’t complain to the stores or marinas about the fishing and fish, you need to complain to the local department of fish and wildlife biologist in charge of managing this lake. 530 254-6363 Paul Divine. SEE TROUT PLANTING AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING. We are about 250,000 trout short from reduced planting in the last 5 years. No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either. God forbid what next year will bring.
We had a lot of trout with several fins removed. We have caught quite a few fish that were missing 3 fins or more and quite a few with split tails. DFW is marking after every time they handle a fish for the spawn or plant it. One fish had no fins, just his tail to manuvery. Sad case. We have caught hundreds of these mutilated fish this year in particular. If it was anglers, there would not be so many and most are all very close to the same size. If it is DFW (see fin trimming note from DFW), I would say they are mostly mutilating these fish now and freeze branding was much better for the fish. If you get a nice one that you may want to have mounted, good luck as it will be somewhat mutilated when it comes to the fins and tails. Not a trophy trout to be proud of, that’s certain. This is being done so that in the future, a native (native spawn) fish may be fully finned. In the mean time, the hatchery raised/farmed fish might just swim in circles. LoL. DFW should go back to freeze branding the fish. This was much better for the fish. At least the fish had fins and a full tail and could feed properly.
Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release in the summer months. Adult Tui chub have no predators and live over 32years. They stay in the lake regardless. The trout mainly only target the hatch of the current year, although only rarely we encounter a 4-5″ chub in the belly of a fish over 5 lbs. Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else. The chubs scope differently than the trout do and are pretty easy to determine on your screen. Generally, they stack up and are very thick in zones of the lake that have dissolved oxygen levels too low to support trout. Mostly, any school of fish that the top is at 7ft and the bottom is at 47ft are NOT trout. We caught some chubs 22″ long in 2016 and again in late July 2017. Huge monsters for chubs so they are doing very well….maybe too well considering the biomass and fewer trout being planted. With a little more spawning habitat back for the chubs, we had another prolific hatch. I believe their population density is going to bite us in the ass if it hasn’t already. They’re over populated, competing with the fewer trout and we don’t have the numbers of trout or grebes to control the future population. I have no idea if the ones I am catching survive my release. LoL! I seee this becoming a very bad problem for this lake now. People don’t come here to catch trophy tui chubs.
Various zooplanktons have also become very prolific to the point of fowling lines and downriggers…and when thick enough, can plug jet pumps. The biggest change in the fishing occurred in less than one year. From catching and releasing tons (20-40+ per day) of 2-3+ lb fish to being lucky to get one or two was a dramatic shift in Eagle Lake in less than one year. We may have seen some 4+lb fish but their numbers being caught were few and far between…lots of 2 to 3 ½ lbs as usual. Over 50 years of eating these trout, the best quality of meat comes from a 2-3lb trout. Meat of the bigger trout of 4 +lbs is generally grainy, mealy and soft. Everyone wants to catch a big fish, but the quality of the meat is not nearly as good as smaller fish. Consider that. I rarely keep a fish over 4lbs as to me, it is a waste if it doesn’t eat as good as a smaller fish…most of us consider them to be “smokers”. But, I love smoked trout too.
Content of this website is copyright protected 2003-2018 by Valerie Aubrey. Any reuse of the content must simply be authorized by asking. Unauthorized use or lack of crediting content will be considered for legal action. We often see our report summarized in other publications with no credit to where the info came from. As a note, I do leave in some spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in and seeing them in other publications is a dead giveaway. LoL! Opinions on this site are not necessarily the opinions of our sponsors or people we work with. Our opinions are based on over 55 years of fishing Eagle Lake and nearly 30 years of living here full time. Through the El Nino’s of getting 24ft of snowfall and through several droughts. We have been there and done that. We know that a lot of the local county info on the lake elevation in the past has been doctored due in part to not having an official actually checking lake elevations in the 1990’s…1993 200 residents of Spalding witnessed the lake rising nearly 8ft from the local snowfall of 24ft over that winter. Despite our efforts when the lake chart was updated a few years later with incorrect numbers “to make the chart look historically accurate” not actually accurate, it remains inaccurate during those years as there was no water m. Our explanation from BOS was “No one will know when you are all gone”. So we don’t believe everything that Lassen County says. That is the honest to God truth and there are still many of us old timers around that know that.