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:||64: high temp 89F; settled at 85F||Sunrise:||May 27, 2017: 5.36AM|
|Low Temperature:||36-38F all week||Sunset:||May 27, 2017: 8:24PM|
|Predicted High Temperature:||mid 80's through the weekend||Moon Phase:||May 27: 6%|
|Current Wind:||WNW 9-12mph; biggest gust 20mph||Full Moon on:||June 9th|
|Expecting gusts to:||W25/'th; N20/F; as per App NW5/Sa; NW5/Su; SW5/M|
|Precipitation since 1-1-08||July 1-2016 (26.26" to date ) May 0.00; 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:||29.62 from 29.80|
|Total snowfall:||7-1-16 thru 3-30-17 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
****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH ****
WATCH FOR DEER MOVING BACK UP. ESPECIALLY ON 395 AND 139
Check Road Cameras for HWY 36 & 44 and any other CA highway such as 70.
USFS Road 21 Open
Wildcat access Open (be careful)
A-1 Eagle Lake Road south from 36: OPEN
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.
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 THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA PATIO DURING THE SEASON TO HELP FOLKS CATCH FISH!!
STARTING JUNE 3
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EAGLE LAKE GENERAL STORE IN SPALDING IS OPEN.
TACKLE (Sure Catch Lures), GAS, DIESEL, SOME LIQUOR.
BAR WILL BE OPEN AS WELL!
Just getting going for the season, more stuff will come in time!!
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. 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. But, 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. 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. Kayaks may get in if you carry your craft down.
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: HAS ENOUGH WATER FOR LAUNCHING EARLY THIS SEASON, BUT THE WEEDS ARE PRETTY NASTY ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CHANNEL. Weeds extend about 100ft beyond the last pipes marking the channel. The channel was about 3.2 to 3.4 ft deep, might buy a couple extra inches depending on placement. Top of the weeds reached 0.8 to 18" below the surface so big boats should trim up motors a bit or expect to removed some weeds from your prop. 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. Visibility was pretty good up to 7-8ft. At 8ft deep plus I couldn't see the bottom.
NORTH RAMP AT SPALDING: Kayaks can get in and leave the main ramp for those with boats. But a better place, closer to deeper water and where the fish are would be to launch off the gravel bar near the north end of the airstrip. It's a long paddle to the Youth Camp...even longer paddle back if the wind picks up. Takes a little over an hour to paddle there. So don't get caught in the wind. Hobies peddle drives can make it pretty quick and can top out at around 7mph. Paddling at a good clip will buy you about 3 mph. See Photos in Ramp albumn
STONES LANDING: I don't see getting a large boat (16ft or over) even close to launching. A small 10-12 ft boat might get in but will most likely have to push out beyond the weed line and wave terrace. Any of the old gravel ramps along 139 are not even close to being usable yet. I don't recommend planning on lauching there just yet. Page 2 Ramp albumn
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 towards the Youth Camp and they were in no less than 7 to 8 ft of water already on 5-10. Water temps are rising quickly, driving fish to deeper water off the Youth Camp. We are predicted to have a seasonably warm week before opening day, so I expect to see surface temps rise even higher.
BY FALL WE WILL SEE A LITTLE OVER 2 FT LESS WATER AND AS LONG AS PEOPLE DON'T POWER LOAD THEIR BOATS, THE CHANNELS AND RAMP IN SPALDING SHOULD STAY DEEP ENOUGH FOR A LITTLE WHILE. Note that if you take the CA BOATING COURSE, power loading your boat at ramps is not recommended AT ANY RAMP, ANYWHERE. SEE PHOTOS
I have no plans on attempting to launch my big boat in Spalding, simply to save myself work and maintenance on my motor and water pump. I believe that you have a choice to do what you want, considering my bad back, the last thing I want to do is have to figure out how to get a massive amount of weeds off my prop before taking off in 4ft of water out from the channel. Steering 400lbs of motor in a raised position isn't easy and hard on equimpment. The worst part would be seizing my motor in the wind and drifting into shallow muck. Second worst is sucking up all the crunchy critters and wearing out my empellor. But, I would rather not have the boat in a shop being repaired. It's about not having down time to me.
I'm already hearing from people who plan on putting docks in the water. Note that it was barely over 3 ft deep and weedy at 300ft from shore on May 10th. There are limitations on how far out a dock can go so if you plan on putting a dock in, be sure to read the regulations set by State Boating and Waterways. Getting them out in fall will be the tough part when we lose 2+ft of water. Good Luck on docking and getting out to the lake and be sure to keep an eye on your water pumps if you're stirring up a lot of mud and muck. It's ruthless on empellors and water pump tubing.
SEE LAKE ELEVATIONS SINCE 2012 ON LAKE CONDITIONS PAGE.
NO HANDICAP FISHING, BEACH OR LAUNCHING ACCESS. The courtesy dock also has issues with handicap 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 waiting 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. 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.
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.
TEXT 530-249-1430 or email
EAGLE LAKE GENERAL STORE IN SPALDING IS OPEN.
TACKLE (Sure Catch Lures), GAS, DIESEL, SOME LIQUOR.
BAR WILL BE OPEN AS WELL!
Just getting going for the season, more stuff will come in time!!
WEEKLY VIDEOS SHOWING THE LAKE ON THE RISE
South Basin 5-20-17: Surface temps started out at 55.4F out from the Marina and held steady up towards Eagles Nest until about 9:30AM when it began to rise. By noon it was holding solidly at 59F out from the marina in 45ft of water. The west side south of Shrimp Island was solidly holding at 57F around 10AM. The springs out from Lake of the Woods dropped to 53F, just about the water temp of my home faucet. The springs appear to be pumping fairly well out there. I did see some surface algae mixed with weeds in some areas. Mostly off Gallatin Beach and Pikes Pt but all in all, the lake looked pretty good. Clarity off The Springs and east side looking down into the water was solidly at 12ft, the best I have seen in years. The west side off Lake of the Woods was much cloudier with clear visibility to the bottom at around 6ft. I could barely determine bottom at 8ft and at 12ft I couldn't see bottom at all.
5-21-17: The water off Christie and the shoreline up to Long Pt north of Wildcat Pt was beautiful. Visibility to 8 to 9ft, surface temp started out at 59F; rose to 60.8 by noon. With a warm week ahead, I expect to see surface temps rise just a bit before opening weekend. Surface temps holding below 65F are more critical to shorefishermen and fly fishing right now. Once temps rose, fish moved out to water over 7 to 8 ft deep. Should be fine for trollers or those accessing the water by boats, kayaks, pontoons or tube where you can access slightly deeper water. It will extend your fishing windows, no doubt about that.
Spalding: 5-23-17 Water temps started out at 64.4F out from the ramp. By noon had reached 66.6F on the surface and rising. I did see several areas at 62.2F early in the morning so we are still holding low 60's early. However, we do have three more days of heat before the opener. Worst case scenario is still just finding 8-10 ft of water early, and 15 to 30ft later by the channel at the Youth Camp and around towards the South Side of Pelican Pt. Depth between Spalding ramp and Rocky Pt registered 4.3 to 5.2ft deep, surface temps rose quicking in the shallower water. The further south you go, the deeper it gradually gets. 7 to 8ft deep out from the old Lakeview Inn and beyond the tip of Rocky Pt as along as you are closer to Rocky Pt than the airstrip side. Was a bit weedy on the surface on 5-23 and by 11AM I was seeing a lot more surface algae between Spalding and Rocky Pt. But there were clearer channels further out. More surface weeds the further north one would go. The channel to the Youth Camp and the far north side of Pelican Pt averaged between 8 and 9ft deep (before it shallowed up on the north side of Peli. Then reaching 19ft deep just north of the channel between the Youth Camp and Pelican Pt where it was around 13-14ft deep in fall 2016. There are still some exposed rock piles north of Pelican Pt off Broccoli Tree and the ones that are submerged still have great potential to ding up a lower unit or prop of a big boat. But out in the bay, it was 7 to 9ft deep.
For those hoping to install docks in Spalding: I was over 100 yards out from shore and still in the weeds, depth was 3.2ft deep. See photos in 2017 All Eagle Lake Album. I believe there are regulations as to how far out a dock can be, at least there were dock length limitations when I had a private dock after the marina was built. So check on that. It's a long way out to having deep enough water through fall, and that's iffy.
Yearly, during the fishing season we will lose over 2ft of water by late Oct.
I don't see the needed water to make Stones Landing ramp usable for big boats, perhaps temporarily for a small boat or car topper, but expect to push out past the old wave terrace and weeds. Spalding north ramp may work for kayaks but, I advise kayakers to go south as it will be a long paddle to where the fish are from Spalding come opening day. the gravel bar near the north end of the airstrip is doable. Kind of soft at the south end of the airstrip and the fence line is well out in the water and can easily tear up an inflatable or flip a yak if you aren't watching.
The south ramp in Spalding has enough water, it is also loaded with weeds, tules and algae clinging to the tules....all through the channel and end about 100ft beyond the last pipes marking the channel. My 115 drafts 31" from my water line, so I don't plan on having to clean weeds off my prop of either my big motor or my kicker, unplug my water pump intakes or take the chance on the repairs or down time. People see I have a Jet Craft but note that it is an ocean going Deep V Jet Craft not a jet boat, it takes 4 to 5 ft waves. It drafts 14" of water at the transom and with the motor down, 31". I need over 4ft of water to hit the trottle in and at that I am kicking up a lot of silt. My kicker motor still needs over 28" so its a waste of time and money for me to consider launching in Spalding through the season. But, you all can launch and deal with it, there's enough water for most boats, just watch out for the weeds, they can blow your lower unit seals if you don't clean them off the prop/shaft and the gritty little critters on and in the weeds can eat up an empellor pretty quickly. I still plan on launching down south for many reasons.
Pine Creek still has a little flow, but the lake hasn't appeared to budge too much on elevation in the last month. Let's just hope we can hold on to what we have for a while longer before evaporation kicks in to gear.
SEE PHOTOS IN OUR GALLERY
HERE IS THE CONSERVATION PLAN TO RESTORE THE NATIVE SPAWN OF EAGLE LAKE TROUT, RESTORE PINE CREEK AND RESTORE AND MAINTAIN THE GENETICS! WORK HAS ALREADY BEGUN AND DFW HAS MADE CHANGES IN HOW THEY MANUALLY COLLECT AND FERILIZE EGGS. USFWS DETERMINATION SHOULD BE OUT BY THE END OF THE MONTH.
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
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
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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.
DFW notified us that TU and Pine Creek CRMP didn't have UNR perform the organism study on Pine Creek as per "Western US protocol" and more funding is needed to actually complete the study. UNR still has the samples but can't do it for free. Wow! Not following well established protocol seems to be what Eagle Lake gets from every supposedly educated at nearly every turn. Always "part of the problem" and not the solution.
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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EAGLE LAKE GENERAL STORE IN SPALDING IS OPEN.
TACKLE (Sure Catch Lures), GAS, DIESEL, SOME LIQUOR.
BAR WILL BE OPEN AS WELL!
Just getting going for the season, more stuff will come in time!!
5-24-17: Warming up. We hit a high temp of 85F and a low of 38F. West winds 9-12mph with gusts to 20mph today. West winds predicted again for Thursday but taking a northerly shift with gusts to 20mph for Friday. Extended forecasts indicate northerly winds for Saturday around 5mph but not too gusty (just be prepared) and NW winds for Sunday. SW for Monday. At this time, it looks like the winds won't be too heavy, but as always, the distant forecast can change. We should see high temps in the mid 80's, and it has actually remained quite warm until about midnight but has then cooled off quickly.
Here is NOAA’s prediction for the opening weekend of fishing.
Sunny, with a high near 72. Light and variable wind becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 41. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 67. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 42. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 78.
Mostly clear, with a low around 43.
Sunny, with a high near 80.
Mostly clear, with a low around 46.
Sunny, with a high near 84.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 47.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.
We had literally thousands of cows grazing the dry north basin along highway 139 for months and all through half of winter, finally driven out after the storm in early January. 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. We have already seen some algae on the surface of the lake. Winds have shifted locations but we do have plenty of clean water to fish in.
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. Eagle Lake is basically drowning in cow crap right now in the north basins.
We have massive schools of Tui chubs now as well as zooplankton so thick it fouls lines and downriggers in spring and summer. 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. With water temps in the high 50's, trout should be relatively high in the water column unless the sun drives them down...at the lowest, 21 to 24ft deep this time of year. I will most likely run a top line and have a leadcore on hand. At this point I may have to get to 10 to 12 ft deep and if I have flat water, I may have to drop that to 21 to 24.
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. DFW didn't get the number of eggs collected this year that they wanted so they have had to resort to electro-shocking in the south basin for the millions of eggs they needed. In years past, trying to collect eggs in May has mostly resulted in a waste of time and effort due to the eggs being over ripe or non viable. If the creeks such as Merrill and Papoose are still flowing on opening day and there is still a fish or two left in them (such as on May 15, there were 3 in Merrill and 3 in Papoose) these creeks open for fishing on May 27th as well as the lake. Pine Creek is closed to all fishing between highway 44 and the lake. I am not sure if Merrill and Papoose will actually still be dribbling by opening. All the flows are tapering down up here....even Pine Creek, but I expect it to dribble a while longer.
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. 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, not the fish or the lake. That 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. Even though it picked up a little by late Sept and October, it hasn't been phenomenal 30-60fish days out there. And 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. DFW needed millions of eggs this year and hoped to get them from Pine Creek. But, that didn't happen. Only a little over 1000 fish made it to the trap and less than 400 were spawn ready. DFW needed about 600-650 more hens for eggs. Millions needed to replenish losses and replacement brood stock in a hatchery. DFW had to resort to electro-shocking areas of the south basin for more fish. But the later it gets, the less viable the eggs are. We will have to see how opening weekend and a couple weeks after that go, but all I can say is good luck, we're gonna need it.
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 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 don't have in the southern tributaries and a reduction of numbers in Pine Creek compared to normal water years. We will know in the few weeks following opening weekend. 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. 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, 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
Copyright Protected and Registered by Valerie Aubrey.
Permission to copy and re-publish must be given by the Author.
Text and send photos to EAGLE LAKE FISHING INFO AND NETWORK
If you are on Facebook and want more from Eagle Lake
FISHING SEASON OPENS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MAY 27, 2017
EAGLE LAKE GENERAL STORE IN SPALDING IS OPEN.
May 23, 2017
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
We will keep "motivating" those who signed off on this plan to insure it actually gets accomplished
PRELIMINARY FISHING SUGGESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS AS I SCOUT THE LAKE BEFORE OPENING WEEKEND!! I'll be updating observations and suggestions as I get around the pond this week! Stay Tuned. Eagle Lake opener is next Saturday!!
TROLLING: Scouting South Basin May 20 and 21: See Lake Conditions page for surface temps. The last two days I have scouted quite a bit of water. With surface temps starting out in the high 50's already and reaching 60-61F by noon, the fish that are meandering the shoreline are moving out to deeper water (20 to 60ft deep) by mid morning. The fish I am scoping have been in small pods as high as 6 to 7 ft deep to 17 to 22ft deep later in the morning. The water is pretty clear but gets a little cloudier just south of Shrimp Island. We still have a week of warmer ambient temps which may push surface temps to the low 60's over the depths early in the morning. This might push the upper zone of fish down a foot or two by opening. But regardless, I will be running a topline early and will probably keep one in all day long, but I will be having my leadcore on hand just in case I need to drop a line deeper later in the morning. We are going to have to fish the lake before we know where the active levels are. But, typically, running a line in the upper 10ft of the water column will pay off. There are some areas that have spotty algae and weeds on the surface but all in all, there's a lot of nice water. Fish appear to be scattered. Small pods in several locations. I had a decent number off Gallatin Beach and Camp Ron McD out over 30ft+ of water, 7 to 10ft deep and 17 to 22ft deep with a few at 24ft deep later in the morning. On the east side, fish were in small pods and very scattered. By mid morning most pods were out off the ledge 30-55ft of water but still holding relatively high. We'll have to find the active level once the sun has been on the water for a few hours. Off the west side, fish were in the shallow rock piles early but moved out to the second ledge 15 to 30ft deep and eventually ended up off the deeper ledge but still scoping at similar depths but the zone dropped a little from 7 to 12 ft deep and 22 to 24ft deep by 10-11AM. The challenge to fishing this lake is that our trout are migratory by nature and move from place to place, sometimes overnight. Not a lot of surface activity on the hatches but some here and there. I imagine they are easting suspended zooplankton at those depths....keep at least one lure/trolling fly in florescent orange down there as these are perfect water temps for the shrimp to spawn and it suspends on the thermoclines.
I don't think we will have to go too deep to get them early. Probably stay in the upper 10ft of the water column even if they move out. But it isn't uncommon at all to find them deeper later in the morning 21-24ft....not often much deeper but well have to see where they are active. On the east side off Eagle's Nest 28 to 30ft deep late in the morning can find some nice fish...especially drowning a crawler from a bobber. I generally stagger lines on the east side this time of year as Ususally fish at depths below 40ft are tui chub and they stack up on your scope and can blacken your screen. They school differently than the trout and can live in much lower levels of dissolved oxygen. If you see a blackened screenful of fish between 7 and 47+ft in the south basin, chances are good it's not trout. Been there, done that. We have a lot more tui chubs now than we have seen historically. Trout come and go, ours live about 12 years, tui chub live over 30 years have have no predators as adults. They will begin spawning in a few weeks. We should see more spawning north of Pelican Pt later this summer so fall might be pretty good fishing up this way. Up of Miners Pt, Pelican Pt, Slough Pt and Biology Station I generally bump brown or cinnamon leeches off the bottom in 12 to 15+ft of water before I move out over deeper water and suspended.
Scouting North Basin between Spalding and Youth Camp: Fish have been moving towards the Youth Camp for a couple weeks. I started seeing them visually once I hit 8ft of water and more. Once I was over 20ft+ off YC I started seeing more fish on my scope. Most all were scoping at 7 to 10ft deep. Once surface temps hit 65F in the shallows, these fish high tail it towards the Youth Camp where they have more choice of depths and cooler temps, as well as cover from osprey and eagles. The south side of Pelican generally holds fish for a few weeks too. Remember, it's still shallow in spots so be very careful. I often find the trout on the bottom in 10 to 14ft of water over the rocky ledges once they move out from the shallows on the south side of Pelican. They really like brown leeches off Pelican, but I would start off with florescent or burnt orange along with brown leech pattern trolling flies before changing out to anything else. Trolling naked nightcrawlers has also been a good bait to troll, especially when nothing else seems to work.
Out of Spalding on 5-23: I launched my kayak early in the morning off Spalding. Surface temp off the ramp held pretty solid at 64.4F, once I was down by the airstrip I had 62.2F. This time I hung real shallow checking out the weed beds and tules. There are a lot of tules that haven’t risen out of the water yet. They are mostly underwater in 3 to 4.5ft and about a foot from the surface. As with everywhere, there was algae on the underwater tules too. On my tour, I was in 2.5 to 4ft of water. I did see trout in fair numbers in the shallow tules early in the morning, but they scattered and went out to 7 to 9ft of water later in the morning on my way back. Some wore battle scars from being in Pine Creek, others were in much better shape. Surface temps were holding around 66.6F by noon and I only saw 2 in shallow that late in the morning.
Most of the trout I visually saw were holding in the tules just under the surface, not so much in the other weeds, but the new tules. I started seeing fish just off the intersection stop sign of Spalding Road (Lakeview down there) and The Strand. The point and gravel bar off the Lakeview Inn had several pods moving around the underwater tules and gravel bar. The pelicans were standing on rocks well out on the point. I stopped seeing visuals by the time I was out from the last house on The Strand at the south end of the airstrip.
I toured all the way to the corner on the north side of Pelican Pt. That used to be a nice sandy cove where the fish would go to rest. It now has a lot more tules but there is still a slight cove with the rocky points still jutting out…still a rock pile or two exposed as well. By the time I got there, it was warming up. So I went out off the north side of Broccoli Tree and came back over deeper water. The fish were more scattered by then whereas early they were in groups of 15 to 20 and I visually saw about 60. Water was still quite clear. I can sneak up within a few feet of them without spooking them in my kayak so in a boat, you could move them and have to wait quietly for a few minutes before they come back towards you. A big motor will kick up a silt trail so I don’t really advise trolling in less than 4 1/2ft of water. I could get my little motor in as long as I wasn’t over the weeds. But, once there are silt trails from boat motors or wind caused, the fish will go investigate to see what might be stirred up, I used to run the outer edges of the silt lines and pound em late in the morning.
These fish, if the water temps hold in the low 60’s, will be tough to fish for. Lures, bait and even flies will sink so if you do try to target them, use floating lures, inflate or float nightcrawlers with powerbait or fly fishermen use only floating line and may need an indicator to keep from fouling on the algae that is on the tules, rocks and weeds. I did see several rise to flies on the surface, but the others were suspended and cruising through the tules and it looked like they were being opportunistic. There was a lot of little critters swimming in the water today, so a food supply doesn’t appear to be any problem.
As a note, I had a pretty clean surface going out and staying shallow, but when I came back in late morning there was quite a bit of algae on the surface, too much for trolling, but once you get a little further south it was cleaner. A wind can clear that off or at least clear channels. The south basin had some areas of surface algae, but not to the degree I saw today up north. The water is still pretty clear, algae and all & I could still see 8 ft down pretty well. See today’s photos in the Gallery. We have three more warm days ahead before opener. The water temps could easily rise enough to push the trout out of the weeds and into 8 to 10ft of water with the others early Saturday morning.
It would be tough float tubing the tules, mostly because of the other weeds hanging up on fins (heck, they hung up on my transducer about 7” below the surface as well as my paddle in some areas) and it’s hundreds of yards before you could clear flippers, this area is also soft bottom…sink up to your knees in some areas. But a kayak or pontoon could be done pretty easily, even easier than a motor boat. If you drive down past the airstrip and launch a kayak or pontoon off the old fence, be very careful, it is soft there and the fence line runs well out into the water and can damage any inflatable, or even flip a kayak if you weren’t watching out for it. I don’t know if the fish will still be there opening weekend but there was a pretty fair number in there Tuesday, it’s all going to depend on the water temps. Watch for the osprey diving…that will be the best indicator if there are still fish along the airstrip.
There is plenty of aquatics, flies, snails and even the damsels and dragon flies were mating and dropping eggs in the water today. The water was full of life. The flies are probably the most plentiful….on that note, don’t breathe through your mouth, several species were hatching at the same time today and they were crawling all over me. Thankfully, they aren’t the biters like early morning or evening mosquitos. I had more mosquitos down south in the morning than up north.
We do have new tules quite a way out from the old tule line, once they rise above the surface (in a few weeks) we will see a new 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 feasiblity. 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.
WHAT TO USE: Well, orange is always a good color to start with. I always start out with one aggressive color and one passive color and see what happens. The water being very clear in the upper 10ft could make a difference. For orange: Red/prism needlefish, Florescent orange Sure Catch in Red-Dog or Goldie Locks (available at Eagle Lake Marina and Eagle Lake General Store), trolling flies florescent orange or Jay Fairs Hot One (it’s a little darker). We won't know what size of lures they will like until we fish for em but generally a large Red-Dog (medium double jointed or Large single) is a good place to start and #2 Needlefish. I like the single Goldie Locks in medium size, Little Cleo's (1/8oz drops 5 to 6 ft deep at 2mph; 1/4oz drops to about 8ft at 2mph (orange/gold and orange/silver have been catching me fish on other lakes with similar temps and depths of fish). 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 or cloudier water but its an aggressive color. The water is pretty clear right now but I would still keep a firetiger in the line up. Baby Simon lures have done well up here too. Mostly combinations of orange or pinks have caught us the most fish, but other colors have worked under different conditions. I don't use many natural minnow imitations until the tui chub minnows begin to hatch later in summer, but florescent orange and german brown rapala's got attention early in the season last year, firetiger and german brown double jointed had their moments. We may have to throw the tackle box at them again this year. Never seen so many days of "one hit wonders" than we did last year. Nickel and pearl bikini needle fish should also be in line. Usually smaller #1's to start but sometimes bigger #2 or even #3's in this selection can trigger the fish. I generally start out smaller than larger and work my way up. Z-Rays: Red-dot gold has been a good lure, I generally troll these at 2.8 mph....keep the rod tip dancing. Little Cleos, Pheobies, Z-Rays, SureCatch and rapala's all keep your rod tip dancing at the right speed. No dancing at any speed indicates a fouled hook. We generally speed up over slowing down our troll. I like 2.5 to 2.8mph but I have often had to ramp that up a bit to 3.2 to 3.4. So 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.
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. 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. 3 to 4 ft of leader & 9 out of 10 times they pass it up before hitting the flasher. LoL. Attractants can also help. I generally use attractants in cloudier water, but they have proven themselves up here. 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.
TROLLING FLIES: I will be starting out using florescent orange or burnt orange on one line and a brown or cinnamon leech on the other before I start changing out. One passive, one aggressive color. One thing is that along the west side rock piles, the brown leeches have caught me more fish in clear water than any other fly in my box. Olive leeches can do well off Pikes Pt and off Wildcat Pt sometimes as do black/red leech patterns or dubbed wooly buggers. So that will be in the line up. If we see cloudy water or skies (who knows?) I would keep a Jay Fair All Around Best on hand too. 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.
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. Hard to find but can be found online. 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 on a faster troll.
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. I generally start out with a 5 to 7 minute drop, then relocate. Stagger bobbers. Fish I have scopped below 7-8ft have been holding at 17 to 22 ft deep and as deep as 24. That doesn't mean that they are real active at that depth, but we won't know until we fish it!! 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 Ot Slough Pt we can find them in shallower water but closer to the bottom. Often on the second ledge that drops from 15 to 35ft deep before the next ledge that drops to 50ft+....at that point they are usually suspended again. Opening day is always a pot shot, we just look for what we see, and fish it till we find out!! LoL
SHORE FISHING: Anywhere there is rocks, you probably won't get too many weeds on your line or hang up on reeling in. But in some areas, one will have to have a good cast to get out of them. However, on a good note, I am moving some fish out of the weeds in my kayak early in the morning. They are moving throughout the weeds before moving out to deeper water. For bobber fishermen, you may have to set a shorter leader or slightly inflate a nightcrawler or use a little powerbait to keep your offering towards the top third of the weeds. Shore fishing may be spotty and will depend a lot on water temps next week. As of 5-21, I visually saw fish in 2 to 5 ft of water cruising in tight and shallow through the weeds, but they moved out a little further later in the morning. It will depend on how much pressure they get too. Trollers out from the shorefishermen can easily move the fish back in close at odd times of the day as long as water temps stay below 65F.
FLY FISHING: Lots of small flies hatching early. Misquitos, Midges and various Chronies (#16 to #18) early and spinner & minnow mayflies later. If wading, along a weedy shoreline, you may have to use an indicator to keep your fly from dropping into the weeds and fouling. If you walk out to 3 ft of water or more, you probably will be outside the weedy stuff and into the rocks and areas that have had water over the last few years. The historic moss beds are doing well out in 6ft of water or more along the west shoreline. 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 this year. We do have fish moving in tight and shallow right now, but how long they keep doing that will depend on keeping the surface temps from rising over 65F. The fish have been moving out over deeper water, but I'm still seeing a lot holding 7 to 10ft deep even after mid morning. Some have dropped 17 to 22ft deep later. But we do have to fish before we know how active the deeper fish are. I suspect we will have a decent window of catchability, but once it warms up after mid morning, we may have to have a boat, tube or kayak to reach em. I will probably start out with a florescent orange a brown leech on (smaller 8 and 10 size), especially by mid morning. But the burnt oranges, bloody black/red, and olive leech patterns will be in the line up. (Available at the Marina Store, generally behind the counter and available in a pack of colors, as for Val's pack) 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).
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 opening weekend clearer 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. We have seen a lot fewer trout in the tributaries. 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. Pine Creek finally drafted a little over 1000, 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. 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. Generally eggs collected that late in the season aren't as viable as earlier eggs. Time will tell. 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. 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.
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. 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.