EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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AN 8 PACK OF VAL’S SELECTION OF BASIC LEECH PATTERNS ARE AVAILABLE
Fishing season is closed until Memorial Day Weekend 2014. The predictions for the upcoming fishing season will begin in again in mid April. However, if Pine Creek flows, we will begin the season with the spring spawn (which isn't looking good for Eagle Lake trout at this time). Keep your fingers crossed. We need water in a bad way & with only one launch ramp at this time, the future plans may not be any time soon.
Our detailed lake conditions and ramp conditions will begin being updated as and if we begin to see the lake get some water. Until then, I will update weather, local conditions and my thoughts on the matters on the Weather page. I will begin a 2014 photo album of photos around the lake this week & you will be able to see everything for yourselves! Thanks for all of you who stay tuned in during the off season. We know the next season is going to be totally dependant now on the new gold....that being "water". Until then....
Finally, the fishing season at Eagle Lake has ended. The lake doesn’t stop being the lake just because we can’t fish her. She does her own thing this time of year. Ice comes and goes in the depths and some of it stays around the shoreline for months. As long as we have open water (which we do off Wildcat Pt and on the west side and off Pikes Pt and well to the north) the water will continue to slowly evaporate. The better news is that the ice covered northern basins remain iced over & that slows down evaporation…it doesn’t stop it. Our average humidity has been between 15% and 22% during the day…despite being as low as 9% this last summer, that still pretty low humidity.
We have only received 0.39” of moisture since October 1, 2013. Despite a couple of weeks of normal cold temperatures in early December our low temps have been in the high single digits to 23F and our high ambient temps between 42F and 52F and skies have been clear and sunny but any passing clouds are a welcome relief.
If we don’t see some snow by February our chances at getting it begin to dwindle. Spring has brought us out of dire circumstances before so all we can hope for by then, is that it will do it again. If we don’t see any moisture it will be doubtful that Pine Creek will flow & the annual spring spawn will have to be done by electro-shocking and collecting what spawn ready fish DFW can find in the nooks and crannies of the lake.
On that note, the Heritage Eagle Lake trout remains under determination by USFWS as an Endangered or Threatened Species. The November 5, 2013 due date has been extended until September 2014 to allow for Pine Creek Restoration Project proposals (Lassen National Forest) and actions to be accepted, authorized and under way. Without water, it isn’t hard to figure out what direction the facts lead to in the determination. However, it may also buy more time.
As the new year begins, the lake remains about 14ft lower than her prime. With dwindling habitat, changes are occurring. Last season the trout were significantly smaller than we are used to. Oh, there were a handful of 3 to 4 ½ pound fish caught, but most were about 1 ½ to a good fish being around 2-2 ½ lbs. Fall/winter fishing was awesome once the fish moved in & in the right pod of fish 3 out of every 12 caught and released were 3 to 4 lbs with an occasional 4 1/2lb…but it took a lot of catching in order to find the right fish, let alone 2. This trend won’t change (and may even go down) until the lake comes back but we should see a few of those 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounders grow up a little. Our winter run trout were fat and sassy & our spring run were heavy bodied in late December so there is plenty of food to keep the trout happy over winter. But when it comes to getting the higher water back, THAT will take back to back El Nino storm years which doesn’t appear to be coming in the near future.
The northern basins are too shallow for most boats to traverse without dragging or stirring up the heavily silted bottom and releasing a lot of trapped methane (the massive bubbles coming up from simply your craft displacement on the water). Both come with lake area killing capabilities under the right conditions. Despite 4 ft of water at the deepest in Troxel Bay, that will be down to about 1 - 2 ft deep by mid to late 2014 season. With 2 to 2.7 ft of water between Rocky Pt and Spalding, we should be able to walk to Rocky Pt from Spalding this season 2014. With all the tulies out of the water last year there were absolutely zero nested Western or Clarkes grebes. Numbers plummeted from around 22,000 grebes in good water years to about 2300 in 2013. So many things are affected by the low water levels at Eagle Lake.
With dropping water levels, more shallow rock piles and shoals are showing up. What used to be 12 and 14 ft deep are now, out of the water. Authorities can’t possibly mark all the new dangerous rock piles and are only required to mark any man made hazards which includes Miners Pt (dredger tailings from building Bly Tunnel, more tailings can be seen on Agate Beach…where Black Mt meets the water.
We still have a few months to get some weather but as every week without that goes by, concern will remain constant. Will we get thru launching in the 2014 fishing season? Perhaps the beginning of the season & possibly thru the Fourth of July. It will depend on how much water we lose the next 5 months and how losing 1” a week thereafter affects the launching at the Marina. Hopefully, we can get some water to replace what was lost in 2013, however come late summer and fall, we may find ourselves launching car toppers and float tube/toons/kayaks unless a new low water ramp can be constructed or the current one extended in a very short time. There will still be a lot of water in the south basin for fishing and water sports as long as we can safely access launching. We will get by for a while but getting thru to the end of the season might be a different story.
So, keep up the rain dance. Our 2014 gallery album is up on eaglelakefishing.net and photos will continue to be posted a couple times a week so all of you can actually see what is going on for yourselves.
USFS QUAD MAPS OF OPEN ROADS AROUND THE EAGLE LAKE AREA: Note a new Smartphone app for USFS maps is out.
The links below go to maps saved from Lassen National Forest website. Any questions you have should be directed to Eagle Lake Ranger Station staff. I am only providing them for quick access for our viewers. More information on road closures in the Forest is available on their website. There are new maps coming out for road closure, multi-vehicle use roads etc. We will replace those for you next season. Until then, you can find them on Lassen National Forest website. I saved them to my iphone and can use them anywhere, anytime, with or without cell signal.
GALLATIN QUAD MAP LINK
PIKES POINT & THE WEST SIDE SOUTH BASIN QUAD MAP LINK
EAGLE LAKE SPALDING QUAD MAP LINK
TROXEL QUAD MAP LINK
CHAMPS FLAT QUAD MAP LINK
See Lake Conditions for water temps
See Ramp Conditions for launch ramp info.
See Tips and Tricks for ideas & set ups dialed in for fishing Eagle Lake. Most methods are covered. We make no claims of knowing everything about Eagle Lake, but we do know a lot about catching Eagle Lake trout in
ALL EAGLE LAKE, ALL THE TIME