Welcome to the Eagle Lake Fishing Report

Eagle Lake Fishing Information

By Val and Randy Aubrey
Upadted Every Day Possible
Except Sunday
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
Updated Every Day Possible because one day can make a difference
California Fishing Guide License #1209
Over 50 years experience fishing Eagle Lake

This report and all other articles, stories, photographs and maps are copyright protected on date published below by Val Aubrey, Publisher of Eagle Lake Fishing Information and Network and Localnews1.net LLC  If you care to repeat this information simply contact us.  Generally all it takes is to tell your readers/viewers where it came from.

We Dare to Care

Date: 2017-06-16 Time in: 7:28AM
Current Temperature: 64F; predicted to reach 85 Sunrise: June 17, 2017: 5.31AM
Low Temperature: 39-45F all week; expt to see mid 40's Sunset: June 17, 2017: 8:36PM
Predicted High Temperature: 80's to low to mid 90's all week Moon Phase: June 17: 50%;
Current Wind: WSW 0-3mph; expt to see NW 10-15mph Full Moon on: July 8th
Expecting gusts to: NW25/F; As per App NW11/Sa; E8/Su; W8/M; N8/Tu

NOAA Weather Forecast for Eagle Lake

Precipitation since 1-1-08 July 1-2016 (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
Barometer: 30.12 from 29.80
Total snowfall: 7-1-16 thru 3-30-17 74"

 Eagle Lake Fishing Regulations
California Fishing Regulations for Eagle Lake's fishing season is the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to December 31. Period.

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. 
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.

4) No trout can be kept in a live condition in a live well.  And, you can't continue to catch and release if you have retained your limit.
5) As stated above: No fishing in Pine Creek below highway 44 and Pine Creek Slough to Eagle Lake. No fishing inside the jetty rocks at Eagle Lake Marina.  Signs may not be adequate but actually don’t even have to be there. It is posted in the CDFG Sport fishing Regulations so not seeing the signs is no excuse! Fred’s Road is closed to vehicular traffic on the north side of the slough.  However, Lassen National Forest has improved the access to the mouth of Pine Creek on the Spalding side just west of the marina.  The dirt road was improved, graveled and many turn outs installed.  The road leads to a parking area where the Y used to be.  The road going upstream from the Y is closed to vehicular traffic including the road to the egg collection facility via the Slough.  Not seeing the signs is not an excuse as you can not miss them. 
6) NO CHUMMING IS ALLOWED. That means no cans of corn or shrimp being dumped overboard, or anything else that would attract the fish.  Attractants are only allowed to be put on bait. 
7) “Tree” or "umbrella" rigging. No more than three baits can be used in California off the tree. Many sold with 5 branches. It is illegal in CA to fish with 5 baits off these newer riggs.  F
8) Children under age 16 are allowed to fish with two poles.  Children must be able to do most of the job of fishing before their limit can be obtained.  This is not intended to discourage teaching your kid how to fish, but for example we all know that a toddler is not capable of reeling in a fish and doing most of the work by him or herself, the toddlers limit cannot be taken.  CDFG wardens know that parents have to teach their kids how to do it but the kid has to be old enough to be making some effort too.  IE learning to cast. I have seen kids as young as 4 do a very good job of following verbal instructions.  Generally only needing help holding the rod up after several minutes of fighting the fish.  Baiting up usually around 9, casting around 7 years old.  But, it all depends on how much the kids get to fish over how old they are.  Also, check the regulations for the second rod stamp.
Also, when shore fishing with the kids, be sure they are not off playing rather than paying attention to their rods.  Parents can get cited for fishing with too many rods if the kids are not within close proximity to their rods. 

DFW Wardens can be here in a heartbeat and are here quite often. 
Fines can be in the hundreds of dollars. Over possession fines can cost you thousands of dollars.  The local fishing community supports ALL the efforts of CDFG Wardens, and many of us can reach them instantly. The best thing to do is simply not violate the regulations!!
The lake is closed to fishing from January to opening day on Memorial Day Weekend.  But the lake is not closed to walks, snowshoeing, cross country skiing or snow mobiling.  Just don't have any fishing equipment with you as others may be out watching.  Poaching has been a problem in the past and CDFG isn't too far away.

Also find accident info and construction info
Check Road Cameras for HWY 36 & 44
and any other CA highway such as 70.
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.

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.  Wildcat access Open and dry (be careful).  Fishing hasn't been very good off Wildcat for fly fishing or shore fishing.  Long way for nothing.

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?
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. 
Highway 139:   This route is longer  to Susanville.  Approximately 51 miles to the south end of the lake.  Falling rocks on the grade down to Susanville from Antelope are common.  Deer have been moving so watch out

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. 
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. This is a prime time as the deer and antelope move back up for spring/summer.  Deer a prevelant all year long on the 395 corridor. 

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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  Ramp Conditions

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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.  Little to no waiting today.  Weekdays are much quieter than weekends.  But it's in good shape.  The courtesy dock in the water this year is the step down.  It's better having the pipes inside so they don't catch side lights or downriggers 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.  No fee launch.

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.  It's a mess. Getting a craft down to the water isn't the hard part, getting it back up hill several hundred feet is.  No maintained handicap access either.  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 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.
GALLATIN MARINA:  A long way to go before launching will be feasible.  Might see the rental boats able to float inside the jetty for a while this season, but launching any boats doesn't appear to be doable.  There is a little water now inside the jetty, just not enough yet.  As per the marina it has several grebe nests in the standing tules.  That's awesome!! It's also a first as far as I know!!!
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: HAS ENOUGH WATER FOR LAUNCHING EARLY THIS SEASON, BUT THE WEEDS ARE PRETTY NASTY ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CHANNEL so just be careful over 4th of July weekend.   Once you get out beyond the weeds past the pipes, there is enough water to take off in, some bigger deeper motors leaving prop-wash silt trails but once in 7ft of water it was okay.  Weeds extend about 100ft beyond the last pipes marking the channel.  The channel was about 3.2 to 3.4 ft deep.  Top of the weeds reached 0.8 to 18" below the surface so big boats should trim up motors a bit or expect to remove some weeds from your prop and water pump intakes.  For docks, the depth of water over 100 YARDS (300ft) from shore was around 3ft to 3.5ft deep and the bottom was still covered with weeds.   See Photos in Ramp album and 2017 All Eagle Lake, All the Time album. Once past the weeds, the water was clearer and the further south one went it was in pretty good shape. 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.

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.
NORTH RAMP AT SPALDING: Kayaks can get in and leave the main ramp for those with boats. My best advise for kayakers is launching down south since water temps are unfavorable for trout.  See Photos in Ramp albumn

STONES LANDING: Don't bother unless you just want to paddle a kayak for fun.  Don't bother fishing...no fish. No courtesy dock.

ROCKY PT:  The gravel ramp is probably doable for a few weeks for only small boats or car toppers. It will depend on trailer wheel height. Quickly rising water temps are already driving the fish to the south end depths
Note that if you take the CA BOATING COURSE, power loading your boat at ramps is not recommended AT ANY RAMP, ANYWHERE.    
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.  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.  
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.
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 Lake Conditions
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South Basin 6-19-17:  Surface temps started out around 63F and rising to 65F by noon.  Warmer ambient temps got us on the rise again and it looks like we're going to keep going up.  Afternoon winds helping keep the temps from spiking though.  Although, it will take a spike in surface and water temps to get the trout schooling up, but we are on our way now.  So it's good and bad at the same time.  LoL.  The big spring south of Miners out in the middle of the south basin was holding pretty solidly at 56F on top. Surface algae increased a bit today and was scattered in several locations.  We were still able to find cleaner water but it will depend on which way the winds blows as to where it moves to.   East side has some patches here and there but all in all good water.  West side was spotty patches but wasn't too bad at all either.  Not bad for trolling, just check lines periodically when you go through some.  
We have still seen the massive hatches and a golden haze on the water here and there that from a distance looks like the algae, but it has been flies.  One has to get in it to see that it isn't heavy algae.
I think we will be dealing with some surface algae for a while now that we are warming up and days are longer.   A breeze can shift it and create drifts....the drifts at least concentrate it and leave cleaner water all around it. So far, we can deal with it.  It isn't like we have fish everywhere so any place is as good as any other.

Clarity has been very good but starting to reduce a wee bit.  Down to 8-10ft from 12 ft looking down.   One day it's clear to 8ft and the next clear to 11.  Just depends on how stirred up the old gal gets on and after a windy day.  
Spalding:  6-19-17  Water temps 70F by afternoon.  We do have tui chub spawning above the Youth Camp so that will bring in a food supply for fall.  Hold on.  Depth between Spalding ramp and Rocky Pt registered 4.3 to 5.2ft deep.  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.  The Youth Camp/Biology Station was 64F this morning and rose to 69F, South side of Pelican started out around 63 but rose to 70F by noon.  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.  So be careful out there.
Yearly, during the fishing season we will lose over 2ft of water by late Oct.  Already loosing water to evaporation.
TROUT UNLIMITED MEADOW RESTORATION UPDATE.  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. 
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.
2-12-17 5093.4ft
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.
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
8-30-15:  5090.97ft 
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". 
9-5-14 5092.15
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. 
4-28-13 5095.44ft
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

© by Valerie Aubrey

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 EAGLE LAKE FISHING HAS PROUDLY PARTICIPATED IN THIS STUDY AND WILL THRU THE END OF THE STUDY!!  We are hoping to see some reseeded and migrating tules being somewhat close to or in the water this year.  One problem we see at this time is that the grebes need two year old tule plants to support the nest as well as having 2 ft of water below the next in August.  Going to be a very long shot but we may see that next season.  We will be out checking this summer! 
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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6-16-17: Since the storms passed we have seen mostly sunny skies, warmer high temps and warmer low temps.  Low temps have been mostly between 39F and 45F, high temps in the mid 70's.  Now it looks like it's going to get warmer the next few days.  Summer is finally here.  High temps this weekend shooting for the mid to high 80's and next week pushing into the 90's.  So that's going to cause some changes to the pond water.  Hopefully, bring some fish together and improve the catching but only time will tell.  Fishing has been pretty darn slow for the majority of the people fishing.

Winds picked up around 10am yesterday and the pond went from flat to fluffy real quick.  Mostly from the west and southwest.  Gusts reached 21mph but mostly stayed around 12 to 15mph.  We are predicted to see a northwesterly flow through Saturday.  Gusts Friday predicted to be pushing 25mph; Saturday 5 to 10mph.  No big gusts predicted on NOAA at this time.  Sunday changes to the east.  So we will have made the entire compass in 4 days.  LoL.  Here is NOAA's latest post.  Be sure to keep a check on it as it changes often.  The link I use is based at Grasshopper which monitors the fire weather stations located out in the mountains.  It has been more accurate for our location than clicking for weather out in the middle of the lake on the map....that goes mostly to Susanville weather.  We are generally 10F cooler than the Honey Lake Valley and our winds can be higher or lower depending on the direction over the local mountains.  We are also 800-1000ft higher in elevations which makes a big difference.  

Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. West wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 48. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 84. North wind around 5 mph.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 50. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 89. East wind around 5 mph.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 91.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
Sunny, with a high near 92.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 52.
Sunny, with a high near 91.
Wednesday Night
Clear, with a low around 49.

Sunny, with a high near 86. 

Cows are back so watch out on the roads 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. 

We had literally thousands of cows grazing the dry north basin along highway 139 for months and all through half of winter and they will be back.  I hate to tell you this but as long as we have cow crap covered with water in spring and the rotting vegetation, we will have algae problems in summer and they have started early this season.  We still have patches of algae and it has mostly been on the surface but the water column is coming.  The upcomming heat for summer will most likely bring it on.

2016 was the worst year in decades for blue/green algae clouding up the water and decreasing the dissolved oxygen in the lake. It is already forming along the lake shore, but so far the water is pretty clear although we are beginning to see the green hue and visibility is now between 8 and 10ft looking down.  Eagle Lake is basically drowning in cow crap in the north basins.
We have massive schools of Tui chubs heading north 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. The tui chub show up on your scope differently than the trout do and generally stack up and are in lower dissolved oxygen levels than trout can inhabit.  
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.  But, there are a lot of disappointed anglers out there.  Lets hope to see the heat bring the trout down to their summer haunts and school up.  Only time will tell but if we don't see a change pretty soon, we just might have a serious problem in the numbers of trout in the lake.  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, even this early, but at least right now, it's fairly clear...clearer than I have seen in the last few years this early in the season but the bottom visual has a green hue of algae so we'll see what happens when it warms up.  I don't like to see the green tinge so soon but it still has some clarity to it so I think we are good to go for a little while. 
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 have a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley 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.  CIFFI PELT (Project Eagle Lake Trout) has done little for the lake or the trout.  I suggest asking them what they have done for the lake and trout at their July 4 fundraiser for Eagle Lake trout.
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.  

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.
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.  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.

At higher water levels, the catch and keep recommendation had been posted for years during summer which was highly supported.  Not posting it in critical times such as blue green algae blooms (since that may become our new normal) I have always believed that we lose fish during certain conditions.  Was DFW wrong then, or wrong now? I have had a lot of other people comment similarly about that.  General concensus:  DFW lost support for many things.  As long as we are paying high prices for licenses, we are going to catch and release.  I have gone barbless or micro barb hooks and NEVER remove a fish from the water to release it and avoid playing it out and never take a picture of a fish out of the water that I release.  We are seeing some dead fish on the bottom in the clearer shallower water.  Not sure if these are released fish or just dead fish for no other reason.  But we have seen fly fishermen in the area.  As a note, I never take a fish out of the water if I am planning to release it.  They just don't do well.  But, DFW doesn't care what you do.

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
(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.
USGS Troxel Topo Map 
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


Copyright Protected and Registered by Valerie Aubrey. 
Permission to copy and re-publish must be given by the Author.

Val @ 530 249-1430 or valateaglelake@yahoo.com

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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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TROLLING:   South basin.  Fishing has still had its up and down days.  Some limits but mostly just catching a few here and there for the average angler.  Water temps rising, fish are on the move from the north.  South basin was holding around 63F on the surface this morning and rose to 65F by 11am.  But expect to see 65F+ in the morning by later this week unless we cool down some.  We have been running J Fair toplines and our leadcores set at 1 ¾ colors off the reel.  I will keep one line on top with a fly at that level, but I will be going deeper this week.  Leadcores at 4 to 6 colors with orange Baby Simon and Red/prism #2 needlefish, orange trolling fly will be the first in the water.  I will switch out one rod with other lures and leave the Simon and needlefish in the water.  For the topline I will run Jay Fair’s electric series “buggy olive”, orange, and his traditional hot orange, but we also had several on burn orange traditional leech trolling flies so that will be in the water the longest.  As we heat up this week, we should begin to see more fish heading for the depths.  The trout won’t generally go to 40ft or below so don’t target the chubs down there or that’s what you will catch. 
While the surface temps of the water remain below 65F I suggest keeping at least one topline above 10ft while chasing the deeper fish later in the morning.  We are expecting to see our ambient temps warm up to the 90’s next week so a change is coming.  We really need to get these fish moving and schooling up before the fishing has a chance to pick up and hold steady.  Orange has remained the best color for us.
18 to 24ft has been my lucky number for trolling while surface temps are below 70F but it can come gradually, one day I will be doing well above 10ft, the next day 12 to 15ft and a day or two later 18-24 and even to 28ft (4 to 6 colors 18lb leadcore in the water at 2-2.5mph).  But I still keep a topline in the water nearly all season long.
As of 6-19 I still had a few trout off the south side of Pelican Pt but it had a lot more algae today and surface temps hit 69-70F by 11am.  We did have some springs cooler but the fish pretty much blew out today.  I suspect I might find them holding out just north of Miners Pt before they head around it to the depths. Trout remain scattered and in small groups but they should be schooling up in their summer haunts before too long.  If you catch one, work the pod before moving on.  Chances are there is at least one more there and it may be a while before you find the next pod to work. 
For the east side, it’s been pretty tough.  I plan on running more of it on 6-20.  The most fish I have seen have been off Aspen ramp to Camp Ron McD towards The Springs.  Gold lures with red dots have landed a few this week as have orange Baby Simons in that location.  We have had a few fish off Miners Pt this week but it too had more algae this morning. 

I would also keep the red-prism #2 needlefish (it’s actually more florescent orange than red).  It has caught me more fish on this lake than any other lure in all my years of fishing this lake.  Orange/nickel is also a good lure and the Baby Simons are starting to get attention again.  For trolling flies its hot orange or cinnamon leech.  They have been working when the bite has been tough.  We are already seeing some daphnia foul the swivels, not bad yet, but there nonetheless.  The shrimp are also providing a food source.  The baby shrimp look like jelled applesauce with a little pepper sprinkled in it in the fish’s stomach.  A few fish have been caught on the west side with the baby shrimp in their stomachs this week, so it’s coming on pretty strong now.  The east side will see the same thing happening so let’s hope it helps bring some fish in soon.  We still have a little time before we start seeing any tui chub minnows show up or hitting the food court, although we are starting to see a few small clouds holding close to the bottom but minnow imitations haven’t quite kicked in yet.

The shore fishing has nearly been nonexistent all week.  Weeds are hampering shore fishing in some locations along the flats such as at Christie and the shoreline up towards Wildcat.  The east side shore fishing hasn’t provided action yet.  But the deeper ledge is still accessible with a good cast and if the fish move in for summer one can do pretty well from shore there when and if we start seeing some trout move in.
Regardless of having a few decent days, we worked for every strike and fish we got.  No doubt about that.  If you can get a couple fish to the boat, consider that a good day right now. 
It is not unusual for these fish to be scattered but we should see them begin to move into their summer haunts in a couple weeks.  The water was still very clear this morning with average visibility to 10 ft pretty well.
The challenge to fishing this lake is that our trout are migratory by nature and move from place to place, sometimes overnight.  It is very typical for them to be scattered early in the season, generally only hovering together once the surface temps reach 70F+ and when the tui chub minnows hit the food court later in summer.  We will see surface temps rise now.  So it’s coming, it just can’t come soon enough!!
Not a lot of surface activity on the hatches but some here and there.  The fish have been feasting on suspended zooplankton & shrimp at deeper depths.  
Winds can still bring the trout up or keep them in the upper 10ft of the water column as the oxygen is increased.  But generally, once they go deep, that’s where the majority of them stay for food and comfort and that is where they are normally most active when it gets hot.

If you see fish on your scope below 40 ft, chances are good that they are NOT trout but tui chub.  This species does take lures trolling and they school in thick concentrations, generally this time of year they hover near the bottom in 40 to 50ft of water and we have a northern school moving north of the Youth Camp to spawn. We also have red-sided shiners (look like a sucker) and Tahoe suckers that also spawn in the lake.  The suckers numbers are much smaller than the tui chub.  The tui chub can live over 30yrs.  Without predators, this species is prolific and has increased substantially the last few years during the drought.  Once the fresh hatch of minnows hit the food court later in summer, the trout only target the fresh ones and rarely the “nursery” which is last year’s minnows along with subsequent years that are protected by sub adults.  The pelicans and grebes do target the nursery chubs, but not the trout.   Water temps are still favorable to have trout mostly in the upper 10-12 ft of the water column early in the morning but I have a feeling that’s going to change by early next week.
Note that there are few buoys on Miners.
Out of Spalding.: Surface temps shot up to 69-70F today.  Youth Camp starting out around 63F-64F.  There hasn't been much action going on at the Youth Camp or tip of Pelican Pt but there has been action along the south side of Pelican Pt but I believe it won’t be long before the fish move out over deeper water towards Miners Pt.  It also had quite a bit of algae and weeds on 6-19. 
There is plenty of aquatics, flies (various chironomids), black caddis, spinner mayflies (later in AM), snails and even the damsels and dragon flies have been showing up, mostly later in the morning/afternoon.  The water was full of life but very few fish working the surface hatches.  The flies are probably the most plentiful….on that note, don’t breathe through your mouth at certain times in the morning.  Several species were hatching at the same time.  Midges under indicators for fly fishing or casting under bobbers….leave about 3-4ft between the midge and bobber

We do have new tules quite a way out from the old tule line…basically at last years low water line is the new tule line.  Once they rise above the surface we will see a more defined tule line and hopefully by fall, we will still have a little water in them.  I believe we have some areas that will provide for some minor grebe nesting. The tui chub should do well spawning this summer so fall might be productive, pending launching feasibility.  Even though some of the new tules are spindly, there are thick patches and should have a couple of feet of water under a nest in August when they hatch.  At least, it’s going to be a little different tule line once we do get water back (and we will get that water and we are making a lot of progress on getting the Super Ditch filled in and water back to the creek channel starting this summer).  So the future is promising and I won’t let this project fail to bring back the north basins habitat.  I have always said, start fixing the problem and Mother Nature will respond.  If we can get some tui chub spawning up off Troxel Pt this summer, we could see some trout move up there in fall, but it was a bust up north since the lake opened.
WHAT TO USE:  Well, orange is always a good color on this lake and it’s worked for me this week.  I always start out with one aggressive color and one passive color and see what happens.  When throwing the box at them, here’s a place to start.  For orange: Red/prism or nickel/orange needlefish.  As a note; I tweak the bend slightly 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.  Orange Baby Simons, Rainbow Runners, Sure Catch in Red-Dog (large single worked over the double) or Goldie Locks and I also like the German Brown Sure Catch in single medium size.  Trolling flies in olive (Jay Fair electric series) or orange and olive have worked this week.  Traditional “Rust” has also gotten attention.  Jay Fairs Hot One (it’s a little darker, sort of a cross between cinnamon and orange). 
We do have other fish in the lake that spawn, not all the minnows are tui chubs so we could have seen an influx of Redside shiners or Tahoe suckers of which could easily be location specific. That’s when a splash of red works.  We also have speckled dace which only grow up to be a minnow.  Typically seen next to your boat when anchored or in small family groups of all sizes drifting out over the depths.  So not all minnows are chubs.

Little Cleo's (1/8oz drops 5 to 6 ft deep at 2mph off mono; 1/4oz drops to about 7-8ft at 2mph (orange/gold and orange/silver have been getting some fish for us.  Red-dot gold Jake’s and small Zrays have been bit too…mostly on the east side.  We do have a good toad population so Red-Dot frog patterns would be my next lure color in the water and I consider it to be more passive.  Firetiger patterns do well in overcast conditions, heavy winds or cloudier water but it’s an aggressive color and it didn’t fare too well this week.  Perch can do well, tamer than firetiger yet still has orange brassy hues and darker greens. 
I don't use many natural minnow imitations until the tui chub minnows begin to hatch later in summer, but they have been in the top ten lures for this lake historically and we are seeing some minor hatches now…but it will be a while before they actually become the food source of choice.  We may have to throw the tackle box at them again this week with warmer days and bright sun.
I like 2.5 to 2.8mph but I have often had to ramp that up a bit to 3.2 to 3.4.  The last few days my best speed was 2.2 to 2.5mph. Vary your speed, you will find a sweet spot. Normally, this lake is a pretty fast troll for anything but nightcrawlers.  If you use a dodger, shorten up your leader up here.  Wiggle discs ahead of grubs or trolling flies work well, but the higher they are on the line, the further they travel laterally.  Not a big issue unless you have 4 rods in the water at different depths.   Don't be afraid to use something different, Berkley minnows in different colors....they have a good movement and are scented.  We are going to need all the help we can get this year.
Trolling threaded nightcrawlers is also an Eagle Lake standard.  When all else fails, troll the live bait.  Generally, we can get away with using flashers later in the season when the chubs hatch or in fall when the clarity of the water drops to around 2 to 4 ft.  If you do like to use flashers, shorten up your leader but for the most part, they don’t work well until later in the season.  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.  3 to 4 ft of leader & 9 out of 10 times they pass it up before hitting the flasher.  LoL. You get the strikes but don’t hook the fish.  Attractants can also help.  I generally use attractants in cloudier water, but they have proven themselves up here any time of the year.  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.  This can be a critical tactic in clear water.  My back up plan for that is keeping some vinyl glove on the boat and keep my scent off them to begin with. 
TROLLING FLIES:   The Brown/cinnamon leech is my go to fly for naturals...sometimes the shade of brown can make a difference. Olive leeches can do well off Pikes Pt and off Wildcat Pt and have caught some nice fish this week (Jay Fairs Electric series olive and orange has been catching a few fish this week) . Sometimes black/red leech patterns or dubbed wooly buggers. Florescent orange and burnt orange have been the best for us the last several days.  Don't discount smaller flies for trolling, especially burnt orange, brown or olive wooly buggers.  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…especially if they are full from feeding all night or after breakfast.  Sometimes we need to throw every trick in the book at them.....and this year is already shaping up to be just that.
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.  Hard to find but can be found online or Sportsman’s Warehouse.  Orange, watermelon, brown, rootbeer, 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.  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 made its debut on the lake last year and it did pretty well when the fishing was tough and other basic colors.  It won’t be long for the minnows now.  We are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule so it could turn on earlier this year.
STILL FISHING FROM ANCHOR:  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, eventually it will sink to the bottom.  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.  It is more feasible in water deeper than 35ft than it is in water shallower.  2-3 minute drop in water shallower than 30-35ft.   Stagger bobbers, the fish haven't settled in on a particular depth yet…but it will come.  Fish I have scoped below 7-8ft have been holding at 17 to 22ft deep and as deep as 24…I expect to see them as deep as 26 to 28ft as the water temps rise.  The east side fish generally can be active deeper than those on the west side early in the season. Find the ledges and look for the pods.  I saw quite a bit of empty water before finding the pods on the east side, so we're going to have to look for the pods....or hope they swim by eventually.  On the west side from Wildcat Pt Slough Pt we can find them in shallower water but closer to the bottom.
SHORE FISHING:  Not producing much at all so far this season.  Anywhere there is rocks, you probably won't get too many weeds on your line or hang up on reeling in. Weeds along shore off Pikes Pt, Christie and any flat shoreline have hampered shore fishing and fly fishing for those wading. The shore fishing hasn’t done real well this season, we hope that it picks up this fall and we can often see the trout push the fresh hatches of minnows in close to shore in spite of warm water temps.  Your best water and deeper water to access now as temps rise is between The Springs and Eagles Nest, although we haven’t seen many trout there yet, it is the deepest water one can access from shore but south and west winds are pretty much in your face there.

FLY FISHING:  Some fish are being caught midging under indicators.  Mostly off Lake of the Woods and the south side of Pelican Pt.  Count your blessings if you find more than 5 in 5 to 6 hours.  Normal years we could easily have 20+ released fish.  Note that I don’t take any fish out of the water and release it.  We are starting to see some fresh dead fish scattered on the bottom in areas where fly fishermen have been.  Not a lot, but a few, so we suggest being very careful when handling these fish.   Lots of small flies hatching early.  Mosquitos,
Midges of various Chironies are hatching during the morning (#16 to #18).  Black caddis, spinner & minnow mayflies later and some blue darners (damsels) later in the morning.  If wading, along a weedy shoreline, you may have to use an indicator to keep your fly from dropping into the weeds and fouling with the algae clinging to the weeds.  If you walk out to 3 ft of water or more, you probably will be outside most of the nasty, weedy stuff and into the rocks and areas that have had water over the last few years but it’s been tough keeping a clean line when wading.   The fly fishing hasn't been very good either, mostly having to access areas by boat and working out from there before finding a fish.
We have seen quite a few trout that look like footballs.  Some folks call them “morphed”.  I have filleted hundreds of these fish and they all have compression fractures in their backs, probably caused from being stuck in the truck chute when being planted.  The compression fractures are very easy to see when filleting but not if keeping the fish whole.  There is no genetic transformation, it is a physical injury that causes this.  But man, do they have some thick meat on the shoulders!

From the east side, the ledge that drops from 12 to 40+ft deep is further out than it was over the last few years.  So it will take a good cast to get over that deeper water from shore this year but it’s reachable.  
The Eagle Lake Marina store has a very good selection of flies behind the counter, just ask.  Jay Fair Wiggle Tails are there too (wiggle tails are weighted, good for drifting in tube or kayaks when there is a breeze).
Good Luck out there, we’re gonna need all the luck and as many bags full of tricks we can get!!
All lake elevations are also posted on Lake Conditions page going back to 2012 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 as the water is gradually coming up covering all the cow patties.  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 after seeing water temps rising an only starting to see a few fish off Spalding once reaching 7 to 8 ft of water.  As water temps rise, the fish will move towards the Youth Camp which was already beginning to happen on 5-10-17.  It was pretty clear of surface weeds closer to the Youth Camp but there were still a few scattered about. Anything can happen but a week of warmer weather will cause water temps to rise in the shallows really quick.  We are already seeing patches of algae on the surface out of Spalding along the airstrip towards Rocky Pt but there were still some clearer channels further out.  We could see it increase if the next few days are warm and water temps rise higher.  It’s a catch 22. 
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.  So just be watchful, this isn't the best lake to have your motor seize up or overheat on early in the season when winds and cool weather are still prevalent.  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 still below 5097ft 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. I requested the creel data from DFW but Paul Divine had not compiled last year’s data by April 2017 and I still have not received the info.  For the first time in my 55 years, the lake was green and massively cloudy all 2016 season.  Dissolved oxygen dropping below sustainable levels for trout below 22ft deep.  I took a video camera down into the water column and was totally amazed as to the water quality.  At that time DFW chose not to perform more water testing.  I expect to see similar condition’s this season in spite of getting a little water back in the lake; 99% of that water is going to bring heavy nutrients from covering up millions of cow patties left in the north basins from grazing along the lake thru mid-January as well as from Pine Creek.  I do see some blue/green algae forming along the shoreline, but so far, the water has been clearer than I have seen it in a while.  I expect to get through a few weeks of clearer water but once the green hue comes back and visibility drops, we will know what is going on and try to adapt to it.  Cautiously optimistic, but we haven't even started yet.  We'll see what happens in the coming weeks.  So far it hasn't started off very good at all.  

We saw a lot fewer trout in the tributaries this spring than in years past.  Papoose creek has 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.  I don't believe they got their entire target number of eggs.  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.  I'm sure DFW will tell you that the fish are there and just not biting, that is just an excuse.  Don't complain to the stores or marinas about the poor quality of 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. 
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 highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else.  Many have been on their way up north and concentrating off the Youth Camp and heading north.  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. When they spawn, they blanket the bottom, often 4-5ft thick. We caught some chubs 22" long in 2016.  Huge monsters for chubs so they are doing very well....maybe too well considering the biomass and fewer trout being planted.  I expect to see my scope very cluttered with tui chub in 2017 season.  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.  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.