Eagle Lake Fishing Information
By Val and Randy Aubrey
Upadted Every Day Possible
California fishing Guide License #1209
Over 45 years experience fishing Eagle Lake
This report is Copyright protected on date published below byVall Aubrey, eaglelakefishing.info
Val’s Daily Eagle Lake Fishing Report
We Dare to Care
|Current Temperature:||71F; high exp 87F||Sunrise:||Aug 17: 6:15AM|
|Low Temperature:||44-49F||Sunset:||Aug 17: 7:57PM losing daylight hours by more than 15min/wk|
|Predicted High Temperature:||mid to high 80's; low 90's for the weekend||Moon Phase:||August ; 26% waning|
|Current Wind:||SSW 0-3mph; exp NW 5-10||Full Moon on:||Sept 6th|
|Expecting gusts to:||NW10/W, Th; N5/F|
|Precipitation since 1-1-08||Since July 1, 2017: August .41"; July 0.0" July 1-2016 to July 2017 (27.11" to date ) June 0.58; May 0.27; April 2.86"; Mar 1.86; Feb 8.57" Jan 5.68"; Dec 2.67"; Nov. 0.57; Oct. 3.78; Sept 0.15; Aug 0.12; July 0.00|
|Total snowfall:||2017/2018; 0"; 2016/2017; 74"|
Eagle Lake Fishing Regulations
ALL TRIBUTARIES TO THE LAKE OPEN FOR FISHING ON THE SATURDAY OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. NO FISHING IS ALLOWED IN PINE CREEK BELOW HIGHWAY 44 TO THE MOUTH OF PINE CREEK ON EAGLE LAKE. NO FISHING INSIDE THE BREAKWATER JETTY AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA. NO FISHING IN PINE CREEK SLOUGH BETWEEN THE EGG COLLECTION FACILITY AND THE LAKE.
SECOND ROD STAMP USE: It is legal for a child under the age of 16 to fish with two rods however, the child has to be there manning his rods not out playing leaving the rods in mom and dad’s care or observation….mom and dad will get cited for fishing with too many rods and could lose their fishing licenses while the kid is off playing. Children and adults with a two rod stamp can fish with two rods until they keep their limit. The second rod must be removed from the water immediately once a limit is retained (I have learned how and attempt it as best I can to reel in that second rod while fighting my last fish on the first…Also, if by chance you do catch a fish on that second rod after or while you are reeling in the last fish of your limit on the first rod & release the fish in a condition that it is not alive or will not survive it could be counted toward your limit and you could be cited for having an over-limit of fish.
CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING: IT IS NOT LEGAL TO RETAIN YOUR DAILY LIMIT AND THEN CONTINUE TO FISH AND CATCH AND RELEASE. IF YOU PLAN ON CATCHING AND RELEASING, DO SO BEFORE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT. ONCE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT, YOU ARE DONE FISHING FOR THE DAY. FISHING FOR TUI CHUB IS NOT AN OPTION OR EXCUSE AS THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED A "GAME FISH" SO YOU CAN BE CITED.
1) legal fishing time is “one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset”. Sunrise and sunset times are posted on the Weather page.
2) Daily limit of two trout and one person can only have four in possession (for two days of fishing). If you have retained your possession you cannot go out and keep two more trout on the third fishing day as that would be over-possession unless you have consumed your first limit. You can’t claim you are fishing for tui chub as they are not a game fish species. Canned and/or smoked trout DO count towards your possession. Also, transporting more fish than you have people in your vehicle isn't going to cut it. Transporting fish for other people is not an option even if their names and license numbers are on the fish.
3) No minnows can be used as bait, including minnows caught in the lake itself.
See Cal Trans and pick your road and camera view
THIS LINK ALSO SHOWS THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL AND RAIN TOTALS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, CLICK ON THE DOTS. GREAT INFO FOR TRAVEL.
Also find accident info and construction info
ALL CA FIRE INFO, AIR QUALITY
We can see smoke settle in the basin from distant fires, it just depends on which way the wind has been blowing. So far our air quality has been good but we have seen days that is is worse than others. More fires, the better chance we have for smoke. WATCH OUT FOR FIRE EQUIPMENT ON ALL THE ROADS.
****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH ****
WATCH FOR DEER MOVING BACK UP. ESPECIALLY ON 395 AND 139
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE IN THE MOUNTAINS.
Check Road Cameras for HWY 36 & 44
and other CA highway such as 70.
WATCH FOR COWS. THIS IS OPEN RANGE AND IT IS COMMON FOR CATTLE TO END UP ON AND NEAR THE PAVED ROADS. THERE HAVE BEEN COWS ON SPALDING ROAD AND EAGLE LAKE ROAD INTERMITTENTLY SO BE CAREFUL.
Gallatin Road to the Marina: Nasty humps and bumps in the road along the straight away from the last left bend past Eagle Campground to the old Aspen launch ramp entrance. Slow down. Also, note that the road to the low water ramp also has some nasty bumps and dips so take it easy, these beat the hell out of your rig and boat if you're going a little too fast. Gallatin Road to Eagles Nest is a rough SOB so be careful heading in. I really feel bad for the folks at Eagles Nest to have to travel this unmaintained road to get to their cabins. I doubt any fire trucks to access it very quickly either. LNF, get it together, these folks pay you and you should provide access that isn't so dangerous and damaging.
USFS Road 21 Open (watch out for the third cattle guard from the lake or the second one from 44). If you're going too fast you could catch some air. Always stop at the RR crossing. This is an active line and several times a day. It won't be long before there is more traffic on this road with the restoration of Pine Creek in process this summer. Hunting season will be starting soon and different seasons will stretch out through Oct. So take a little extra caution in the coming weeks and months. Hunters are scouting now. Lots of quads and UTV's out there and they don't always abide by the rules of the road so be very careful out there. Also be careful parking off road in the tall grasses.
Wildcat access Open and dry (be careful) for both accesses, This is a nasty road even in summer. Good for kayaks but to be legal, it is still a short walk to the water with your craft. Summer rains can make this road slick as it doesn't absorb the water very quickly at all. So be prepared. Hunters out scouting the Brockman Lava Beds too and setting up camps.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road south from 36: OPEN. Be careful. Heavy loads, gear down at the summit because you will pick up speed quickly heading down into the 15mph turn I call Chrome Corner.... get it? This road is rough on trailers and vehicles, so take it easy. Expansion cracks every 20ft are a real killer for 16 miles. Many trailers have needed repair if repetively traveling this road. Lassen County maintained is a local joke. Stress fractures in trailers occur so double check daily. Truck problems include tie rods and steering stablizers so be very careful.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road north: Eagle Lake Road from highway 139 is open. Approximately 51 miles from 139 to the Recreation Area and Campgrounds down south. But it is a faster road and in better condition if coming to Spalding. Takes about the same amount of time but around 10 miles longer.
Highway 139: Anelope along the lake shore along with a lot more cattle. Deer have also be prevelent. Be careful driving. This road is in good shape to Susanville. Longer from Spalding but takes about the same amount of time as taking A1 south.
Highway 32: Check CA DOT Road conditions WATCH FOR FALLING ROCKS IN THE ROADWAY. This road has always been one for deer and wildlife crossing the road in front of you, year round. Check conditions during weather events.
Highway 36: Check DOT for road conditions. See weather cams on link above. Has some nasty areas of rough pavement on Fredonyer grade in both directions. Caltrans maintained...LoL.
Highway 44: See Road Cameras and check conditions. Deer have been moving.
Highway 395: Good shape & dry. WATCH FOR DEER AND ANTELOPE ALWAYS. HEAVY WINDS CAN CAUSE DELAYS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. Those that don't head the warming, often end up turned over, wrecking or hitting someone else. CHECK WIND FORECASTS ON THE NOAA LINK ABOVE WHEN COMING FROM RENO or LEAVING SUSANVILLE AND DRIVING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. CalTrans sign at 36/395 junction. Blowing sand drifts (zero visibility and some 100ft long) can also become a hazard in high winds any time of the year. Remember that deer are prevalent in the Honey Lake Valley all year long. The “Locals” name for 395 to Reno is “BLOOD ALLEY”. Drive it often enough and you’ll understand what we mean. Road construction in places. Reduced speed limit in cone zone.
Check the road cameras at the links above.
Or check Cal Trans website for updated conditions for any temporary closures due to rock slides or storm events.
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WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY BUSINESSES HERE AT THE LAKE. WE DO GIVE FREE FISHING SEMINARS EVERY SATURDAY AFTERNOON At 4:00PM AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA PATIO DURING THE SEASON TO HELP FOLKS CATCH FISH!!
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Kayakers: No matter where you launch, be sure keep an eye on the wind speed and direction posted for the days you go out. You don't want to be caught an hour paddle away from where you launched if winds pickup over 10mph. Our wind comes up quick when it comes up, regardless of direction predicted. NOAA link on weather has been pretty accurate.
GALLATIN LOW WATER RAMP: Good to go all season. DO NOT PARK AND UNTIE YOUR BOAT STRAPS BLOCKING THE ROAD TO THE LAUNCH OR THE TURN AROUND AT THE BOTTOM. THERE IS PARKING WHERE YOU GET YOUR BOAT PREPARED TO LAUNCH, THE ACCESS POINT IS NOT THE PLACE. THIS RAMP IS FOR EVERYONE. A GUIDE RECENTLY DID THIS AND I CERTAINLY HOPE HE DOESN'T DO THIS AGAIN AS I WILL BE HAPPY TO SHOW A PHOTO OF WHAT YOU DON'T DO AS AN EXAMPLE. Little to no waiting. Weekdays are much quieter than weekends and holidays but it has been pretty easy. Pull your boats down the dock so others can get in the water while you're parking your vehicle. Later in the morning people are trying to launch to play while fishermen are trying to get out. If this happens I try to split the differnce and allow enough space in front for someone to get a boat in the water and enough space in back for a boat to come in behind me. The courtesy dock in the water this year is the step down. It's better having the pipes inside the dock so they don't catch side lights or downriggers or rod holders and makes it easier to get in and out of a boat before stepping up on the dock, but the lower height can beat the heck out of your boat so be sure to use bumpers. It's also a longer reach to the cleets with a boat hook when the winds are howling. Catch 22, can't have it all. All in all it's been fine and no trouble as long as you deal with it. Having a boat hook on board can be a life savor. We still have a few rocks out there between the dock and the jetty so we don't have a lot of space yet to screw up or get blown off course. No fee launch and much closer to where the fish are right now. Great store, a ton of tackle and great inventory of things that break when camping, RV stuff or boating and really reasonable prices considering our location!!
Kayaks have limited availability. It's a shorter romp thru the grass now off the old Aspen Ramp. Christie too but don't try to use the plastic handicap access walkway at Christie. It's a mess. LNF was going to remove the safety hazard but as of right now, they have not. Stay on the vegetation beside the trip hazard walkway. Getting a craft down to the water isn't the hard part, getting it back up hill several hundred feet is. Another option is driving into Eagle's Nest and launching off the gravel bar. No maintained handicap access accept the ramp to the courtesy dock at the low water ramp....getting to the handicap ramp can be a problem for chairs and scooters.
Kayaks have every right to use the low water ramp just like any other boat. I would suggest unloading in the small parking/loading spot so rigs could still turn around and launch boats and to take your craft to the jetty side of the ramp rather than the ramp itself so boats can still get in and out of the water. Since LNF replaced boulders accessing the gravel bar to the west side of the courtesy dock, kayaks can no longer be dragged, carried or hauled to the gravel bar...not a smart move so kayaks now have to use the ramp area. Oh well, not the kayakers problem. You can't help but to tie up the ramp and have every right to launch there. I suggest getting a kayak to the water from the cement ramp and floating it towards the gravel bar on the jetty side of the ramp. If it's your turn in line, just do it. Most angler kayaks are over 60lbs, Hobie peddle drives start out at 125lbs. Not easy to carry or drag on kayak carts over boulders so launch ramps can often be your only choice. There is no other launch area for kayaks and they have become quite popular up here. So do what ever it takes to get it in the water. With no other options, you can not be denied access at access areas. RIGHT NOW FOR THE BEST CHANCE FOR KAYAKERS FOR CATCHINIG A FISH AND STAYING CLOSE TO THE VEHICLE IS LAUNCHING OFF THE GRAVEL BAR AT EAGLE'S NEST. Get your lines down to 25 to 30ft deep.
GALLATIN MARINA: A long way to go before launching will be feasible. Might see the rental boats floating inside the jetty for a while this season, but launching any boats inside the harbor is not doable. The water is going down now inside the jetty. Let's just hope a little remains to give us a headstart for next season.
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: HAS ENOUGH WATER FOR LAUNCHING EARLY THIS SEASON, AND IT IS STILL MOSTLY FUNCTIONAL FOR MOST BUT WE ARE NOW EVAPORATING AT NEARLY 1 1/2" PER WEEK. so just be careful. That leaves around 2 1/2 ft of water in the channel. Most locals are heading south now. There will be less water by fall. Once you get out beyond the pipes, there is enough water to take off in, some bigger deeper motors leaving prop-wash silt trails and releasing trapped methane, but once in 7ft of water it was okay. Note that boats need water. My boat drops about 2 inches deeper over a methane release. For docks, the depth of water over 100 YARDS (300ft) from shore it's about 2ft deep now. See Photos in Ramp album and 2017 All Eagle Lake, All the Time album. Right now, it's a long way to where the fish are and quite a few Spalding folks are still launching at the south end of the lake. $8 fee to park or launch in Spalding and a 5 gallon round trip in a boat to where the fish are. The water is pretty weedy heading down to Pelican Pt. Note that it may look calm out from Spalding but more often than not, the south basin is ripping with waves in the afternoon. You don't see them until reaching Pelican Pt. Very normal. One person last week told me if he had known how shallow it was in the channel & far it was to the fish he would have launched down south. LoL Big boats have their drawbacks.
I won't be launching my big boat up here in Spalding for many reasons. One reason is I have a big boat with a deep draft and I don't like putting my boat in a predicament for having down time on repairs. Once I have more water and spending more time fishing the north basins again, I will once again launch here. It will be a whole new tule line in all the northerly basins once we get more water. It could take a couple years before the fishing up here gets good again though. We'll have to see how many fish actually come above Pelican Pt this fall, the water is very brackish now. My bet is that most of the fish will remain in the south basin as they have been when water levels are low. Lake elevation is now in the 5095's.
NORTH RAMP AT SPALDING: No.
STONES LANDING: High and dry now.
ROCKY PT: Lake level dropping, Kayaks can make it but small boats might be a different story.
Note that if you take the CA BOATING COURSE, power loading your boat at ramps is not recommended AT ANY RAMP, ANYWHERE. I didn't need to be certified until 2025 but I took the course anyway and have my certification. I don't care who you are or how much experience you have, you will learn something. The course you have to pass covers ALL bodies of water, ocean, rivers and such as well as all types of watercrafts. You have to learn it all in order to pass, you must pass it by 80%. I highly recommend getting certified. I will know at the ramp whether you're certified. If nothing else, take a stormy winter day, take the course, don't just take the test unless you know everything about all bodies of water and all types of boats, sailboats, kayaks and PWC's. It's all covered in the course, as well as how alcohol affects are different on the water. The course takes a few hours to go through, but I will guarantee you will learn something you didn't know before, no matter how experienced you are!! Hopefully once more people are certified, it will prevent accidents and needless confrontations.
SEE LAKE ELEVATIONS SINCE 2010 ON LAKE CONDITIONS PAGE.
NO HANDICAP FISHING OR BEACH ACCESS: Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements, cinder gravel for carts and wheelchairs is not compliance to ADA requirements. Hard to walk in the loose gravel compared to the packed gravel or pavement where previous handicap parking was, although there is a saw horse sign now indicationg handicap parking back in the center closer to the ramp which is much easier for those who are mobility impaired. Due to noncompliance the ADA parking is not actually enforceable. Although, you might get a note taped to your windshield, I don't believe you can actually get a citation due to lack of signage and legal mumbo jumbo. Just know that it is there for those who need it.
The handicap walkway at Christie Day Use/Picnic Area is a trip hazard in many locations and has not been maintained by Lassen National Forest. It can easily handicap you if you aren't already. We just make our own way down and ignore the signage regarding protecting the vegetation as it is more about having to keep from falling or tripping over the damaged trail grates due to LNF's inability to repair the existing specified trail. If it wasn't so dangerous, we would be happy to use it. LNF is now laying blame on the State Lands Commission before any repair of the existing handicap accessibility can be done. So we might be waiting a long time before accidents can be prevented. My guess is it will take a serious injury and lawsuit before it will get repaired or removed. But, I will keep hounding them to repair existing handicap accesses and most likely will have to contact Boating and Waterways myself to get improvements. So unless the walkway down is repaired, I suggest walking on the vegetation rather than getting tripped up and falling down, regardless of signage. If the USFS wants to protect the vegetation from paths being made, they can fix the walkway. We would be happy to use the walkway if it wasn't a complete hazard with great potential to cause injury. A promise of removal of the hazard is long on promise and short on delivery. It remains a hazard for all people.
ALL EAGLE LAKE, ALL THE TIME
© Copyright REGISTERED WITH THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 2003-2017 by the author, Valerie Aubrey. The website’s http://www.eaglelakefishing.net/ and http://www.eaglelakefishing.info/, All Maps, Articles and Photographs contained there in are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the author and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of the author who reserves all rights. Viewers may print for personal use. Commercial use of any map or story is strictly prohibited without permission. Any “free Map” from our websites must be a permitted copy for commercial redistribution. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any articles, maps and photographs on Eagle Lake Fishing Information and Network or linking us up without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited. We have found a number of people linking us up of which we have no affiliation. Our brand is protected and only our sponsors and network affiliates have the rights to link us up. We have a tendency to check some publications and newspapers for plagiarism and have had to contact more than one. Our brand is unique to us, and no one else. We are not a guide referral business, we are the Peoples Guide. We don’t provide guiding services, we make sure you catch fish using your own toys. COMMERCIAL USE FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY IS PROHIBITED WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION.
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VIDEOS SHOWING THE LAKE RISE 2017
South Basin 8-20-17: Water temps on the east side started out at 71-72F, by late morning had topped 73F by afternoon. But that's a little lower than the peak during the last heat wave. Thermolcline remains around 35-40ft but that doesn't always translate to duration time for dissolved 02 when it comes to trout. The west side was showing as about 1F cooler on average than the east side this morning, holding around 70-71F at 8am. The 63-64F surface temps have pushed south and west the last two days...making it's gyre up the west side this week...leaning towards the center off the low water ramp. DFW not around to conduct water tests. That green cloud that starts around 3-4ft and lower appears to be taking it's toll again.
Lot's of chubs scattered in the water column right now. Chubs are in three distinct stages. Stage 1 is large spawners, Stage 2 is what I call the "nursery" which is several years worth of tui chubs ranging in size from 4 to 8" with several "guardians" 11-12". Stage 3 is this years hatch. The chubs often "wall" up. The spawners protect the "nursery" and both protect the current year hatch. That's why you catch big chubs over the depths, smaller chubs in closer and trout will be in the fresh hatch. If you set your fish ID on it will show a ton of little fish with some medium fish in the "nursery". A "cloud" for this years hatch, and massive stacked blob of big fish between 7 and generally down to 47ft. I want the cloud with one or two big fish in it and the grebes want the small minnows for their youngsters...Look for a lot of baby grebes & you will find the smaller minnows. We have an over population of tui chub this year and personally, I have no idea if they are surviving my release. LoL.
The springs are holding temps down to 61F but on average at 63-64F. We are seeing more of a green hue and as per underwater video it is as bad as last year when it comes to visibility. DFW has not conducted any water tests this season so they have no idea of what it has done to the dissolved oxygen. All I can say is that the trout are residing in water temps of 70F+ and higher in the water column just like last season when DO tanked below 22ft. We need a new biologist for this lake, no doubt about that.
The surface was pretty clean today on the east side, but quite a few scattered weeds today on the west side and middle of the basin this week. Good idea to check lines periodically. Much weedier further north. We have quite a few surface weeds off Merrill to Christie this week too.
We have baby grebes on the lake now, a first since 2012. Please note that the mothers don't dive with babies on their backs. Be careful speeding along in your boat early in the morning. The female will simply flare her chest and take the brunt force of the boat hitting her if she can't get away in time. Both parents will scream at you if you listen. Without her the babies will die anyway so it's critical that she survives. Once the babies are swimming by themselves and learning to dive the chance decreases of causing them harm. This goes on for several weeks, basically until the young start sporting their adult plumage. Dad's do most all the feeding, including the female until the babies can dive better. So his life is critical too. The male Clarke's seem more aggressive and literally "chased" my boat when trolling. LoL. He wasn't too happy with my presence. But we do see a lot of 3 to 4 babies with their parents which is a very good hatch for the grebes. Making up for lost time and a plentiful supply of minnows. I do watch for the baby grebes as the parents generally want the smaller minnows to feed them with.
Spalding: Depth between Spalding ramp and Rocky Pt still doable. Gets deeper the further south you go to the channel at the Youth Camp. Was a bit weedy on the surface and we had an increase of algae here and there on the south side of Pelican Pt. Grebes are everywhere, including the south side of Pelican Pt and the north basins. Please be watchful, the mother doesn't dive with babies on her back. This is how many of these birds perish...hit by boats. Ramp still functioning to some degree. Getting shallower every week by nearly 1 1/2 inches. Cheaper to launch down south closer to where the fish are right now. I can drive down there cheaper than I can launch in Spalding and use a quart of fuel in my boat getting to the fish. Launch in Spalding and its a 5 gallon boat ride.
Just because we got a little water in the lake this year, doesn't mean we don't still have dangerous rock piles to be aware of and the channel is getting shallower every week. So be careful out there. The trout are a long way away right now. In their summer haunts & over the depths and about a 5 gallon round trip back and forth in a boat. I can burn 5 gallons of boat gas getting down there from Spalding, 2 gallons round trip to tow my boat down there and launch for free and quarts in my boat. Until we get more water and I am spending more time fishing up north, I'll be launching down south where the best fishing is. Give me another 9ft of water & I will be spending all but about 3 weeks of the season fishing above pelican pt and will most likely be launching in Spalding. Until then, I will be launching at the south end and saving fuel and money. A recent report from a guy that rented a dock space was NOT flattering. Had he known how shallow it was and how long the boat trip was to get to the fish he would have chosen to launch down south and would have saved 5 gallons of fuel in his boat and $20 a day. Oh well!!
Yearly, during the fishing season we will lose over 2ft of water by late Oct. Already loosing water to evaporation at 1 1/2 inches per week. We will see this evaporation through summer before it tapers back down to around 1" per week in Sept. Depending on the winds, August can see an uptick of evaporation.
I HAVE MET WITH TU REGARDING SOME ISSUES IN THE DRAFT PLAN THAT DIDN'T FIT IN WITH SAID RESTORATION. We will know more after CRMP meeting and field trip on May 31. Meet at Bogard Rest Area at 9am, bring bug spray and boots for mud & muck to walk at restoration area.
CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA HANDICAP RAMP TOWARDS THE LAKE IS IN SUCH DISREPAIR THAT IT CAN HANDICAP YOU IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY IMPAIRED. THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIP HAZARDS. IT ENDS A VERY GOOD DISTANCE FROM ANY ACCESS TO THE WATER. Walk on the vegetation. There are several trails. A statement from LNF has been long requested and short on delivery. This is a very dangerous "trail" to the lake. I have been hounding USFS to get the access repaired. I was told this week that LNF is still waiting for the State Lands Commission for input and approval to repair the existing handicap access.
2017 LAKE ELEVATION
8-6-17: EAGLE LAKE is dropping at a rate of 1.425" per week since July 2nd. It is now at 5095.73' and has lost 7 &1/8" during that time.
7-15-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.07ft; 7/8" above 5096ft. It has dropped 3 inches in two weeks and up to 1 1/2" per week evaporation. This is actually normal evap for this time of year. Going to be a long summer.
7-2-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.32ft and it is dropping 1.33 inches per week.
6-23-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation is 5096.479ft. It has lost 2.65" since May 20. Now that Pine Creek and other tributaries are no longer flowing into the lake we will begin to see our evaporation pick up a bit.
6-2-17: As per Doc Bateson our lake elevation perfectionist; 5096ft 7 and 5/8ths inches. That’s 5096.635’ it has dropped .065’ or .78” (a little over 3/4") in 13 days.
5-20-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation measured 5096.7ft
4-30-17 As per Doc Bateson's measurment " 5096.375' which is 5.515' higher than on December 3rd 2016. It has risen 1.427' Just since March 18th.
4-18-17 Unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp was 5096.54ft. Winds were blowing lightly so the elevation could be slightly off. Creeks are slowing down some now so we are probably going to see a slow down of rising. Any storm passing through can have flow pick up.
4-3-17 Lassen County Official Measurement: "We made our monthly visit to Eagle Lake this morning and found that the lake has come up 1.38 feet over the past month. The elevation at the Gallatin Ramp is currently 5095.78 feet above sea level and the lake has come up 4.99 feet since November 1st of last year. It is also 3.22 feet higher than this same time one year ago.
3-29-17: 5095.64' Measured from the elevation tags at Spalding ramp. A gain of about 2inches in 4 days. Flows in Pine Creek subsiding a little this week from last week, so we expect to see a little slower rise unless a storm passes through.
3-25-17: 5095.45ft (unofficial) Measured between the elevation plate screws at the ramp in Spalding. A gain of around 6" from the increased flow of Pine Creek and just over an inch of rain on 3-21.
3-19-17: 5094.948 as per Doc Bateson. Up a couple inches in the last few days. We have about 5/8' to resach 5095ft. Up a little over 4ft from our lowest water level last year and about 2 1/5ft above last years highest level. So we are doing ok, but could sure use a lot more.
3-16-17: 5094.8' up around 3 1/2 inches according to the markers at the Spalding ramp.
3-8-175094.5ft according to the markers set by Doc Bateson at the Spalding ramp. Up around a foot in the last month.
2-11-17: 5093.38FT As per Doc Bateson. 2.52ft higher than Dec 3, 2016 (which had held due to Oct/Nov rains). 18.29" of moisture since July 1 here at the house in Spalding. So the springs were still pumping good over winter too.
2016 LAKE ELEVATION
12-3-16: 5090.86ft As per Doc Bateson. Still a few inches above last year, but still below the record.
10-20-16: 5090.866' (after 3.03" of rain) Without the recent rain, the lake would have been where it was last year. So we didn't keep the 6" of water we had ovre last year. Only the rains brought it up. Bly Tunnel from the valve remains dry.
7-3-16: 5092.23; almost 6" lower than 5-30, but around 6" higher than last year at the same time. As per Doc Bateson.
5-30-16 5092.72: as per Doc Bateson, up 1/4 inch since 5-1.
5-1-16 5092.7FT Officially as per Doc Bateson, the lake is only 5.76 inches above last year's elevation, May 2, 2015. Expect similar conditions to last season. We still have 27 days to go. Hopefully we see more showers and hold on to that 5+ bonus inches to help get us through the season launching!
3-19-16 5092.43FT. UP 1.835FT SINCE 11-22-15. 2.52 INCHES HIGHER THAN MAY 2 2015. As per Doc Bateson's report
2015 Eagle Lake Elevation
10-18-15: 5090.61 and holding
9-30-15 5090.6 ft
8-16-15: 5091.2ft as per Doc Bateson’s measurements. We lost 2 1/2 inches in 2 weeks and are only 2.4 inches away from our lowest recorded level in 1935.
8-1-15:5091.4ft as per Doc Bateson's measurements. We had 2.41 inches of rain in my backyard in July (2.68" at Spalding's sewer ponds 2 miles NW) and the south end had more than we did up north but it helped counter evaporation.
7-4-15: 5091.70ft as per doc Bateson.
6-20-15: 5091.83ft; now just 9.96 inches from our lowest recorded level in 1935. (lost approx 4" in the last 20 days.
6-1-15: 5092.16ft now just over a foot from lowest recorded level in 1935
5-2-15: 5092.22ft as per Doc Bateson. About 1 ft 3 inches above lowest recordered level in 1935.
2014 Eagle Lake Elevation:
9-15-14 5092.035ft. As per doc Bateson, our local doctor and scientist we are now about 1 ft above the lowest recorded lake elevation of 5091 in 1935. Note: "recorded level".
2013 Eagle Lake Elevation:
September 2, 2013 5093.9ft; 18.5 inches lower than April 28.
July 28, 2013 5094.44 ft, about 5094 ft 5 inches.
July 7, 2013 appears to be about 2-3 inches below 5095ft.... or 5094ft 9-10 inches or so. Unofficial. Going by the end of the cement at Spalding ramp being out of the water & taking chances that the end of the cement is at 5095ft elevation.
June 1, 2013 was around 5095ft 1 inch. About 6" of cement in the water at Spalding ramp.
4-11-13 5095.5 ft (unofficial by the markers at Spalding ramp)....I guess my estimate was only 3/4 of an inch off. Not bad for a girl ehe?
2012 Eagle Lake Elevation
4-2-12: 5096.42 ft or 5096 ft 5 inches.
Ending Nov 2012 5093.70
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2011
MARCH 10, 2011 - 5096.28 UP 0.68ft up around 8" from local winter moisture, measurement taken hours before Pine Creek flow reached the Slough.
MARCH 17, 2011 - 5096.50, UP 2 1/2 INCHES IN ONE WEEK OF FLOW
MARCH 26, 2011 - 5096.63 FT; UP 2 5/8 INCHES SINCE 3-17
MARCH 29, 2011 - 5096.66 FT
MARCH 31, 2011 - 5096.70 FT
APRIL 4, 2011 - 5096.76 or 5096 ft 9 inches.
APRIL 9, 2011 – 5096.86 FT or 5096ft 101/4 inches.
APRIL 14, 2011 – 5096.90 ft
APRIL 19, 2011 – 5096.98 ft. Up 0.08 ft in 5 days…or around 1 inch.
APRIL 24, 2011 LAKE ABOVE 5097 FT! @ 5097.168 (almost but not quite a seven) UP A LITTLE OVER 2 INCHES IN 5 DAYS! INCLUDING A LITTLE OVER ½ INCH OF LOCAL MOISTURE SINCE FRIDAY MORNING! UP 10 ¾ INCHES SINCE PINE CREEK BEGAN FLOWING!
APRIL 27, 2011 – 5097.28FT! or 5097 ft 3 3/8 inches.
MAY 1, 2011 5097.34 FT or 5097 ft 4 1/16 inches; up 5/8 inches
MAY 4, 2011 – 5097.39 FT or approximately 5097 ft 4 13/16 inches…a little over ¾ inch.
MAY 7, 2011 – 5097.44 FT Or 5097 ft 5 ¼ inches.
MAY 16, 2011 – 5097.44 FT. NO CHANGE IN LAKE ELEVATION FROM 5-7-11. One and a quarter inches more water than last year means it is still going to be a bad year for the lake level.
MAY 21, 2011 – 5097.49 FT up 5/8 inches since May 16. Coincides very closely to the amount of local moisture in the last 5 days. Due to heavy winds that haven’t stopped long enough to get an accurate elevation we have not taken one. However, we can tell you that we are still pretty much the same and still well below the 5098 ft elevation.
MAY 30. 2011 – 5097.59, up around 5/8 inch in 9 days. Again, coinciding with the amount of local precipitation. We aren’t gaining and we aren’t losing at the current flow rate of Pine Creek. We have now just officially reached the 2 ft mark since the lowest lake elevation in Nov 2010.
JUNE 12, 2011 – 5097.68 ft from 5097.59 ft on May 30. Increase of around 1 inch (for elevation in inches it is 5097 ft 6 7/8 inches). We also had over an inch of precipitation fall in the basin in the last 10 days.
JUNE 24, 2011 - 5097.57 ft from 5097.68 ft June 12. That translates into inches as down nearly 1 3/8 inches in 12 days.
JULY 5, 2011 – 5097.46 from 5097.57 on June 24. That translates to 5097 ft 5 ½ inches. Down 1 ¼ inches in 10 days. Average daily humidity as been 13%.
JULY 18, 2011 – 5097.23 Ft from 5097.46 ft on July 5th. Down around 1 3/8 inches in 13 days which levels out at 5097 ft 2 ¾ inches.
JULY 24, 2011 – 5097.15 FT from 5097.23 ft on July 18. Down 3.96 inches since July 4 as per Doc Bateson.
AUGUST 4, 2011 – 5097 ft from 5097.15 ft on July 24. About 1 ¾ inch drop in elevation.
AUGUST 8, 2011 – 5096.97 FT from 5097.0 4 days ago
AUGUST 12, 2011 – 5096.86 ft shot from doc B. Average weekly evaporation of 1.23 inches per week which doc says is better (lower) than last year at the same time.
AUGUST 24, 2011 – 5096.68 FT. Down from 5096.86 ft 12 days ago.
AUGUST 30, 2011 – 5096.56 FT. Down around 1 ½ inches in last 6 days
SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – 5096.45FT, Down around 1 3/8 inches in the last 7 days.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 – 5096.34 FT. Or 5096ft 4 1/8 inches.
OCTOBER 14-11 5096.18 or 5096 ft 2 1/8 inches
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2010:
BEGINNING LAKE ELEVATION 2010:
May 16, 2010 – 5097.36 feet;
October 30, 2010 was 5095.60 feet.
© by Valerie Aubrey
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EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS GIVE $23,500 to date to TROUT UNLIMITED FOR PINE CREEK PROJECTS AND STUDIES!! HERE IS THE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR PINE CREEK IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIAL ENDANGERED SPECIES LISTING. THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! EVERYTHING FROM GENETICS TO GRAZING AND WATER IMPOUNDS ARE BEING ADDRESSED. Then, something happened. Eagle Lake Gaurdians are the only nonprofit whose funding goes directly to helping restore Pine Creek and Eagle Lake. Also, the only nonprofit going into battle to get it done. No one else can say that!!! Proof is in the pudding. Want your money to go to Eagle Lake and Pine Creek, look no further than Eagle Lake Guardians. We don't waste your funding, we don't throw ourselves parties at the expense of the Lake and Fish. Ask where your funding is going.
Update from Trout Unlimited on www.eaglelakeguardians.org on "current issues page" regarding restoration projects, filling in the super ditch and filling in impounded water holes!!
So proud that Eagle Lake Guardians have donated an additional $6000 for a total of $23,500 to Pine Creek Restoration projects, assessments and studies through Trout Unlimited to help prevent our Eagle Lake rainbow trout from being listed as an endangered or threatened species and assist speeding up Pine Creek's restoration. You can help by donating to Eagle Lake Guardians. Guardians will be meeting up with TU soon and discuss our options and future projects. See Guardians website for updates from TU. Funding is still needed and Guardians hope to contribute an additional donation soon. At least guardians are trying to help our lake and trout. These projects will also be monitored for years to come and will need our support. There are a lot of other issues that concern our trout and spawning. THE CONSERVATION PLAN IS WORTH READING AND WORTH ALL THE TIME EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS SPENT ON EXPLAINING AND EXPOSING PROBLEMS FROM GENETIC ANOMOLIES TO MASSIVE DIVERSIONS OF WATER FROM PINE CREEK. These will be discussed with TU and perhaps these needs can be funded after we save our trout and watershed. Go to eaglelakeguardians.org and donate through the new PayPal Button.
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8-16-17: Sorry for the delay folks. I have had family up helping the folks and a minor project ended up a major project. I have taken my family out fishing between work at the house and have had an ill pet that has needed some attention. I will be out on the water a few more times this month but have a lot of things going on before it settles down a bit. So please bear with me. Trials and tribulations of life get in the way sometimes. For my friends, I am fine just busy for a couple more weeks. If the fishing changes dramatically I will get in an update and will get some photos up. I am hoping we start cooling down a little. It is cooler than it is in the valley but still quite warm for us. The water temps are still holding between 70 and 72F but once we start seeing some high 60's things will change.
AIR QUALITY: Not as bad as it could be but still a little hazy.
Sunny, with a high near 87. North wind around 5 mph.
Clear, with a low around 47. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 90. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Clear, with a low around 51. West wind around 5 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
Sunny, with a high near 90.
Mostly clear, with a low around 52.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 87.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Mostly clear, with a low around 50.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.
Cows are back so watch out on the roads (especially from Spalding) during the early morning and later evening. Black cows don't show up well at night and eyes don't reflect headlights so be careful. This whole area is open range so be watchful. The cows don't move too fast.
2016 was the worst year in decades for blue/green algae clouding up the water and decreasing the dissolved oxygen in the lake. We are now seeing a return of the blue/green algae so we will see how it goes as we head into August. 2017 fishing season isn't doing much better but it is somewhat better fishing. Clarity is starting to decrease now as mid July approaches and video shows increasing green cloudy water. The cloud now begins around 6ft, fish disappear under the boat around 3 to 4 ft. Fish have come up in the water column which tells me that in spite of very slightly cooler water at 30-35ft, the dissolved oxyen might not be there any longer. Fish are currently holding at 17 to 23ft deep which is higher than they were a couple weeks ago. It is around 72F in that part of the water column. Every trout we caught the last couple of days has been bleeding profusely upon arrival at the boat. It appears the thermocline has pretty much dissolved. I had only 8F difference between the surface temp and 45ft with only gradual change of 1-2F below 20ft the other day. So it's going to be a long season now. It was mid August when it got really bad in the lake last year. But our temps are warmer quicker this year. So we could see some not so good changes coming. Let's just hope we don't get any warmer.
Eagle Lake is basically drowning in cow crap in the north basins and the water appears brackish, brownish in some locations before finding clearer water. One can't hardly determine the end of the cement at the Spalding ramp (which is around 3ft deep) looking over the side of the courtesy dock the water is so brown and cloudy. No thanks for swimming in it.
We had massive schools of Tui chubs in the north basins to spawn, very visible with your naked eye. Hopefully this brings in a fall food supply for some trout to move up. We'll have to wait and see. We also have the southern group that stay in the south basin. Now that the northern spawners are back in the south basin, the entire basin is loaded with tui chub. And, yes, I have no problem with a little culling of the population no matter what DFW might say or think. Our lake is over loaded and with fewer trout to eat the current hatch, we are going to see expedential number of tui chub. The chubs are massive in size for their species and coming.
In spite of a fairly good water year and creeks flowing in spring, there wasn't a lot of trout in the tributaries as there normally have been. We are not seeing a lot of fish being caught so far this year either, but we are seeing some. We have been doing okay catching...finding that the color red has been our lucky color, one day the fish want a slow troll, the next day a fast troll. Basically it's been about finding the fish and working the hell out of the pod. But, there are a lot of disappointed anglers out there. As water temps have warmed up we are seeing a few more trout being caught. We'll see how long it lasts. A buddy calculated from the planting numbers by DFW that we are around 250,000 trout short of our normal planting allotment. Thanks DFW.
Unfortunately, I generally see a glacial blue color to the lake this time of year, but it still has a shade of green and is getting greener by mid July. Clarity is now reduced to around 3ft depending on location.
As long as Eagle Lake and Pine Creek watershed is the cash cow for a few thousand bucks for grazing, the millions of dollars lost income and business for Lassen County means nothing. Eagle Lake and Pine Creek are considered as separate entities....unfortunately, therein lies the problem. One can not survive without the other and the trout need both to survive. Eagle Lake appears to have been sold out to the lowest bidder...water is the new gold in CA and the state doesn't care where it comes from as long as it benefits the few and not the natural habitat it was destined for. But we won't stop putting the blame in the rightful place folks. Forget about eating fish, start eating more beef but you might want to see what is in it first. No beef is tested for heavy metals. Organic means nothing. All beef is considered organic if kept on a farm pasture or open range without testing. Yep, you spend more for organic but get nothing more. LoL! Cloud seeded water heading south is used to grow crops that aren't tested either. And that cloud seeded water is what is being sucked up by the vegetation. Ever wonder why Alzheimers and Autism has increased substantially in the last 20-30 years? I don't. We have been being poisoned for years and don't know it....we're not supposed to. LoL.
We had a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley, some that is still locked away from the lake. Meadows to be restored in "flood plains" that didn't exsist prior to 1977 as per the major hydrology study performed for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan by Vail and Associates are all for grazing (as per page 21 of the draft meadow restoration), not the fish or the lake. That 1970's study didn't say what the powers that be wanted it to say so it has no references in any current data used. At least, the current reports don't refer to it but it was a hell of a detailed study for the time. Just didn't reflect using Eagle Lake inflow to promote grazing over the health of the lake and tributaries. It didn't fit the agenda. But it's high time that Eagle Lake, Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout and Pine Creek start taking priority over a few bucks in intensive cattle grazing. This county and our state is losing millions of dollars in revenue just so the ranchers get cheap feed, free water and the feds get a few thousand dollars so they get a "sale" on the books. At the expense of the lake, fish and businesses. We are currently assisting in restoration of Pine Creek watershed. Projects begin this summer to restore flow by filling the Super Ditch that has robbed the watershed for decades.
The drought didn't cause all our problems, they began long before the drought. There are many players who benefit with the demise of Pine Creek and the lake. Unfortunately, some of these players are also in charge of the restoration....the fox in the hen house needs to be kept in check. Nasty job but if no one does it, it won't get done. We are certainly willing to do the job no one else wants. It's about the lake, watershed and trout, it's all one system, not separate. We are tired of hearing complaints from those who choose nothing to do with helping the lake and trout which both need water to survive. Pine Creek is our number 1 tributary, trout spawning creek and has been destroyed over the decades. We have always aimed at getting the three elements rejoined, no matter what the personal cost is.
There is only one local nonprofit that has gone into battle for Eagle Lake’s water to support a native spawn and restore the lake levels. Unfortunately, the battle for Eagle Lake was a political battle of which one has to be willing to do in Lassen County. Why Lassen resists helping Eagle Lake that once provided for a lot of income to the county for a few thousand dollars in grazing fees is beyond me. In its current condition, it isn't the public draw it once was....and that needs to change. We have some plans up our sleeves, but we have learned not to detail our plan until it is done or some how, some way, something gets tainted. Our definition is simple...save the lake and it will return to it's former glory as will the local businesses and economy as well as promote for a natural spawn. Eagle Lake Rainbow trout, Pine Creek watershed and Eagle Lake are fractured and the USFS doesn't appear to want to put it back together. As long as the scientists and biologists don't see the trout, creek and lake at its entirety and only see it as separate, Eagle Lake may be in serious trouble. And if no flood plains exsited historically, there is only one reason to create them now. Grazing. Already the Conservation Plan is being violated. Not only the water but the free passage of the trout in Pine Creek to migrate upstream at their own choosing was restricted by DFW as DFW needed every ripe hen for artificial egg collection that they could trap. Only after getting every ripe hen out of circulation did DFW reopen the gate....then let all the males go up and only a handful of females that were not spawn ready. Pine Creek was flowing Dec 16th but the gates were not opened for any fish passage until mid February. That is not allowing the free will passage. DFW had no way of knowing if there were any fish in the creek at that time so after I questioned them about numbers, they installed a camera, not a counter. LoL. In this day and age, they should know exactly how many fish made free passage. We are still at a critical point when it comes to the native spawn. Don't believe what you might be told, unless it comes from Eagle Lake Guardians. We hear some real, let's just say, intersting things coming from others. At least it's good for a laugh.
Pine Creek and Eagle Lake should be restored for the lake and the fish, not restored to enhance more grazing. That's what seems to be killing the lake from nutrients and removing water from the watershed. I believe I got my point across so far but we are constantly keeping an eye on things. Words matter in draft plans, tell me the restoration is for enhanced grazing & I will jump right down your throat! It's not about the cows, it's got to be about the fish and we are the only ones doing that. There is only one way to save the businesses and livelihood of the resort communities, lake and trout, that is to restore the hard won drainage to Pine Creek, move the cattle up, drill some wells that flow into tanks for water for cows, power them with solar panels and give the lake back to it's watershed. Restoration of Pine Creek is essential to establishing a native spawn as well as getting the lake elevation back....but only a spawn is the driving factor...a minimal spawn at that. But, what if they don't have a healthy lake to come home to. With one good water year, it's now about restoring grazing and feed, not the fish or the lake. It all works together. Climate change, climate manipulation, less snow pack come into play, but on what should have been a good water year, we are still 9ft down from our prime, and over 3ft below what scientists determined was good for the fish. Eagle Lake Guardians have helped defeat the potential listing of an endangered species for our trout. This was our main goal. Unfortunately, the scientists are only looking at the trout, creek and lake as different things when historically, it all worked together as one. We have seen data manipulated as well. Perhaps, this is where the barrier to restoring anything is. As long as the agenda is to graze cattle for penny's and lose millions in the economy and stress the lake and trout, we are screwed. The trout have to make it back to the lake and, that has happened but only in the same year they went up to spawn. Other telemetry tags have been found in the dry creek bed after the creek stops flowing...the creek has to stop flowing before the cattle are allowed in to graze. So the sooner the creek stops, the sooner the grazing starts. The more water locked upstream raises the water temps sooner than normal and that in itself stops the fish. Our first tag found was near the A1 bridge, another near the Spalding bridge, two others from fish that retured to the lake the same year. The ones found in the creek were from fish that tried to get back but ran out of flow before making it to the lake. So getting them back to the lake is going to require longer flows....and they might bring the minnows with them rather than head to unchartered waters 20 miles upstream from 44. Looks like we may have to go after the water again.
By not listing the trout, we have less red tape to get and keep projects moving forward. Trout Unlimited has hired a facilitator in order to keep DFW and USFS moving...Where it began about the fish, it's ending in grazing. So something has to change. We may see a native spawn, but without a lake, what's the point? As long as this lake is below 5100ft elevation, the trout in the lake are threatened. Every report shows that. It wasn't all from the drought. Mother Nature will respond once the attitude of the water diverters change. The lake had been robbed for decades and as water levels dropped, the robbing didn't stop. So some changes were in order. We aim to keep the changes coming, regardless....even if we have to sue to get it.
Where are the massive numbers of trout in the lake? I hear from many people who have said 2016 had been the worst fishing season they have experienced in decades and 2017 fishing season shaping up to be the same. Even though it picked up a little by late Sept and October last season, it hasn't been phenomenal 30-60fish days out there. Consider yourself lucky to get a fish or two in 5-6 hours and don't count on a big one. I have a second request in for creel data of catch rates per angler last season of which I have finally received the data from DFW biologist Paul Divine after additional request. Catch rate down, anglers down, but fish slightly larger. Too bad people can't catch what they used to. Many thinking it's a waste of time and money to come up, fish for 12 hours in two days and be lucky to catch one! Campgrounds with lots of empty spaces, stores struggling, Stones Landing resort still closed. Well, folks, I am certain that if the quality of the fishing was like it was in the past, more people would be here fishing. Unfortunately, other lakes have better fishing so folks are going where they can have fun. We have had better fishing, but the last two years has been, well, not very good.
A 3 to 4 pounder hasn't been uncommon in fall/winter for years either. But the bigger fish meat quality isn't nearly as good as the smaller 2 to 3 pounders. I would rather see folks catch limits of 2 to 3 lb fish than to spend a weekend and catch 1 or none. I think this lake has some serious problems. I know there are a lot of unhappy anglers.
With all the new fertilizer covered in a few feet of water in the north basins (cows and rotting vegetation), I expect to see it take affect once warmer temps come along. We have already seen some algae blooming on warm sunny days. We have always had more food in the lake than fish to eat it so having too much food isn't really any different than any other year. What we are seeing is the food supply so thick it fouls lines, downriggers and any terminal tackle. Tui chubs are everywhere and thicker than we have seen them in the past. The tui chubs appear to be expanding tremendously. We have had massive tui chub spawning success the last two years, however, the territory has also decreased for them. It seems to me that the biomass of fishes is backwards now as the chubs have not been kept in check.
With fewer fish in all the tributaries this year, I am concerned about the quality of the fishing again this season. Last year was tough and the lake was hard on the fish. I see how many we didn't have in the southern tributaries and a reduction of numbers in Pine Creek compared to normal water years. DFW needed 3.1 million eggs and after over 2 months of good flow in Pine Creek only got 1.3 million and had to resort to electroshocking in the lake to get that extra .3mil. That is a pathetic number of eggs for the resourses used to get there. DFW is really screwing this lake over. Blocking fish from upstream passage for the native spawn thne letting them head up too late in their desire. We have a few hundred fish holding between the bridges & not going any further in spite of Pine Creek still flowing. But it's just about done flowing over the dam/weir, but may trickle a little longer. LoL. Good science? I don't think so. DFW has been pretty pathetic when it comes to maintaining this lake the last few years. Perhaps the biologist needs to move on and be replaced....that would be a good start.
My fishing partner and I are already planning on fishing other lakes in between fishing this one. After 50 + years of great fishing and lots of big fish, we have found other lakes with better catch rates and big fish. Countless other people have contacted me regarding camping here but fishing other lakes. Why not, I am & I live here!! We have spent the winter and spring months fishing on lakes within about 1 1/2 hours from here and really having a ball. I do have friends that want to fish a couple time a week and I will oblige them here at Eagle but I just don't see the numbers of fish that we normally had after severe cuts in planting. If I do see the blue/green algae as massive as it was last year, I won't hold back on posting the dead fish pictures from the bottom as I did last year. They weren't old dead fish either. Might invest in an ROV this year. Time will tell.
Without the lake at prime elevations (5106ft is considered full, 5100 is considered the lowest for the health of the fish), our watershed and our special trout are put back together, we have nothing. We still have impounded water on Pine Creek and the green slime algae hasn't exactly left. We would have probably come up an extra 2-3 ft had the impounds and springs been transfered to the lake. What is it worth to you? It is worth everything to me. It's environmental & yes a political aspect as well, one has to be willing to step on a few toes to save the lake and make some waves, press the DFW and LNF on all counts affecting this lake and our trout. We will step on more than that if we have to & proved that a long time ago. And, we aren't done just yet. I have watched the climate change and tracked it for over 14years. It does have something to do with it but 86 impounds and water diversions on our main spawning and feeder creek has had devistating affects all for just one or two ranchers at most for cattle...and instead of less, more are planned. Sound familiar IE National Geographic Water and Power series, Monterey Agreement, Agenda 21 and privatizing public resourses is here. Federal Gov might own the lake but the State owns the water. However PG&E has been manipulating our weather for many decades by cloud seeding for Lake Almanor and Lake Shasta, again, Monteray Agreement and sending every drop of water out. This has reduced our snow pack as well as our local moisture. So it's not all Mother Nature's cycle. We have a man made problem. Regardless of having a fair water year, the lake is still below all recommended levels for the health of the lake, vegetation and trout. Losing Eagle Lake and blaming it on climate change is mute when the climate is being manipulated to begin with. Eagle Lake isn't saved yet.
As long as restoration for cattle grazing continues, the trout won't be listed...but I highly doubt that USFWS knows what is happening....little has to do with trout and most of it is about retaining grazing. That restoration was the critical part of keeping the trout off the listing. The first two pages were about USFS and State employees having immunity from past poor decision making regarding Pine Creek (in which well over 80 water projects exist with only 7 permitted), We'll see if that still stands after more poor decision making in contrast to the conservation plan. The last impound was finished around 2005...our last year of good water was 2005/2006 and we have lost water in the lake ever since. The critical part is getting the fish and minnows back to the lake before the creek dries up and water temperatures spike.
It appears that TU may have fallen for the CRMP mentality of the ranchers on the board and using old government tactics. We may need to replace the CRMP group that has been around too long, done too little and simply abided by the wishes of the few rather than the many or the health of the lake. Also as a note, "TU and CRMP didn't have the Pine Creek organism study performed by Western US protocol and it needs to be done over again" is a direct quote from DFW biologist Paul Divine. At least UNR still has the samples so it can be done but needs more funding. Grant money will be used for that. DFW biologist Paul Divine told us that when he asked if we would be willing to fund another study. Unbelievable? No that's just something normal for Eagle Lake. Professional screw ups,. Over the decades, CRMP has caused more of our problems than they have ever fixed, this is why people showed up at their meeting. CRMP has very little support locally, known only for cattle grazing over fish habitat. I had a discussion with Trout Unlimited recently about the plan and other things that were not in the best interest of the lake and trout. We hope there are amendements to the plan and a better way of restoring Pine Creek than adding more impounds for livestock grazing. If you want to be a part of the solution to Eagle Lake, then Eagle Lake Guardians is who you need to donate too. All our donations go directly to Eagle Lake & Pine Creek Restoration or quite possibly legal council or legal action to save the lake. Guardians is the only local nonprofit whose donations go ONLY to support Eagle Lake and no other pockets, projects or lakes…just this one. And, we are working behind the lines but we aren't afraid to flank these folks either. More to come on that issue. Some one has to do this job folks, it isn't pretty but it has to be done. One fair water year isn't going to cut the mustard. The lake needs to be at an elevation no lower than 5100ft before it isn't considered detrimental to the trout....or local economy. So in spite of somethings going well, more work needs to be done.
Check NOAA link for the ever changing details.
Lake Conditions for water temps & Lake elevation by date
Ramp Conditions for launch ramp info.
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 their native waters.
Eagle Lake Fishing Report on “Best Fishing Locations and Depths”
FISHING ACCESSES, TOPO MAPS Note that USFS has a new app for quad and topo maps. I believe you are given the option to purchase them through the app. I love having the maps available on my phone no matter if I have signal or not.
EAGLE LAKE ACCESSES, QUAD MAPS AND TOPO MAPS: USFS QUAD MAPS OF OPEN ROADS AROUND THE EAGLE LAKE AREA: 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. All these maps have the access roads pretty well lined out for you to access say, Wildcat Point (Pikes Pt Quad and Topo) or the Youth Camp from Gallatin (Gallatin Quad and Topo). On the larger maps, one can enlarge a specific area and crop and print the selected area on regular paper. NOTE: I SAVED THESE TO MY IPHONE AND I HAVE THEM WITH ME MOST EVERYWHERE, helpful in names of places over Google or other maps/gps apps
TROXEL QUAD MAP LINK
(popular drive to see wildlife; County Road 105 & ends at USFS 21)
USFS ROAD CLOSURES ZOOM IN You can also zoom up and crop specific areas of these maps to print. I personally did this myself to use to compare to other maps I had when bumpin’ along the dirt roads & believe it or not, there was some very good information on all these maps. USGS has just about everything you could ever need or want for maps…. Hunters might just benefit very well from downloading some of these maps and satellite images.
LNF HAS NEW ROAD MAPS OUT NOW ON THEIR WEBSITE.
Water diversions/impoundments on lower Pine Creek ALL THE LAKES FORMED FROM WATER DESTINED FOR PINE CREEK, STUDIES THAT WERE CONVENIENTLY LOST BY FEDERAL/STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN REDISCOVERED .... and they thought all the hard copies of the most important study (Vail Report, the base study for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan....or the Bible for Eagle Lake) were no longer available and no one could actually go back and see what the study said....thus, they will only "tell us what it said" and since there was no copy left to compare with, they could pull the wool over peoples eyes. OOPS, seems that there was one remaining hard copy and it has been sent to LNF as well as USFWS. All photos of the large lakes formed by impounded water and the documentation that allowed the cows to take over in Pine Creek was submitted too. Well over a gigibyte of information and documentation is now in the hands of USFWS to assist in their determination of listing our trout on the protected or endangered species list. 2015 CONSERVATION PLAN
Copyright 2004-2017 By Valerie Aubrey, Eagle Lake Fishing
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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FISHING SEASON ENDS DECEMBER 31, 2017
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You can help by donating via PayPal link on eaglelakeguardians.org! We are going on an ONLINE fundraising campaign and need all the help we can get!! YOU’RE SUPPORT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! TOTAL INPUT FOR PINE CREEK RESTORATION TO DATE IS $23,500!!!
DOWNLOAD THIS 72 PAGE FILE. Finally! Eagle Lake Guardians assisted in financing some of the studies that went into this report AND the brook trout eradication this summer through Trout Unlimited!! HELP GUARDIANS CONTINUE TO HELP RESTORE PINE CREEK BY DONATING AT www.eaglelakeguardians.org
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SEE 2013 THRU 2016 CREEL DATA HERE. WHEN DFW CHECKS YOUR FISH WEIGHT AND LENGTH AND ASKS QUESTIONS OF HOW LONG YOU FISHED.
TROLLING: Sorry folks, I have been busy dealing with issues for the folks, have had family up and taking care of an ill pet this week. I have had family out fishing before having to do stuff for folks which will last through the end of this month. So please bear with me suring these long days with little time in between!! South basin. Masses of adult tui chub inundated the depths of pretty much the entire south basin. More “stage 2” nursery chubs moved into the ledge on the east side where we have been doing pretty good on trout the last few weeks, although it appears the larger chubs moved most of the trout out. I have caught more chubs trolling than ever before. Little, big and in between on just about everything I threw out there.
The trout are targeting the fresh hatch of chubs so it has been a matter of finding the masses of little bait fish rather than targeting the larger schools of subsequent years of small chubs. The early bite has been short but should be lasting longer as the moon wanes. But, the late morning/ early afternoon bite has been our best. We have just had to wait out the trout and be in the right place, depth and using the right color. I am still catching my trout at around 20-25ft deep and as deep as 27ft but I haven't caught anything but chubs below 30ft. Some other folks as deep as 40ft but all I got that deep was tui chubs so I brought my lines back up and caught trout. Early I am running lines at 4 to 5 colors of leadcore in the water and I am still getting most all my trout on the red/gold Thomas Buoyant 1/4 oz lure. I am trolling it pretty slow at 1.7 to 1.9 mph. Other folks have been catching on the watermelon yellow metallic and red/copper needlefish and red/gold speedy shiners. A buddy has caught a few on a gold rapala at 30ft this week, but not as many as we have caught higher in the water column. Again, this could be about timing. For me, it has been mostly about having red, copper and gold to cut through the green cloudy water. The chubs are taking just about anything and we have seen some monster tui chubs. Fun, but not what we want. The trout appear to be getting ancy to move. We really need some cooling to take place. It will eventually.
The surface temp on the east side started out this morning around 71-72F so the slightly cooler temps but still pretty high. We do see some surface temps as low as 63-64 where the spring water is making its way around the lake gyre. The thermocline remains around 35ft everywhere over the depths regardless of the surface temps. But take note that just because we have cooler water deeper, it doesn't always mean there is enough dissolved oxygen to sustain trout very long. It could be a matter of timing. I have found more trout in water 28 to 44ft deep. My trout trigger speed was still 1.7 to 1.9mph…that’s a sweet speed for the Thomas Buoyant lure even though the needlefish can run much faster. For me, it has been about keeping the lure bouncing the rod tip. The heavier the bounce the more trout I catch. But it has been a matter of hanging in there once you find the trout. They have been moving around a bit for me. We have also been using some attractants so consider leaving a scent trail in this cloudier water. It certainly can’t hurt. Pro Cure Trophy Trout is my first choice.
This lake doesn’t always fish good at a slow speed, but the water conditions seem to mandate it for me. We have a ton of tui chub on both sides of the lake, in the middle and just about everywhere you go.
Most of the trout I am finding this week are scattered and out between Merrill & Wildcat Pt and lower lake of the woods. Pikes Pt/Pikes Cove to Merrill is also holding small scattered pods of trout with a mix tui chub. Most chubs were pretty big there. I think it’s only a matter of time before we start to see fishing on the west side start picking up as that is where I found more small minnows this week.
Catching trout remains slow for many folks but we do have folks catching trout too. Some days we’re putting in a little more time and working harder. Throwing the tackle box at them with one or two rods, but always resorting back to the tried and true lures & well, that’s what has ended up getting the job done. Some of our best bite times have come between 10am and 2pm this week, but being a morning person, I will be out there early regardless. The early bite should be lasting longer.
We are finding a few trout but very scattered now on the east side …. now that juvenile chubs moved in…and a lot at that. There are a few trout up by Shrimp Island but they are very scattered too. Tons of chubs up there too holding out in the middle of the south basin. We really can't seem to get away from the chubs this year.
It still seems to be more about oxygen levels to me than a few degrees difference in water temps for catching trout. Remember last year? The DO tanked below 22ft. DFW has not conducted water tests so far this season, I requested water tests but was told there were none but they would get around to it. Second request and DFW is too busy to bother with the lake.
The red/gold buoyant is still my top producer and the orange one was also working this week. The #1 (small) RED DOT and Yellow dot frog needlefish, #2 watermelon yellow metallic needlefish, red/copper or red gold speedy shiner or similar needlefish. But the slower speed, for me, has been the ticket to catching. If you can’t slow down, keep the lines on a bend. Run fewer rods if you have too and take turns so your lure works a column of water. I am working about a 10ft swath of the water column depending on the depth of water I am in. We also had a few fish this week on Sure Catch medium double jointed Red Dog this week, although it isn’t my first choice in the water, it is in my line up.
It is not uncommon to see trout chasing minnows into the shoreline or shallow rock piles or even the surface over the depths even with higher water temperatures. So keep an eye on the surface, if the SMALL minnows are boiling or just disturbing the surface a little, something below is causing it. Also, watch the pelicans. The pelicans can only reach so far down so there is something pushing the minnows up to them from below. I generally don't find the trout real deep under the pelicans and it certainly depends on which school of tui chubs the pelicans are working. If they are working the nursery or stage 2 tui chubs, forget it. Note that the trout only target the fresh hatch of the season, that’s what we are looking for. The pelicans and grebes DO target the larger school of juvenile chubs (subsequent years). We just have to get in them to see which ones they are.
It isn't unusual for these trout to move around the lake depths in summer and we are already seeing some movement from the last few weeks. But water conditions and the inundation of tui chubs seem to have a lot to do with it. I’m not a fan of Fish ID but it helps when determining which tui chub minnows you are seeing on the screen. The nursery schools show a ton of little fish and a few medium fish on ID. The fresh hatch shows up as a fuzzy cloud with one or two big fish in it...that's the one I am looking for. They are the easiest ones for the trout to focus on and slower to react than the older minnows from years past. The trout can become directional for trollers in the clouds of baitfish. Always make circles and go all directions and see what minnows you are working
The trout won’t generally go to 40ft or below due to low dissolved oxygen in this lake during summer, regardless of the water temps being cooler, at least they won't stay long at that level before coming back up again. Tui Chubs do take trollers and this year trollers are catching their fair share of them. Personally, we seem to have way to many so I really don't care what you do with the ones you catch. We will not be able to put a dent in the population even if we gill every one we catch. Birds gotta eat & I would rather feed them chubs than trout. The trout are not doing well at all when released right now so consider that if you are releasing. They are fine table fare and if they are belly up, you might as well keep em and eat em until water temps cool down a bit. I would rather feed the chubs to the birds over a trout, including a small trout.
Tui Chub live over 30yrs, while trout come and go. They fight good, but always end up straight down beside the boat. There are plenty to replace the big spawners, no doubt about that & tonnage backing them up.
WHAT ELSE TO USE: Besides the 1/4 oz Red/Gold buoyant, the orange one is working periodically for us too. Metallic #1 and #2 watermelon yellow metallic needlefish got bit #1 Red dot frog needlefish has been doing pretty good for a back up, for the last few days too and yellow dot started getting hit this week. #1 shad needlefish held it's own but has depended on the cloud cover and wind. For orange: #1 Red/prism or #1 or #2 copper/orange needlefish, Red/copper or red/gold speedy shiners are also working for some folks. Gold rapala's have caught a few too this week. As a note; I tweak the bend slightly on my needlefish and change the hook to a #10 treble…basically going back to the 30-year-old style of needlefish…too much bend and it will twist in the water. It doesn’t take much tweaking. We started running a medium double jointed Sure Catch Red Dog this week with some success here and there. Trolling flies will start picking up fish once the water starts cooling down a little. For now, it has been about hardware for me.
Perch patterns can do well, tamer than fire tiger yet still has orange brassy hues and darker greens. If you are fishing when the cloud cover rolls in, you might consider using something like a fire tiger. It has proven itself time and again under cloudy skies & green cloudy water. I would also be tempted to run something deep pink just to see what happens.
We can run some larger sizes of lures and rapala's now, but I would still keep a smaller one in the first line up.
Generally, we can get away with using flashers later in the season when the tui chub minnows are in large schools, but they are better in fall when the clarity of the water drops to around 2 to 4 ft. But in all honesty, our clarity has gone right now, give it a shot. Can’t hurt if you’re not catching. If you do like to use flashers, shorten up your leader. These fish can come up behind a flasher in fall fast…real fast. If your leader is too long, you get lots of strikes but no fish hooked. That’s because they miss your offering and hit the flasher. 14” is about all you need, no more than 22-24". If you use 3 to 4 ft of leader from flashers or dodgers, 9 out of 10 times they pass up your offering and it your flasher. LoL. You get the strikes but don’t hook the fish. Attractants can also help. Garlic seems to be a favorite, Krill, trophy trout next up. If you have sunscreen on your hands or used any type of hair product before heading out on the lake such as a gel or fragrant oil on your hands, you may need to cover up your scent on bait. I use stick sunscreens, that way I don't get it on my hands and don't have to worry about touching any bait, lure or fly. But sunscreen and hair products are a fish repellent.
TROLLING FLIES: The Jay Fair tui chub minnow and Arctic Fox tui chub and red-side trolling fly is starting to get attention and should be only getting better as time goes on. It would be my first fly in the water for trolling flies right now, but this summer has been more about metal at the depths than flies and with the greenish hue to the water, red has been my top producer for a color. Flies will be on top again once fall begins. The Brown/cinnamon leech is my go to fly for naturals and is something that generally gets attention on the West side first....sometimes the shade of brown can make a difference but so far, not enticing a lot of fish. Sometimes black/red or black/green leech patterns or dubbed wooly buggers can work well too. Don't discount smaller flies for topline trolling, especially burnt orange, brown or olive wooly buggers when the fish are busting the surface. Smaller versions are available at Eagle Lake Marina, ask at the counter as they are in the case along with Jay Fair wiggle tails (wiggle tails are slightly weighted) and various other flies. They have a very good selection of flies; just ask to see what they have. Sometimes these fish prefer a snack over a meal.
GRUBS: Generally, the same colors of grubs work as trolling flies. One of the grubs I really like is a pumpkin seed, but it’s beige with a hint of orange and smaller than most. Berkley, sometimes called a jigging grub 1 ½”. Hard to find but can be found online or Sportsman’s Warehouse, it's not the amber one you see labeled as pumkin seed by other manufacturers. Orange, watermelon, brown, root-beer, black are good to start out with before going to the crazies…but we can find some crazier colors to work when nothing else does. Pearl or white in this cloudy water could pay off. Motor oil has had its moments on this lake. Trolled slow and hooked correctly, the grubs have a nice wiggle, but on faster trolls a wiggle disc or dodger will give it some needed action. Berkley minnows are also a good choice. Black shad or water melon pearl have been the favorites but smoke and shad made its debut on the lake last year and it did pretty well when the fishing was tough and during the first minnow feasting and in the greenish water. These come scented in the package (bring a ziplock just in case you damage the packaging.) Note that the watermelon pearl is nearly a dead ringer for the chub minnows. We run those “crippled”. Hook down the center and out the side….action discs help.
STILL FISHING FROM ANCHOR: Bait fishing under slip bobbers is beginning to take hold here and there, but a lot more chubs inudating the best old bait holes. Green Powerbait has also gotten some fish. It has been a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Trolling is finding trout higher in the water column, the lazy trout have been around 30-32ft deep under bobbers. I always liked seeing trollers around me when I baitfish (as long as they don’t run over my lines), it seems to move the fish to the bait when the bite has gone off. Mostly quite a few chubs were caught the last couple of weeks. This lake isn’t fishing as good or as predictable as it normally has. We have a lot of small fish being caught too. Most have been bleeding profusely when brought up from the depths.
I always suggest running a freeline. No weight just the weight of the worm. Give it a toss, leave your bail open and make sure your line doesn't hold up in your guides, let it drift naturally for several minutes, play with it. Eventually it will sink to the bottom and you don't want to let it drop below the 02 level for the trout. But on the way down, it covers the water column in a natural way. I generally start out with a 5 to 7 minute drop, then relocate. 2-3 minute drop in water shallower than 30-35ft. This can be critical when working the ledge. I also flag certain line depths with a bobber knot so I know exactly where my line is. This helps keep from getting too deep or reeling in before you drop to the right depth. Stagger bobbers. It is not unusual to find them in shallower water 30 to 35ft deep and close to the bottom if trollers pressure them out over the deeper water.…especially early in the morning before the sun gets too high. Trollers using downriggers can also move fish right to the bait fishermen.
SHORE FISHING: Not producing much at all so far this season but the trout are beginning to move around. Once we see a few degrees drop in water temps, we may find trout chasing minnows in close periodically. It is probably best to wait until we cool down a little. If that's all you can do, watch the water, you will see tiny minnows jumping here and there. Now that the trout are chasing the minnows, shore fishing off the east side ledge may improve over the next few weeks...we really need to cool off just a tad bit before the trout will come in closer and the chubs move out a bit. The ledge is still reachable with a good cast. I suggest minnie crawlers or a half or third of a nightcrawler over the whole worm right now. Sometimes smaller is better. Powerbait has also held its own for bait. Green or beige. Water filled bobber or a slightly larger bobber with heavier weight will be needed to get the distance. We also often use longer rods, lighter line to get the distance. Just note that the 4lb line doesn't hold up to abrasion well and well, a trout teeth can damage it very easily. Use a lighter drag.
FLY FISHING: Best to wait for fall now. Once we cool down a bit, the trout will come closer to the surface for longer durations of time.
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.
Thousands of cows grazing along highway 139 thru mid January so we can safely assume some heavy nutrient loading has occurred. We believe that the heavy nutrients led to our massive blue/green algae problem last season. Rotting weeds from recently being covered in water contribute to the nitrate loading too. I doubt I will waste much time scouting the north basin early this season but we hope the fall produces some migration of trout if the tui chub minnows are prolific. The north basins were dry for a long time and it will take a little time to get the food supply back.
Plenty of folks didn't believe me about the silt and water pump problems in the low water conditions in the shallow basins. But they do now, crustaceans really eat up an impellor pretty quick. So just be watchful, this isn't the best lake to have your motor seize up or overheat. Once or twice isn't the killer, it's the repeated launching day after day that can get you. So we are doing better than the last 4 years, but we now below 5096.03ft elevation on the pond. I'll still be launching down south at the low water ramp this season.
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. Now in mid August it's getting greener and cloudier with visibility around 2-3ft if we're lucky.
I believe we are seeing the return of the blue/green algae this summer (look at the shoreline near the low water ramp). The water had a greener hue on 7-25 than it has been all season and is very obvious along the shoreline. Dissolved oxygen in 2016 dropped below sustainable levels for trout below 22ft deep. Could be why I have been catching most of my fish 17-23ft deep in spite of having high surface temps. In August of 2016 I took a video camera down into the water column and was totally amazed as to the water quality being so poor. At that time DFW chose not to perform more water testing and has not conducted any water tests in 2017 and don't expect to until later in Sept. We are not well represented by DFW anymore. Smaller hatchery fish at 3 to a pound were common from the cold water hatchery that our fall plant comes from, but 3 to a pound from our spring plant hatchery is a lot smaller than our historic normal of 2 to a pound. 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. Personally, I think we need to get rid of several million chubs or they will be competing for the food for the trout. 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.
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. Pine Creek finally drafted around 1200+ over 6 weeks not all were spawners but DFW had to close the gate and prevent free passage upstream for a while, until they got 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 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.
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 PLANTINIG 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 4 years. No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either. God forbid what next year will bring.
We are seeing 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. I certainly hope that anglers aren't trimming more fins when catching and releasing than DFW is by marking. If it is DFW, I would say they are mostly mutilating these fish now. 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. 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.
Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release in the summer months. Tui chub (other than the hatch of the season) have no predators and live over 32years. They stay in the lake regardless. Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else. Many have been spawning up north and concentrate off the Youth Camp before heading back down south but they are inundating the depths as of 7-20. 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, I think we will see another prolific hatch. I believe their population density is going to bite us in the ass if it hasn’t already.
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".
Content of this website is copyright protected 2003-2017 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 50 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.