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:||51F exp 58F||Sunrise:||Oct 9: 7:08AM|
|Low Temperature:||21-27F expt a slight drop this week||Sunset:||Oct 9: 6:31PM|
|Predicted High Temperature:||60's till Thurs then 50's||Moon Phase:||Oct 9 ; 85% Waning|
|Current Wind:||NW 9-12mph; exp NE gusts to 20mph||Full Moon on:||Nov 4th|
|Expecting gusts to:||NE20/Su; E25/M; SW12/Tu; SW9/W; E7/Th|
|Precipitation since 1-1-08||Since July 1, 2017: Oct 0.00; Sept 01.97; August .58"; July 0.0" July 1-2016 to July 2017; 27.11" season total|
|Total snowfall:||2017/2018; 0"; 2016/2017; 74"|
Eagle Lake Fishing Regulations
ALL TRIBUTARIES TO THE LAKE OPEN FOR FISHING ON THE SATURDAY OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. NO FISHING IS ALLOWED IN PINE CREEK BELOW HIGHWAY 44 TO THE MOUTH OF PINE CREEK ON EAGLE LAKE. NO FISHING INSIDE THE BREAKWATER JETTY AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA. NO FISHING IN PINE CREEK SLOUGH BETWEEN THE EGG COLLECTION FACILITY AND THE LAKE.
SECOND ROD STAMP USE: It is legal for a child under the age of 16 to fish with two rods however, the child has to be there manning his rods not out playing leaving the rods in mom and dad’s care or observation….mom and dad will get cited for fishing with too many rods and could lose their fishing licenses while the kid is off playing. Children and adults with a two rod stamp can fish with two rods until they keep their limit. The second rod must be removed from the water immediately once a limit is retained (I have learned how and attempt it as best I can to reel in that second rod while fighting my last fish on the first…Also, if by chance you do catch a fish on that second rod after or while you are reeling in the last fish of your limit on the first rod & release the fish in a condition that it is not alive or will not survive it could be counted toward your limit and you could be cited for having an over-limit of fish.
CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING: IT IS NOT LEGAL TO RETAIN YOUR DAILY LIMIT AND THEN CONTINUE TO FISH AND CATCH AND RELEASE. IF YOU PLAN ON CATCHING AND RELEASING, DO SO BEFORE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT. ONCE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT, YOU ARE DONE FISHING FOR THE DAY. FISHING FOR TUI CHUB IS NOT AN OPTION OR EXCUSE AS THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED A "GAME FISH" SO YOU CAN BE CITED.
1) legal fishing time is “one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset”. Sunrise and sunset times are posted on the Weather page.
2) Daily limit of two trout and one person can only have four in possession (for two days of fishing). If you have retained your possession you cannot go out and keep two more trout on the third fishing day as that would be over-possession unless you have consumed your first limit. You can’t claim you are fishing for tui chub as they are not a game fish species. Canned and/or smoked trout DO count towards your possession. Also, transporting more fish than you have people in your vehicle isn't going to cut it. Transporting fish for other people is not an option even if their names and license numbers are on the fish.
3) No minnows can be used as bait, including minnows caught in the lake itself.
See Cal Trans and pick your road and camera view
THIS LINK ALSO SHOWS THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL AND RAIN TOTALS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, CLICK ON THE DOTS. GREAT INFO FOR TRAVEL.
Also find accident info and construction info
****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH ****
WATCH FOR DEER. ESPECIALLY ON 395. 32, 36, 44 AND 139 as well as Eagle Lake Rd
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE IN THE MOUNTAINS.
and other CA highway such as 70.
WATCH FOR COWS on 139 and Eagle Lake Rd. THIS IS OPEN RANGE AND IT IS COMMON FOR CATTLE TO END UP ON AND NEAR THE PAVED ROADS.
Gallatin Road to the Marina: Nasty humps and bumps in the road along the straight away from the last left bend past Eagle Campground to the old Aspen launch ramp entrance. Slow down. Also, note that the road to the low water ramp also has some nasty bumps and dips so take it easy, these beat the hell out of your rig and boat if you're going a little too fast.
Gallatin Road to Eagles Nest is a rough SOB so be careful heading in. I really feel bad for the folks at Eagles Nest to have to travel this unmaintained road to get to their beautiful cabins. I doubt any fire trucks to access it very quickly either. LNF, get it together, these folks pay you and you should provide access that isn't so dangerous and damaging. This area is easy to launch kayaks off the gravel bar without having to drag them several hundred feet...getting in is the hard part.
USFS Road 21 Open. Take it easy over the cattle guards. Some will let you catch some air if you're going to fast. Always stop at the RR crossing right near highway 44. This is an active line and several times a day. At times there have been a lot of cows on the road so take caution. Lots of quads and UTV's out there right now and they don't always abide by the rules of the road so be very careful out there. Also be careful parking off road in the tall grasses. We are dry and still have high chances for fires to start. Especially diesels with burn boxes (DEF). Rifle season for deer has begun. So expect to see folks out scouring the mountains. As storms roll in and out we often see trees fall across the road. It's a good idea to carry a saw and a tow strap.
Wildcat access Open but has some nasty spots. These can be a nasty roads after a good thunderstorm or rain. Might take a couple of days to soak in. It isn't so much about sinking in mud right now, its the clay surface in some areas that hamper traction, even 4x4's can get stuck without sinking. High profile vehicles recommended. Lower profile vehicles can get sucked into the big rig ruts and high center. The tow trucks don't go out there folks, so you need to run across good samaritans. This area is good for kayaks but to be legal, it is still a short walk to the water with your craft. Rain can make this road slick as it doesn't absorb the water very quickly at all. So be prepared. Winter is worse until the ground freezes a foot down. Ice forms over the water accumulated over some of the dips and can be 2ft deep to the top of the mud if you break through the ice. There is firmer spots but you have to get beyond the nasty parts before you get to the lava capped parts of the road. Always better on a winter morning than a winter afternoon. It depends on the temps, frozen ground and the amount of moisture or snow. Last winter, these roads were very torn up by anglers getting through the mud after fall rains.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road south from 36: OPEN. Be careful. Heavy loads, gear down at the summit because you will pick up speed quickly heading down into the 15mph turn I call Chrome Corner.... get it? This road is rough on trailers and vehicles, so take it easy. Expansion cracks every 20ft from Spalding south are a real killer for 16 miles. Many trailers have needed repair if repetively traveling this road. Lassen County maintained is a local joke. Stress fractures in trailers occur so double check daily. Truck problems include tie rods and steering stablizers so be very careful. As storms begin to pass through be aware that the grade coming from Susanville can get icy and frosty. Use your gears and common sense. Generally doesn't close before the end of fishing season, but it can get nasty when it gets icy.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road north: Eagle Lake Road from highway 139 is open. Approximately 51 miles from Susanville on139 to the Recreation Area and Campgrounds down south. But it is a faster road and in better condition if coming to Spalding. Takes about the same amount of time to Spalding but around 10 miles longer. It may take longer to get to the south end when A1 south gets icy, but it could be better, at times, to be safe than sorry.
Highway 139: Anelope along the lake shore along with a lot more cattle. Deer have also be prevelent. Be careful driving. This road is in good shape to Susanville. Longer from Spalding but takes about the same amount of time as taking A1 south to Spalding Tract.
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. Some shoulder repair going on. up to 10 minute wait on 9-21.
Highway 36: Check DOT for road conditions. See weather cams on link above. Has some nasty areas of rough pavement on Fredonyer grade in both directions. Caltrans maintained...LoL. There has been intermittent road maintenance. 40-60 minute wait times and very slow travel when it starts moving. Suggest alternate route if possible.
Highway 44: See Road Cameras and check conditions. Deer have been moving.
Highway 395: Good shape. WATCH FOR DEER AND ANTELOPE ALWAYS. HEAVY WINDS CAN CAUSE DELAYS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. Those that don't head the warming, often end up turned over, wrecking or hitting someone else. CHECK WIND FORECASTS ON THE NOAA LINK ABOVE WHEN COMING FROM RENO or LEAVING SUSANVILLE AND DRIVING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. CalTrans sign at 36/395 junction. Blowing sand drifts (zero visibility and some 100ft long) can also become a hazard in high winds any time of the year. Remember that deer are prevalent in the Honey Lake Valley all year long. The “Locals” name for 395 to Reno is “BLOOD ALLEY”. Drive it often enough and you’ll understand what we mean. Road construction in places. Reduced speed limit in cone zone.
Check the road cameras at the links above.
Or check Cal Trans website for updated conditions for any temporary closures due to rock slides or storm events.© Copyright protected 2004 - 2017.
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WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY BUSINESSES HERE AT THE LAKE. WE DO GIVE FREE FISHING SEMINARS EVERY SATURDAY AFTERNOON At 4:00PM AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA PATIO DURING THE SEASON TO HELP FOLKS CATCH FISH!!
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Kayakers: No matter where you launch, be sure keep an eye on the wind speed and direction posted for the days you go out. You don't want to be caught an hour paddle away from where you launched if winds pickup over 10mph. Our wind comes up quick when it comes up, regardless of direction predicted. NOAA link on weather has been pretty accurate.
GALLATIN LOW WATER RAMP: Good to go all season. DO NOT PARK AND UNTIE YOUR BOAT STRAPS BLOCKING THE ROAD TO THE LAUNCH OR THE TURN AROUND AT THE BOTTOM. THERE IS PARKING WHERE YOU GET YOUR BOAT PREPARED TO LAUNCH, THE ACCESS POINT IS NOT THE PLACE. THIS RAMP IS FOR EVERYONE. All that will get you is trouble. Most people prepare their boats for launch above in the parking area to keep the line moving. One guy that isn't prepared can mess up everyone.
Little to no waiting. Weekdays are much quieter than weekends and holidays but it has been pretty easy. Pull your boats down the dock so others can get in the water while you're parking your vehicle. Later in the morning people are trying to launch while others are trying to get out. If this happens I try to split the differnce and allow enough space in front for someone to get a boat in the water and enough space in back for a boat to come in behind me. All in all it has been fine and will get us through the season comfortably. Weeds and moss starting to climb up from the bottom but it hasn't been bad enough to hamper getting in and out. The courtesy dock in the water this year is the step down. It's better having the pipes inside the dock so they don't catch side lights or downriggers or rod holders and makes it easier to get in and out of a boat before stepping up on the dock, but the lower height can beat the heck out of your boat so be sure to use bumpers. It's also a longer reach to the cleets with a boat hook when the winds are howling. Catch 22, can't have it all. All in all it's been fine and no trouble as long as you deal with it. Having a boat hook on board can be a life savor in heavy winds. We still have a few rocks out there between the dock and the jetty so we don't have a lot of space yet to screw up or get blown off course. No fee launch and much closer to where the fish are right now. From now on it should be just fine till Columbus Day weekend when we see our next spike in boaters. Once we cool down, it will be mostly us diehards out there!!
Kayaks have limited availability. It's a shorter romp thru the grass now off the old Aspen Ramp but we have to get through tules and water grasses/weeds to get to the lake. Christie too but don't try to use the plastic handicap access walkway at Christie. It's a mess. LNF was going to remove the safety hazard but as of right now, they have not. Stay on the vegetation beside the trip hazard walkway. The shoreline is very soft and muddy now for getting a kayak in without sinking ankle deep in the mud. Citizens are gradually improving the shoreline mud access for kayaks for fall. Getting a craft down to the water isn't the hard part, getting it back up hill several hundred feet is. We are also having to deal with getting through the new tules along the shoreline just about everywhere before we hit open water. Christie isn't too bad for getting through, but shore fishermen lost some good spots due to the weeds. We have tules outside a lot of the old rock piles we waded from Christie to Wildcat so it will be a whole new ball game for wading this fall. This will be a new normal as the water rises in the future but it will be good for the fish eventually. Another option for kayaks is driving into Eagle's Nest and launching off the gravel bar. That road (Gallatin) is also in terrible shape. About 20 minutes to get in once past Camp Ron McD. I pity the home owners in there for having such nice places, pay LNF for leases and get crappy access to them. The trail from the parking area just past Camp Ron McD is the longest and steepest from the parking lot, plus some rough terrain getting of the hill and down towards the lake. Eagle's Nest and the low water ramp are about the only launch areas for kayaks that don't have tules to get thru to get to the water. These aren't too bad, just make sure there is nothing like a rod hanging outside the craft. Peddle drives have a little more to deal with but it is doable for most with some effort. Wildcat Pt shoreline is still pretty good and has less weeds, but the road in is a dusty mess. Unfortunately, we need to use the road to keep the vegetation from encroaching the already narrow stretches of the road. Winter fishermen really tore it up last year. Ruts are deep, side roads getting around them were in better shape than they are now. But, it is doable but will beat the hell out of your vehicle.
Kayaks have every right to use the low water ramp just like any other boat. I would suggest unloading in the small parking/loading spot so rigs could still turn around and launch boats and to take your craft to the jetty side of the ramp rather than the ramp itself so boats can still get in and out of the water. Since LNF replaced boulders accessing the gravel bar to the west side of the courtesy dock, kayaks can no longer be dragged, carried or hauled to the gravel bar...not a smart move so kayaks now have to use the ramp area. Oh well, not the kayakers problem. You can't help but to tie up the ramp and have every right to launch there. I suggest getting a kayak to the water from the cement ramp and floating it towards the gravel bar on the jetty side of the ramp. If it's your turn in line, just do it. Most angler kayaks are over 60lbs, Hobie peddle drives start out at 125lbs. Not easy to carry or drag on kayak carts over boulders so launch ramps can often be your only choice. There is no other launch area for kayaks and they have become quite popular up here. So do what ever it takes to get it in the water. With no other options, you can not be denied access at access areas.
GALLATIN MARINA: A long way to go before launching will be feasible.
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: Folks are heading south to launch. The lake is 1.47ft lower than it was at its highest elevation this spring and the weeds & moss beds have grown over summer. I certainly don't advise trying but I am sure folks will. Reports are that the channel is now pretty shallow and very weedy. Once you get out beyond the pipes weeds continue. A person that did launch in Spalding said it took nearly an hour to get out of the weeds before finding clearer water. I seriously doubt fall lanching will be doable for most boats. In my opinion, launching most boats is pretty much over in Spalding unless you want to wind up weeds on your prop for 3/4 of a mile or more. Once the moss beds lift in fall, it's going to be a mess before it gets better. My buddy with a jet boat had to turn off his motor to prevent damaging his pump when coming up from the south to take a look. Said he didn't get too close to Spalding before the weeds took over. We have always had moss beds, generally with higher water they didn't pose much of a problem until they lifted and left large floating matts on the surface. The current weed beds are still attached to the bottom and are only inches from the surface. Once in 7-9ft of water the weeds are a little deeper and quite a few drifting on the surface. The north side of Pelican was untrollable but it comes and goes with the winds.
Most everyone is launching down south now. $8 fee to park or launch in Spalding and a 5 gallon round trip in a boat to where the fish are. No brainer. The water in the Spalding basin is very weedy heading down to Pelican Pt. So anyone attempting to launch will be taking chances that could have negative effects. I have no doubt some folks will try....once. LoL.
Once I have more water and spending more time fishing the north basins again, I will once again launch here. It will be a whole new tule line in all the northerly basins once we get more water. It could take a couple years before the fishing up here gets good again though. We'll have to see how many and IF fish actually come above Pelican Pt this fall, the water is very brackish now. My bet is that most of the fish will remain in the south basin as they have been when water levels are low.
NORTH RAMP AT SPALDING: No.
STONES LANDING: High and dry.
ROCKY PT: Lake level dropping, Kayaks can make it but it's a long paddle over the weeds before finding clearer water. Small boats should consider launching down at the south end.
Note that if you take the CA BOATING COURSE, power loading your boat at ramps is not recommended AT ANY RAMP, ANYWHERE. I didn't need to be certified until 2025 but I took the course anyway and have my certification. I don't care who you are or how much experience you have, you will learn something. The course you have to pass covers ALL bodies of water, ocean, rivers and such as well as all types of watercrafts. You have to learn it all in order to pass, you must pass it by 80%. I highly recommend getting certified. I will know at the ramp whether you're certified. If nothing else, take a stormy winter day, take the course, don't just take the test unless you know everything about all bodies of water and all types of boats, sailboats, kayaks and PWC's. It's all covered in the course, as well as how alcohol affects are different on the water. The course takes a few hours to go through, but I will guarantee you will learn something you didn't know before, no matter how experienced you are!! Hopefully once more people are certified, it will prevent accidents and needless confrontations.
SEE LAKE ELEVATIONS SINCE 2010 ON LAKE CONDITIONS PAGE.
NO HANDICAP FISHING OR BEACH ACCESS: Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements, cinder gravel for carts and wheelchairs is not compliance to ADA requirements. Hard to walk in the loose gravel compared to the packed gravel or pavement where previous handicap parking was, although there is a saw horse sign now indicationg handicap parking back in the center closer to the ramp which is much easier for those who are mobility impaired. Due to noncompliance the ADA parking is not actually enforceable. Although, you might get a note taped to your windshield, I don't believe you can actually get a citation due to lack of signage and legal mumbo jumbo. Just know that it is there for those who need it.
The handicap walkway at Christie Day Use/Picnic Area is a trip hazard in many locations and has not been maintained by Lassen National Forest. It can easily handicap you if you aren't already. We just make our own way down and ignore the signage regarding protecting the vegetation as it is more about having to keep from falling or tripping over the damaged trail grates due to LNF's inability to repair the existing specified trail. If it wasn't so dangerous, we would be happy to use it. LNF is now laying blame on the State Lands Commission before any repair of the existing handicap accessibility can be done. So we might be waiting a long time before accidents can be prevented. My guess is it will take a serious injury and lawsuit before it will get repaired or removed. But, I will keep hounding them to repair existing handicap accesses and most likely will have to contact Boating and Waterways myself to get improvements. So unless the walkway down is repaired, I suggest walking on the vegetation rather than getting tripped up and falling down, regardless of signage. If the USFS wants to protect the vegetation from paths being made, they can fix the walkway. We would be happy to use the walkway if it wasn't a complete hazard with great potential to cause injury. A promise of removal of the hazard is long on promise and short on delivery. It remains a hazard for all people.
ALL EAGLE LAKE, ALL THE TIME
© Copyright REGISTERED WITH THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 2003-2017 by the author, Valerie Aubrey. The website’s http://www.eaglelakefishing.net/ and http://www.eaglelakefishing.info/, All Maps, Articles and Photographs contained there in are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the author and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of the author who reserves all rights. Viewers may print for personal use. Commercial use of any map or story is strictly prohibited without permission. Any “free Map” from our websites must be a permitted copy for commercial redistribution. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any articles, maps and photographs on Eagle Lake Fishing Information and Network or linking us up without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited. We have found a number of people linking us up of which we have no affiliation. Our brand is protected and only our sponsors and network affiliates have the rights to link us up. We have a tendency to check some publications and newspapers for plagiarism and have had to contact more than one. Our brand is unique to us, and no one else. We are not a guide referral business, we are the Peoples Guide. We don’t provide guiding services, we make sure you catch fish using your own toys. COMMERCIAL USE FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY IS PROHIBITED WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION.
TEXT 530-249-1430 or email
VIDEOS SHOWING THE LAKE RISE 2017
South Basin 10-15-17: Please note that Eagle Lake is not a river. You don't have to troll on other peoples lines or within 20ft of their boat. I should have taken a picture of the idiot that I invited to come on board my boat since he wanted to fish with me. 10ft from my lines and 20ft from my stern. He found that shallow shoal I was rounding though and finally left me alone. Wink, Wink.
On Sunday Oct 15 our surface temps were 53 to 54F from 55-56F two days ago. Further north surface temps ranging from 51-52F early in the morning. Low ambient temps 17F-21F the last few days helping cool things down. It's time. Low temps getting chilly, so bundle up buttercups! The cold temps after some moisture (predicted later this week) often causes the fog to form on the lake but if it's clear and dry, it's been nice. That will change, no doubt. Once we see some moisture fall the fog generally inundates sections of the south basin. It lifts within a few hours but as the low temps get colder as fall heads into winter the fog can linger till 1PM. Get out there early enough and you can get under it before it settles on the water. A breeze is always good for keeping it at bay. If you don't have radar, don't trust your GPS. At a slow speed or trolling going out the relay can be very slow and before you know it your're going east or west when you plan on staying on a northerly course. Smart phones have compasses. If you don't have a compass on your craft, use your smart phone to stay on course.
Clarity has been pretty good this week at around 8ft at best depending on location. But down to around 7ft off Christie/Wildcat since the winds picked up. We will see this change as water temps begin to drop again too.
We have some areas where it has been weedy on the surface. Mostly holding towards the middle and west side from Wildcat Pt to Shrimp Island. So check lines periodically, trout don't generally eat salad.
Lot's of chubs scattered in the water column over the depths. If you start catching chubs, move. Chubs are in three distinct stages. Stage 1 is large spawners, Stage 2 is what I call the "nursery" which is several years worth of tui chubs ranging in size from 4 to 8" with several "guardians" 11-12". Stage 3 is this years hatch. The chubs often "wall" up and protect the schools. The spawners protect the "nursery" and both protect the current year hatch. That's why you catch big chubs over the depths, smaller chubs in closer and trout will be in the fresh hatch. If you set your fish ID on it will show a ton of little fish with some medium fish in the "nursery". A "cloud" for this years hatch, and massive stacked blob of big fish between 7 and generally down to 47ft. I want the cloud with one or two big fish in it and the grebes want the small minnows for their youngsters...Look for a lot of baby grebes & you will find the smaller minnows. We have an over population of tui chub this year and personally, I have no idea if they are surviving my release. LoL. A lot of folks catching 15 to 20 tui chubs at every level and everywhere. Some stating that Eagle Lake has become a trophy tui chub fishery. I wouldn't argue with them. Foul hooking tui chubs 2 to 4 at a time means we have way too many and not enough predators to cull the numbers. We are seeing the result of reduced trout number over the last several years. Not enough trout to cull the tui chubs and keep the balance of the fishes in the lake. Perhaps we need a new biologist who actually spends more than a day here and there on this lake. The current one reduced our planting so much that there doesn't appear to be enough to cull the chubs. So I'm doing my fair share of culling and I seriously doubt that if everyone did we still would not put a dent in the population and it isn't like there isn't another billion tui chubs to take their place. We'll see if we keep catching tui chubs everywhere. If so, basically we have a problem.
Spalding: We are over 1.5ft lower than our highest water level in spring. It gets deeper the further south you go to the channel at the Youth Camp but it has been very weedy on the surface and from below. Boats are launching down south.
Just because we got a little water in the lake this year, doesn't mean we don't still have dangerous rock piles to be aware of and the channel is getting shallower every week. So be careful out there. The trout are a long way away right now. In their summer haunts & over the depths and about a 5 gallon round trip back and forth in a boat. We are still 11ft lower than our prime, the northern basins are still quite shallow and the water is very brackish. We won't know how far north the trout might come until water temps cool down enough to tempt them.
Until we get more water and I am spending more time fishing up north, I'll be launching down south where the best fishing is. Give me another 9ft of water & I will be spending all but about 3 weeks of the season fishing above pelican pt and will most likely be launching in Spalding. Until then, I will be launching at the south end and saving fuel and money. A recent report from a guy that rented a dock space was NOT flattering. Had he known how shallow it was and how long the boat trip was to get to the fish he would have chosen to launch down south and would have saved 5 gallons of fuel in his boat and $20+ a day. Oh well!! He was aware I didn't advise doing so and said he should have listened to me. LoL.
I HAVE MET WITH TU REGARDING SOME ISSUES IN THE DRAFT PLAN THAT DIDN'T FIT IN WITH SAID RESTORATION. We will know more after CRMP meeting and field trip on May 31. Meet at Bogard Rest Area at 9am, bring bug spray and boots for mud & muck to walk at restoration area.
CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA HANDICAP RAMP TOWARDS THE LAKE IS IN SUCH DISREPAIR THAT IT CAN HANDICAP YOU IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY IMPAIRED. THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIP HAZARDS. IT ENDS A VERY GOOD DISTANCE FROM ANY ACCESS TO THE WATER. Walk on the vegetation. There are several trails. A statement from LNF has been long requested and short on delivery. This is a very dangerous "trail" to the lake. I have been hounding USFS to get the access repaired. I was told this week that LNF is still waiting for the State Lands Commission for input and approval to repair the existing handicap access.
2017 LAKE ELEVATION
9-24-17 5095.26ft, losing .6ft per week. 1.47ft lower than it's highest elevation as per Doc Bateson.
9-4-17: 5095.41ft and lost .94" since 8-6-17
8-6-17: EAGLE LAKE is dropping at a rate of 1.425" per week since July 2nd. It is now at 5095.73' and has lost 7 &1/8" during that time (about a month).
7-15-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.07ft; 7/8" above 5096ft. It has dropped 3 inches in two weeks and up to 1 1/2" per week evaporation. This is actually normal evap for this time of year. Going to be a long summer.
7-2-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.32ft and it is dropping 1.33 inches per week.
6-23-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation is 5096.479ft. It has lost 2.65" since May 20. Now that Pine Creek and other tributaries are no longer flowing into the lake we will begin to see our evaporation pick up a bit.
6-2-17: As per Doc Bateson our lake elevation perfectionist; 5096ft 7 and 5/8ths inches. That’s 5096.635’ it has dropped .065’ or .78” (a little over 3/4") in 13 days.
5-20-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation measured 5096.7ft
4-30-17 As per Doc Bateson's measurment " 5096.375' which is 5.515' higher than on December 3rd 2016. It has risen 1.427' Just since March 18th.
4-18-17 Unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp was 5096.54ft. Winds were blowing lightly so the elevation could be slightly off. Creeks are slowing down some now so we are probably going to see a slow down of rising. Any storm passing through can have flow pick up.
4-3-17 Lassen County Official Measurement: "We made our monthly visit to Eagle Lake this morning and found that the lake has come up 1.38 feet over the past month. The elevation at the Gallatin Ramp is currently 5095.78 feet above sea level and the lake has come up 4.99 feet since November 1st of last year. It is also 3.22 feet higher than this same time one year ago.
3-29-17: 5095.64' Measured from the elevation tags at Spalding ramp. A gain of about 2inches in 4 days. Flows in Pine Creek subsiding a little this week from last week, so we expect to see a little slower rise unless a storm passes through.
3-25-17: 5095.45ft (unofficial) Measured between the elevation plate screws at the ramp in Spalding. A gain of around 6" from the increased flow of Pine Creek and just over an inch of rain on 3-21.
3-19-17: 5094.948 as per Doc Bateson. Up a couple inches in the last few days. We have about 5/8' to resach 5095ft. Up a little over 4ft from our lowest water level last year and about 2 1/5ft above last years highest level. So we are doing ok, but could sure use a lot more.
3-16-17: 5094.8' up around 3 1/2 inches according to the markers at the Spalding ramp.
3-8-175094.5ft according to the markers set by Doc Bateson at the Spalding ramp. Up around a foot in the last month.
2-11-17: 5093.38FT As per Doc Bateson. 2.52ft higher than Dec 3, 2016 (which had held due to Oct/Nov rains). 18.29" of moisture since July 1 here at the house in Spalding. So the springs were still pumping good over winter too.
2016 LAKE ELEVATION
12-3-16: 5090.86ft As per Doc Bateson. Still a few inches above last year, but still below the record.
10-20-16: 5090.866' (after 3.03" of rain) Without the recent rain, the lake would have been where it was last year. So we didn't keep the 6" of water we had ovre last year. Only the rains brought it up. Bly Tunnel from the valve remains dry.
7-3-16: 5092.23; almost 6" lower than 5-30, but around 6" higher than last year at the same time. As per Doc Bateson.
5-30-16 5092.72: as per Doc Bateson, up 1/4 inch since 5-1.
5-1-16 5092.7FT Officially as per Doc Bateson, the lake is only 5.76 inches above last year's elevation, May 2, 2015. Expect similar conditions to last season. We still have 27 days to go. Hopefully we see more showers and hold on to that 5+ bonus inches to help get us through the season launching!
3-19-16 5092.43FT. UP 1.835FT SINCE 11-22-15. 2.52 INCHES HIGHER THAN MAY 2 2015. As per Doc Bateson's report
2015 Eagle Lake Elevation
10-18-15: 5090.61 and holding
9-30-15 5090.6 ft
8-16-15: 5091.2ft as per Doc Bateson’s measurements. We lost 2 1/2 inches in 2 weeks and are only 2.4 inches away from our lowest recorded level in 1935.
8-1-15:5091.4ft as per Doc Bateson's measurements. We had 2.41 inches of rain in my backyard in July (2.68" at Spalding's sewer ponds 2 miles NW) and the south end had more than we did up north but it helped counter evaporation.
7-4-15: 5091.70ft as per doc Bateson.
6-20-15: 5091.83ft; now just 9.96 inches from our lowest recorded level in 1935. (lost approx 4" in the last 20 days.
6-1-15: 5092.16ft now just over a foot from lowest recorded level in 1935
5-2-15: 5092.22ft as per Doc Bateson. About 1 ft 3 inches above lowest recordered level in 1935.
2014 Eagle Lake Elevation:
9-15-14 5092.035ft. As per doc Bateson, our local doctor and scientist we are now about 1 ft above the lowest recorded lake elevation of 5091 in 1935. Note: "recorded level".
2013 Eagle Lake Elevation:
September 2, 2013 5093.9ft; 18.5 inches lower than April 28.
July 28, 2013 5094.44 ft, about 5094 ft 5 inches.
July 7, 2013 appears to be about 2-3 inches below 5095ft.... or 5094ft 9-10 inches or so. Unofficial. Going by the end of the cement at Spalding ramp being out of the water & taking chances that the end of the cement is at 5095ft elevation.
June 1, 2013 was around 5095ft 1 inch. About 6" of cement in the water at Spalding ramp.
4-11-13 5095.5 ft (unofficial by the markers at Spalding ramp)....I guess my estimate was only 3/4 of an inch off. Not bad for a girl ehe?
2012 Eagle Lake Elevation
4-2-12: 5096.42 ft or 5096 ft 5 inches.
Ending Nov 2012 5093.70
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2011
MARCH 10, 2011 - 5096.28 UP 0.68ft up around 8" from local winter moisture, measurement taken hours before Pine Creek flow reached the Slough.
MARCH 17, 2011 - 5096.50, UP 2 1/2 INCHES IN ONE WEEK OF FLOW
MARCH 26, 2011 - 5096.63 FT; UP 2 5/8 INCHES SINCE 3-17
MARCH 29, 2011 - 5096.66 FT
MARCH 31, 2011 - 5096.70 FT
APRIL 4, 2011 - 5096.76 or 5096 ft 9 inches.
APRIL 9, 2011 – 5096.86 FT or 5096ft 101/4 inches.
APRIL 14, 2011 – 5096.90 ft
APRIL 19, 2011 – 5096.98 ft. Up 0.08 ft in 5 days…or around 1 inch.
APRIL 24, 2011 LAKE ABOVE 5097 FT! @ 5097.168 (almost but not quite a seven) UP A LITTLE OVER 2 INCHES IN 5 DAYS! INCLUDING A LITTLE OVER ½ INCH OF LOCAL MOISTURE SINCE FRIDAY MORNING! UP 10 ¾ INCHES SINCE PINE CREEK BEGAN FLOWING!
APRIL 27, 2011 – 5097.28FT! or 5097 ft 3 3/8 inches.
MAY 1, 2011 5097.34 FT or 5097 ft 4 1/16 inches; up 5/8 inches
MAY 4, 2011 – 5097.39 FT or approximately 5097 ft 4 13/16 inches…a little over ¾ inch.
MAY 7, 2011 – 5097.44 FT Or 5097 ft 5 ¼ inches.
MAY 16, 2011 – 5097.44 FT. NO CHANGE IN LAKE ELEVATION FROM 5-7-11. One and a quarter inches more water than last year means it is still going to be a bad year for the lake level.
MAY 21, 2011 – 5097.49 FT up 5/8 inches since May 16. Coincides very closely to the amount of local moisture in the last 5 days. Due to heavy winds that haven’t stopped long enough to get an accurate elevation we have not taken one. However, we can tell you that we are still pretty much the same and still well below the 5098 ft elevation.
MAY 30. 2011 – 5097.59, up around 5/8 inch in 9 days. Again, coinciding with the amount of local precipitation. We aren’t gaining and we aren’t losing at the current flow rate of Pine Creek. We have now just officially reached the 2 ft mark since the lowest lake elevation in Nov 2010.
JUNE 12, 2011 – 5097.68 ft from 5097.59 ft on May 30. Increase of around 1 inch (for elevation in inches it is 5097 ft 6 7/8 inches). We also had over an inch of precipitation fall in the basin in the last 10 days.
JUNE 24, 2011 - 5097.57 ft from 5097.68 ft June 12. That translates into inches as down nearly 1 3/8 inches in 12 days.
JULY 5, 2011 – 5097.46 from 5097.57 on June 24. That translates to 5097 ft 5 ½ inches. Down 1 ¼ inches in 10 days. Average daily humidity as been 13%.
JULY 18, 2011 – 5097.23 Ft from 5097.46 ft on July 5th. Down around 1 3/8 inches in 13 days which levels out at 5097 ft 2 ¾ inches.
JULY 24, 2011 – 5097.15 FT from 5097.23 ft on July 18. Down 3.96 inches since July 4 as per Doc Bateson.
AUGUST 4, 2011 – 5097 ft from 5097.15 ft on July 24. About 1 ¾ inch drop in elevation.
AUGUST 8, 2011 – 5096.97 FT from 5097.0 4 days ago
AUGUST 12, 2011 – 5096.86 ft shot from doc B. Average weekly evaporation of 1.23 inches per week which doc says is better (lower) than last year at the same time.
AUGUST 24, 2011 – 5096.68 FT. Down from 5096.86 ft 12 days ago.
AUGUST 30, 2011 – 5096.56 FT. Down around 1 ½ inches in last 6 days
SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – 5096.45FT, Down around 1 3/8 inches in the last 7 days.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 – 5096.34 FT. Or 5096ft 4 1/8 inches.
OCTOBER 14-11 5096.18 or 5096 ft 2 1/8 inches
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2010:
BEGINNING LAKE ELEVATION 2010:
May 16, 2010 – 5097.36 feet;
October 30, 2010 was 5095.60 feet.
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EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS GIVE $23,500 to date to TROUT UNLIMITED FOR PINE CREEK PROJECTS AND STUDIES!! HERE IS THE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR PINE CREEK IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIAL ENDANGERED SPECIES LISTING. THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! EVERYTHING FROM GENETICS TO GRAZING AND WATER IMPOUNDS ARE BEING ADDRESSED. Then, something happened. Eagle Lake Gaurdians are the only nonprofit whose funding goes directly to helping restore Pine Creek and Eagle Lake. Also, the only nonprofit going into battle to get it done. No one else can say that!!! Proof is in the pudding. Want your money to go to Eagle Lake and Pine Creek, look no further than Eagle Lake Guardians. We don't waste your funding, we don't throw ourselves parties at the expense of the Lake and Fish. Ask where your funding is going.
Update from Trout Unlimited on www.eaglelakeguardians.org on "current issues page" regarding restoration projects, filling in the super ditch and filling in impounded water holes!!
So proud that Eagle Lake Guardians have donated an additional $6000 for a total of $23,500 to Pine Creek Restoration projects, assessments and studies through Trout Unlimited to help prevent our Eagle Lake rainbow trout from being listed as an endangered or threatened species and assist speeding up Pine Creek's restoration. You can help by donating to Eagle Lake Guardians. Guardians will be meeting up with TU soon and discuss our options and future projects. See Guardians website for updates from TU. Funding is still needed and Guardians hope to contribute an additional donation soon. At least guardians are trying to help our lake and trout. These projects will also be monitored for years to come and will need our support. There are a lot of other issues that concern our trout and spawning. THE CONSERVATION PLAN IS WORTH READING AND WORTH ALL THE TIME EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS SPENT ON EXPLAINING AND EXPOSING PROBLEMS FROM GENETIC ANOMOLIES TO MASSIVE DIVERSIONS OF WATER FROM PINE CREEK. These will be discussed with TU and perhaps these needs can be funded after we save our trout and watershed. Go to eaglelakeguardians.org and donate through the new PayPal Button.
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10-11-17: OK. Pages are back but Gallery still being worked on. We are in the process of upgrading this website to a new, bigger, better more awesome site for the future. I'm told we should have a very smooth transition to the new website!! WoW! So glad that's the case this time around!! Change is good!! I am very excited about the future of this site so stay tuned. I think you will like the improvements.
We are getting some smoke in the basin. It hasn't been too bad just yet but being in a basin we can see it settle overnight. Hoping that the northerly winds clear us up a bit. If you are planning a trip and have breathing problems, come prepared. Our hearts and prayers go out for our friends, viewers and everyone affected by the N CA fires.
The weather has been uneventful this month. No precipitation. Cold mornings as low as 21F in Spalding but a few degrees warmer down south. We are expecting to see a cooling trend this week. Northerly winds return the next few days. Our humidity has been pretty low and we don't have a local fire although our risk remains high. Be smart.
DFW recently planted our fall allotment of shakers. 7-10" trout inundating Pikes Pt now. That "should" have made our total allotment this year at 160,000, still 20,000 fish short of our normal planting. The pelicans are doing a pretty good job of eating their way through the little trout. No way in hell will a 7-10 inch trout curb the massive tui chub population that has expanded due to reduced trout in the lake and years of grebes not having young to feed. This years chub spawn appears out of control. You all know what I am doing with the chubs and if everyone does it, we still won't make a dent in the population to balance the biomass again. LoL. DFW doesn't have a clue about the massive mass of chubs out there being the result of the massively reduced planting of trout and lower grebe numbers over the past 5 years. Just might be up to the anglers to control the chubs. They are necessary in the lake but the numbers of them appear seriously over whelming and they will eventually be competion for the food supply for the trout.
Hunting season has begun. Duck season opened as well as a two week rifle season for deer. If you hear gunshots going off, this is normal, people are not shooting at you! No big deal. Just be careful on the dirt roads where deer hunters are looking for deer or camped out. Common to see headlights up on the mountains early in the morning as they are getting to their positions. Good Luck to the hunters!! One and all. Cooler weather towards the end of the week & a chance for showers should help everyone out!! Go get em!!
Here's what NOAA has to say about the coming week:
Sunny, with a high near 55. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
Clear, with a low around 20. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 54. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Mostly clear, with a low around 23. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 22.
Sunny, with a high near 56.
Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Sunny, with a high near 62.
Clear, with a low around 29.
Sunny, with a high near 67.
Mostly clear, with a low around 29.
Sunny, with a high near 66.
Cows are back so watch out on the roads (especially from Spalding) during the early morning and later evening. Black cows don't show up well at night and eyes don't reflect headlights so be careful. This whole area is open range so be watchful. The cows don't move too fast.
2016 was the worst year in decades for blue/green algae clouding up the water and decreasing the dissolved oxygen in the lake. We did see a return of the blue/green algae in 2017 and once we see some cooling, we will see our normal brown water return. 2017 has been the worst year for massive numbers of tui chubs everywhere at every level. We can deal with that. Clarity is still an issue and that won't change now. The cloud now begins around 4ft, fish disappear under the boat around 3 to 4 ft. Fish have come up in the water column which tells me that in spite of very slightly cooler water at 30-35ft, the dissolved oxyen might not be there any longer. Fish are currently holding at 10-12ft and 17 to 23ft deep which is higher than they were a couple weeks ago. It is around 72F in that part of the water column. Every trout we caught the last couple of days has been bleeding profusely upon arrival at the boat but at least they have been keepers. Will the trout head to the cooler water that's deeper? Sure but they don't gnerally stay there very long if the D/O isn't just right. We should start seeing some cooling down now that we are in September but that will all depend on the ambient temps for now.
Eagle Lake is basically drowning in cow crap in the north basins and the water appears brackish, brownish in some locations before finding clearer water. One can't hardly determine the end of the cement at the Spalding ramp (which is around 3ft deep) looking over the side of the courtesy dock the water is so brown and cloudy. No thanks for swimming in it. We'll see if the fish move up, but I seriously doubt it when the water is so much cleaner in the south basin. Over the last few years of drought, big numbers of fish haven't moved up much above the Youth Camp.
We had massive schools of Tui chubs in the north basins to spawn, very visible with your naked eye. Hopefully this brings in a fall food supply for some trout to move up. We'll have to wait and see. We also have the southern group that stay in the south basin. Now that the northern spawners are back in the south basin, the entire basin is loaded with tui chub. And, yes, I have no problem with a little culling of the population no matter what DFW might say or think. Our lake is over loaded and with fewer trout to eat the current hatch, we are going to see expedential number of tui chub. Not only this year but in the future. Yes, I am culling when I catch 1 or 20. The chubs are massive in size for their species and way over populated. There are a billion to take the place of those culled this year. This massive population will surely begin to compete for the food for the trout if not kept in check.
In spite of a fairly good water year and creeks flowing in spring, there wasn't a lot of trout in the tributaries as there normally have been. We are not seeing a lot of fish being caught so far this year either, but we are seeing some. We have been doing okay catching...finding that the color red has been our lucky color, one day the fish want a slow troll, the next day a fast troll. Basically it's been about finding the fish and working the hell out of the pod. But, there are a lot of disappointed anglers out there. As water temps have warmed up we are seeing a few more trout being caught. We'll see how long it lasts. A buddy calculated from the planting numbers by DFW that we are around 250,000 trout short of our normal planting allotment. Thanks DFW.
As long as Eagle Lake and Pine Creek watershed is the cash cow for a few thousand bucks for grazing, the millions of dollars lost income and business for Lassen County means nothing. Eagle Lake and Pine Creek are considered as separate entities....unfortunately, therein lies the problem. One can not survive without the other and the trout need both to survive. Eagle Lake appears to have been sold out to the lowest bidder...water is the new gold in CA and the state doesn't care where it comes from as long as it benefits the few and not the natural habitat it was destined for. But we won't stop putting the blame in the rightful place folks. Forget about eating fish, start eating more beef but you might want to see what is in it first. No beef is tested for heavy metals. Organic means nothing. All beef is considered organic if kept on a farm pasture or open range without testing. Yep, you spend more for organic but get nothing more. LoL! Cloud seeded water heading south is used to grow crops that aren't tested either. And that cloud seeded water is what is being sucked up by the vegetation. Ever wonder why Alzheimers and Autism has increased substantially in the last 20-30 years? I don't. We have been being poisoned for years and don't know it....we're not supposed to. LoL.
We had a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley, some that is still locked away from the lake. Meadows to be restored in "flood plains" that didn't exsist prior to 1977 as per the major hydrology study performed for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan by Vail and Associates are all for grazing (as per page 21 of the draft meadow restoration), not the fish or the lake. That 1970's study didn't say what the powers that be wanted it to say so it has no references in any current data used. At least, the current reports don't refer to it but it was a hell of a detailed study for the time. Just didn't reflect using Eagle Lake inflow to promote grazing over the health of the lake and tributaries. It didn't fit the agenda. But it's high time that Eagle Lake, Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout and Pine Creek start taking priority over a few bucks in intensive cattle grazing. This county and our state is losing millions of dollars in revenue just so the ranchers get cheap feed, free water and the feds get a few thousand dollars so they get a "sale" on the books. At the expense of the lake, fish and businesses. We are currently assisting in restoration of Pine Creek watershed. Projects begin this summer to restore flow by filling the Super Ditch that has robbed the watershed for decades.
The drought didn't cause all our problems, they began long before the drought. There are many players who benefit with the demise of Pine Creek and the lake. Unfortunately, some of these players are also in charge of the restoration....the fox in the hen house needs to be kept in check. Nasty job but if no one does it, it won't get done. We are certainly willing to do the job no one else wants. It's about the lake, watershed and trout, it's all one system, not separate. We are tired of hearing complaints from those who choose nothing to do with helping the lake and trout which both need water to survive. Pine Creek is our number 1 tributary, trout spawning creek and has been destroyed over the decades. We have always aimed at getting the three elements rejoined, no matter what the personal cost is.
There is only one local nonprofit that has gone into battle for Eagle Lake’s water to support a native spawn and restore the lake levels. Unfortunately, the battle for Eagle Lake was a political battle of which one has to be willing to do in Lassen County. Why Lassen resists helping Eagle Lake that once provided for a lot of income to the county for a few thousand dollars in grazing fees is beyond me. In its current condition, it isn't the public draw it once was....and that needs to change. We have some plans up our sleeves, but we have learned not to detail our plan until it is done or some how, some way, something gets tainted. Our definition is simple...save the lake and it will return to it's former glory as will the local businesses and economy as well as promote for a natural spawn. Eagle Lake Rainbow trout, Pine Creek watershed and Eagle Lake are fractured and the USFS doesn't appear to want to put it back together. As long as the scientists and biologists don't see the trout, creek and lake at its entirety and only see it as separate, Eagle Lake may be in serious trouble. And if no flood plains exsited historically, there is only one reason to create them now. Grazing. Already the Conservation Plan is being violated. Not only the water but the free passage of the trout in Pine Creek to migrate upstream at their own choosing was restricted by DFW as DFW needed every ripe hen for artificial egg collection that they could trap. Only after getting every ripe hen out of circulation did DFW reopen the gate....then let all the males go up and only a handful of females that were not spawn ready. Pine Creek was flowing Dec 16th but the gates were not opened for any fish passage until mid February. That is not allowing the free will passage. DFW had no way of knowing if there were any fish in the creek at that time so after I questioned them about numbers, they installed a camera, not a counter. LoL. In this day and age, they should know exactly how many fish made free passage. We are still at a critical point when it comes to the native spawn. Don't believe what you might be told, unless it comes from Eagle Lake Guardians. We hear some real, let's just say, intersting things coming from others. At least it's good for a laugh.
Pine Creek and Eagle Lake should be restored for the lake and the fish, not restored to enhance more grazing. That's what seems to be killing the lake from nutrients and removing water from the watershed. I believe I got my point across so far but we are constantly keeping an eye on things. Words matter in draft plans, tell me the restoration is for enhanced grazing & I will jump right down your throat! It's not about the cows, it's got to be about the fish and we are the only ones doing that. There is only one way to save the businesses and livelihood of the resort communities, lake and trout, that is to restore the hard won drainage to Pine Creek, move the cattle up, drill some wells that flow into tanks for water for cows, power them with solar panels and give the lake back to it's watershed. Restoration of Pine Creek is essential to establishing a native spawn as well as getting the lake elevation back....but only a spawn is the driving factor...a minimal spawn at that. But, what if they don't have a healthy lake to come home to. With one good water year, it's now about restoring grazing and feed, not the fish or the lake. It all works together. Climate change, climate manipulation, less snow pack come into play, but on what should have been a good water year, we are still 9ft down from our prime, and over 3ft below what scientists determined was good for the fish. Eagle Lake Guardians have helped defeat the potential listing of an endangered species for our trout. This was our main goal. Unfortunately, the scientists are only looking at the trout, creek and lake as different things when historically, it all worked together as one. We have seen data manipulated as well. Perhaps, this is where the barrier to restoring anything is. As long as the agenda is to graze cattle for penny's and lose millions in the economy and stress the lake and trout, we are screwed. The trout have to make it back to the lake and, that has happened but only in the same year they went up to spawn. Other telemetry tags have been found in the dry creek bed after the creek stops flowing...the creek has to stop flowing before the cattle are allowed in to graze. So the sooner the creek stops, the sooner the grazing starts. The more water locked upstream raises the water temps sooner than normal and that in itself stops the fish. Our first tag found was near the A1 bridge, another near the Spalding bridge, two others from fish that retured to the lake the same year. The ones found in the creek were from fish that tried to get back but ran out of flow before making it to the lake. So getting them back to the lake is going to require longer flows....and they might bring the minnows with them rather than head to unchartered waters 20 miles upstream from 44. Looks like we may have to go after the water again.
By not listing the trout, we have less red tape to get and keep projects moving forward. Trout Unlimited has hired a facilitator in order to keep DFW and USFS moving...Where it began about the fish, it's ending in grazing. So something has to change. We may see a native spawn, but without a lake, what's the point? As long as this lake is below 5100ft elevation, the trout in the lake are threatened. Every report shows that. It wasn't all from the drought. Mother Nature will respond once the attitude of the water diverters change. The lake had been robbed for decades and as water levels dropped, the robbing didn't stop. So some changes were in order. We aim to keep the changes coming, regardless....even if we have to sue to get it.
Where are the massive numbers of trout in the lake? I hear from many people who have said 2016 had been the worst fishing season they have experienced in decades and 2017 fishing season shaping up to be the same. Even though it picked up a little by late Sept and October last season, it hasn't been phenomenal 30-60fish days out there. Consider yourself lucky to get a fish or two in 5-6 hours and don't count on a big one. I have a second request in for creel data of catch rates per angler last season of which I have finally received the data from DFW biologist Paul Divine after additional request. Catch rate down, anglers down, but fish slightly larger. Too bad people can't catch what they used to. Many thinking it's a waste of time and money to come up, fish for 12 hours in two days and be lucky to catch one! Campgrounds with lots of empty spaces, stores struggling, Stones Landing resort still closed. Well, folks, I am certain that if the quality of the fishing was like it was in the past, more people would be here fishing. Unfortunately, other lakes have better fishing so folks are going where they can have fun. We have had better fishing, but the last two years has been, well, not very good.
A 3 to 4 pounder hasn't been uncommon in fall/winter for years either. But the bigger fish meat quality isn't nearly as good as the smaller 2 to 3 pounders. I would rather see folks catch limits of 2 to 3 lb fish than to spend a weekend and catch 1 or none. I think this lake has some serious problems. I know there are a lot of unhappy anglers. We had to learn from last years nasty conditions. Trout stay in warmer water if there isn't an ample supply of dissolved oxygen where it is cooler. Red shows up in green water better than any other historically good color on this lake. But still, working for our limits as opposed to catching and releasing and having a ball. Hopefully things will change for fall.
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. It may be up to the anglers to cull the chub population. I have no doubt that we could barely put a dent in the population and there are millions more to take their place. Doesn't look like the trout can put a dent in the minnows this year either, even with the help of the grebes feeding young. The future seasons will tell.
With fewer fish in all the tributaries this year, I am concerned about the quality of the fishing again this season. So far, there have been a lot of folks not doing too well, others doing better. Personally, I have done well but I had to adapt to conditions, work a pod and move on to find another. The only consistent thing I have done is stay higher in the water column and use red/gold lures to show up against the green water. 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. DFW has been pretty pathetic when it comes to maintaining this lake the last few years. Perhaps the biologist needs to move on and be replaced....that would be a good start.
My fishing partner and I are already planning on fishing other lakes in between fishing this one. After 50 + years of great fishing and lots of big fish, we have found other lakes with better catch rates and big fish. Countless other people have contacted me regarding camping here but fishing other lakes. Why not, I am & I live here!! We have spent the winter and spring months fishing on lakes within about 1 1/2 hours from here and really having a ball. I do have friends that want to fish a couple time a week and I will oblige them here at Eagle but I just don't see the numbers of fish that we normally had after severe cuts in planting. If I do see the blue/green algae as massive as it was last year, I won't hold back on posting the dead fish pictures from the bottom as I did last year. They weren't old dead fish either. Might invest in an ROV this year. Time will tell.
Without the lake at prime elevations (5106ft is considered full, 5100 is considered the lowest for the health of the fish), our watershed and our special trout are put back together, we have nothing. We still have impounded water on Pine Creek and the green slime algae hasn't exactly left. We would have probably come up an extra 2-3 ft had the impounds and springs been transfered to the lake. What is it worth to you? It is worth everything to me. It's environmental & yes a political aspect as well, one has to be willing to step on a few toes to save the lake and make some waves, press the DFW and LNF on all counts affecting this lake and our trout. We will step on more than that if we have to & proved that a long time ago. And, we aren't done just yet. I have watched the climate change and tracked it for over 14years. It does have something to do with it but 86 impounds and water diversions on our main spawning and feeder creek has had devistating affects all for just one or two ranchers at most for cattle...and instead of less, more are planned. Sound familiar IE National Geographic Water and Power series, Monterey Agreement, Agenda 21 and privatizing public resourses is here. Federal Gov might own the lake but the State owns the water. However PG&E has been manipulating our weather for many decades by cloud seeding for Lake Almanor and Lake Shasta, again, Monteray Agreement and sending every drop of water out. This has reduced our snow pack as well as our local moisture. So it's not all Mother Nature's cycle. We have a man made problem. Regardless of having a fair water year, the lake is still below all recommended levels for the health of the lake, vegetation and trout. Losing Eagle Lake and blaming it on climate change is mute when the climate is being manipulated to begin with. Eagle Lake isn't saved yet.
As long as restoration for cattle grazing continues, the trout won't be listed...but I highly doubt that USFWS knows what is happening....little has to do with trout and most of it is about retaining grazing. That restoration was the critical part of keeping the trout off the listing. The first two pages were about USFS and State employees having immunity from past poor decision making regarding Pine Creek (in which well over 80 water projects exist with only 7 permitted), We'll see if that still stands after more poor decision making in contrast to the conservation plan. The last impound was finished around 2005...our last year of good water was 2005/2006 and we have lost water in the lake ever since. The critical part is getting the fish and minnows back to the lake before the creek dries up and water temperatures spike.
It appears that TU may have fallen for the CRMP mentality of the ranchers on the board and using old government tactics. We may need to replace the CRMP group that has been around too long, done too little and simply abided by the wishes of the few rather than the many or the health of the lake. Also as a note, "TU and CRMP didn't have the Pine Creek organism study performed by Western US protocol and it needs to be done over again" is a direct quote from DFW biologist Paul Divine. At least UNR still has the samples so it can be done but needs more funding. Grant money will be used for that. DFW biologist Paul Divine told us that when he asked if we would be willing to fund another study. Unbelievable? No that's just something normal for Eagle Lake. Professional screw ups,. Over the decades, CRMP has caused more of our problems than they have ever fixed, this is why people showed up at their meeting. CRMP has very little support locally, known only for cattle grazing over fish habitat. I had a discussion with Trout Unlimited recently about the plan and other things that were not in the best interest of the lake and trout. We hope there are amendements to the plan and a better way of restoring Pine Creek than adding more impounds for livestock grazing. If you want to be a part of the solution to Eagle Lake, then Eagle Lake Guardians is who you need to donate too. All our donations go directly to Eagle Lake & Pine Creek Restoration or quite possibly legal council or legal action to save the lake. Guardians is the only local nonprofit whose donations go ONLY to support Eagle Lake and no other pockets, projects or lakes…just this one. And, we are working behind the lines but we aren't afraid to flank these folks either. More to come on that issue. Some one has to do this job folks, it isn't pretty but it has to be done. One fair water year isn't going to cut the mustard. The lake needs to be at an elevation no lower than 5100ft before it isn't considered detrimental to the trout....or local economy. So in spite of somethings going well, more work needs to be done.
Check NOAA link for the ever changing details.
Lake Conditions for water temps & Lake elevation by date
Ramp Conditions for launch ramp info.
Tips and Tricks for ideas & set ups dialed in for fishing Eagle Lake. Most methods are covered. We make no claims of knowing everything about Eagle Lake, but we do know a lot about catching Eagle Lake trout in their native waters.
Eagle Lake Fishing Report on “Best Fishing Locations and Depths”
FISHING ACCESSES, TOPO MAPS Note that USFS has a new app for quad and topo maps. I believe you are given the option to purchase them through the app. I love having the maps available on my phone no matter if I have signal or not.
EAGLE LAKE ACCESSES, QUAD MAPS AND TOPO MAPS: USFS QUAD MAPS OF OPEN ROADS AROUND THE EAGLE LAKE AREA: The links below go to maps saved from Lassen National Forest website. Any questions you have should be directed to Eagle Lake Ranger Station staff. I am only providing them for quick access for our viewers. More information on road closures in the Forest is available on their website. All these maps have the access roads pretty well lined out for you to access say, Wildcat Point (Pikes Pt Quad and Topo) or the Youth Camp from Gallatin (Gallatin Quad and Topo). On the larger maps, one can enlarge a specific area and crop and print the selected area on regular paper. NOTE: I SAVED THESE TO MY IPHONE AND I HAVE THEM WITH ME MOST EVERYWHERE, helpful in names of places over Google or other maps/gps apps
TROXEL QUAD MAP LINK
(popular drive to see wildlife; County Road 105 & ends at USFS 21)
USFS ROAD CLOSURES ZOOM IN You can also zoom up and crop specific areas of these maps to print. I personally did this myself to use to compare to other maps I had when bumpin’ along the dirt roads & believe it or not, there was some very good information on all these maps. USGS has just about everything you could ever need or want for maps…. Hunters might just benefit very well from downloading some of these maps and satellite images.
LNF HAS NEW ROAD MAPS OUT NOW ON THEIR WEBSITE.
Water diversions/impoundments on lower Pine Creek ALL THE LAKES FORMED FROM WATER DESTINED FOR PINE CREEK, STUDIES THAT WERE CONVENIENTLY LOST BY FEDERAL/STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN REDISCOVERED .... and they thought all the hard copies of the most important study (Vail Report, the base study for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan....or the Bible for Eagle Lake) were no longer available and no one could actually go back and see what the study said....thus, they will only "tell us what it said" and since there was no copy left to compare with, they could pull the wool over peoples eyes. OOPS, seems that there was one remaining hard copy and it has been sent to LNF as well as USFWS. All photos of the large lakes formed by impounded water and the documentation that allowed the cows to take over in Pine Creek was submitted too. Well over a gigibyte of information and documentation is now in the hands of USFWS to assist in their determination of listing our trout on the protected or endangered species list. 2015 CONSERVATION PLAN
Copyright 2004-2017 By Valerie Aubrey, Eagle Lake Fishing
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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
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FISHING SEASON ENDS DECEMBER 31, 2017
We are not affiliated with any agency or other business
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
SEE 2013 THRU 2016 CREEL DATA HERE. WHEN DFW CHECKS YOUR FISH WEIGHT AND LENGTH AND ASKS QUESTIONS OF HOW LONG YOU FISHED.
SEE TROUT PLANTINIG AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING.
TROLLING: South basin. Fish cleaning sinks have been winterized after low ambient temps in the teens. Merrill Campground remains open as does Eagle for now. Our morning ambient temps are now getting cold. A warm morning is around 20F. The marina store is open until Nov 1. The low water ramp is still going strong. The dock can be frosty in the morning. Note that some buoys have been removed so be careful out there.
Fish remain scattered but they have been in the upper 12ft of the water column. Fishing has been good for us. Mine have been in 6 to 16ft of water but not always early. I have started out letting my lines out in 24-30ft of water and once my lines are out I have slipped into the shallow rock piles. If the fish aren’t in tight and shallow early, they have been a little later. Just keep working. If you get a fish, make a circle & see if there is one more before moving on. I always run several directions and often find one direction is better than the others. Then it changes. I have been catching most of my fish on cinnamon or brown leeches, Jay Fair olive, rust and fiery brown electric series nymphs and several other trolling flies including tui chub and several that I tie. It has depended on my location as to which ones working best. Browns and olive have been the best in the rocks and moss beds, tui chub over deeper water. I have also run perch needlefish, Sure Catch medium double jointed Red Dog and several rapala’s. Mustard, brook trout and german brown colors for rapala’s have been good off the deeper ledges…. The only thing I haven’t changed is my running depth which remains 4 to 6 ft deep. Occasionally, depending on the depth of water I have dropped one line to around 8 to 10ft but the majority of my fish are coming from my toplines (similar to Jay Fairs topline which are available from Glenn Fair) and running about 140ft behind the boat. ….And I rarely have my lines straight, I am running in turns nearly all the time.
The water was remarkably clear this week but I’m already seeing some changes in the clarity. I have covered some territory to find them every day. We have found a few nice fish up off the south side of Miners Pt and Shrimp Island but not in big numbers. Further north up off The Youth Camp and the tip of Pelican Pt has had quite a bit of action but can be weedy (olive has been good up north). Not a place to go with a small boat as you won’t have time to get back to the dock if the winds come up. We still have some nice fish along the west side, but most people aren’t running in shallow enough water (mostly a safety issue on that) or fishing for the fish they see on their scope. Christie to Wildcat is still holding some fish, along the ledges. I watch the pelicans and grebes & head right for them. Mostly finding them on the ledges and submerged rock piles. The east side has seen a handful of trout but mostly still a lot of tui chubs on that side of the lake. Although if you’re not doing well anywhere else, give it a shot. Keep your lines up, chances are you won’t be scoping a fish 4ft under your boat. I have found trout in water as shallow as 6-8ft and up to 12ft deep over water up to 30ft. The deepest water I have caught fish over (and 4-6ft deep) has been 46ft. Depending on the location, brook trout rapala’s are also getting attention. Mostly trolling the raps around 1.7 mph has drawn the strikes. I have been varying my trolling speed this week and several nice fish hit at 2.2 to 2.4mph with trolling flies depending on the location and depth of water. We are starting to see some shrimp spawning in some locations and that’s when orange begins to work better. Fighting some weeds here and there as the mud hens inundate an area, the wind can carry the weeds to other locations. But check your lines periodically, there are some subsurface weeds too.
Cooler ambient temps are going to change things up for the best. But they are also going to move some trout around. AND these trout will change food sources with locations. The trout get tired of the same old thing too and change back and forth when new food sources become available as with changing locations. Right now we are seeing surface temps running 55 to 56F rising slightly to 57F around 30ft so we are pretty much within a degree from the surface to 50ft. That’s perfect for the trout and nearly any depth, but finding the active level is the key to catching. The deepest fish I have caught (by accident) was17ft. LoL. Further north the surface temps have been between 51 and 53F depending on the time of day or morning. We will probably see our water temps hold in the low to mid 50’s for a while longer, but Nov is only a couple weeks away!
We still have fish off Pikes Pt but DFW just planted our fall allotment. They have barely scattered around Pikes Pt and off the Jetty. I was called by DFW volunteer and told they were all around 1lb or more. I haven’t seen one larger than 10-11” and some around 7” long and I know for a fact, that isn’t a 1lb fish, that’s a ½ lb fish LoL. So we are inundated with shakers right now around Pikes and the Jetty. Although the jetty has produced a few nice fish this week from shore. Purple and green powerbait and throwing cast-masters.
The bait fish have been scattered in smaller groups, but find one & chances are good you will find a trout lurking around them. Watch the grebes and pelicans, they are good indicators as to where the minnows might be. Right now, everything is pretty scattered. The minnows are moving a little every day. We have a few scattered out in the middle but one has to get through the adult tui chub to find them. Leeches and ram’s horn snails have been fairly steady in the diet off the rock piles but we’ve had a few barfing up minnows here and there.
Attractants certainly can’t hurt. Pro Cure Trophy Trout is my first choice right now. But don’t be afraid to try any other flavor. Next up for me is generally garlic.
WHAT ELSE TO USE: Fire Tiger patterns mostly rapala’s but we’ve run the #2 needlefish too. The Brook trout pattern also worked. Perch patterns can do well, tamer than fire tiger yet still has orange brassy hues and darker greens. Seems that the splash of orange with any shade of green has helped. Sure Catch Red Dog doing well this week for us. Mostly in Med double jointed. 1/4 oz Red/Gold Thomas Buoyant still gets a fish for us too as is watermelon buoyant. Red/gold Thomas “fighting fish” at 3/8oz got a lot of attention (little Phoebe very similar). Red anything has been doing pretty well but to me, it’s been about the hammered or scaled finished lures throwing light over the flat lures. Red/copper or red/gold, chartreuse/nickel speedy shiners are also working for some folks. Our water is pretty clear right now, but it’s going to go to brown as water temperatures drop lower. As a note; I tweak the bend slightly on my needlefish and change the hook to a #10 treble…basically going back to the 30-year-old style of needlefish…too much bend and it will twist in the water. It doesn’t take much tweaking. A slight modification of the speedy shiner can also help.
TROLLING FLIES: The Jay Fair cinnamon leech or electric series in olive, brown or rust. Tui chub minnow and Arctic Fox tui chub and red-side trolling fly is starting to get attention off Christie and the lower west side, mostly over deeper water for me, although my lines remain high in the water column. Further north it’s been about rust, cinnamon and brown leech patterns. Trolling fly colors and patterns can vary with location and what structures you’re working. The Brown/cinnamon leech is my go to fly for naturals and is something that generally gets attention on the West side first....sometimes the shade of brown can make a difference. J Fairs electric series flies are beautiful in the water and have a lot of movement on their own. On overcast days I have to run at least one “All Around Best (yellow with an orange topped head). Keep that in mind as we may see some clouds later next week. Orange has been working for me for the first hour, but then it hasn’t been looked at seriously. Don't discount smaller flies for topline trolling this fall, especially burnt orange, brown or olive wooly buggers or small nymphs. I often run a smaller fly behind a larger fly (18” behind) just to see what happens, and something generally does happen. Smaller versions are available at Eagle Lake Marina, ask at the counter as they are in the case along with Jay Fair wiggle tails, translucent (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. They are open until Nov 1.
GRUBS: Generally, the same colors of grubs work as trolling flies. One of the grubs I really like is a pumpkin seed, but it’s beige with a hint of orange and smaller than most. Berkley, sometimes called a jigging grub 1 ½”. Hard to find but can be found online or Sportsman’s Warehouse, it's not the amber one you see labeled as pumpkin seed by other manufacturers. Orange, watermelon, brown, root-beer, black are good to start out with before going to the crazies…but we can find some crazier colors to work when nothing else does. Trolled slow and hooked correctly, the grubs have a nice wiggle, but on faster trolls a wiggle disc or dodger will give it some needed action. Berkley minnows are also a good choice. Black shad or water melon pearl have been the favorites but smoke and shad made its debut on the lake last year and it did pretty. These come scented in the package (bring a ziplock just in case you damage the packaging.) Note that the watermelon pearl is nearly a dead ringer for the chub minnows. We run those “crippled”. Hook down the center and out the side. It really hasn’t been a grub summer, similar to trolling flies.
STILL FISHING FROM ANCHOR: Bait fishing under slip bobbers has been spotty all season. Bobber fishermen have been struggling. Green and Purple Powerbait has gotten some fish (we have also used marshmallows for floating worms…trout like the sugar believe it or not). It has been a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I always liked seeing trollers around me when I baitfish (as long as they don’t run over my lines), it seems to move the fish to the bait when the bite has gone off. My best advice if bait is your bag, is to head to a shallow rock pile and fish off the edges.
SHORE FISHING: Some action here and there. The trout aren’t real regular yet, but some are beginning to frequent the shoreline for short periods of time. We don’t have a whole lot of shore action yet, but it’s mostly about timing and the fish haven’t really been on any set schedule when coming in close….sometimes it’s been around 1pm or later. Some action of the Circus Grounds but note that the best cast will still only land you in about 6 ft of water. It has been fairly weedy in that area. Christie to Wildcat area still has quite a few weeds in the water along shore which makes for difficult shore fishing or wading and fly fishing. If shore fishing is all you can do, watch the water, you will see tiny minnows jumping here and there. The depth off the rocky ledge off Christie is 24 to 28ft deep and nearly straight up and down at the tip. There is plenty of 10 to 12 ft water off the side of the point. If trout are chasing minnows in close you need to shallow up your bobber. I generally check my bobber depth before I bait up. I cast where I want to land it and make sure I am not too deep. We do have fish off the Youth Camp/Biology station now too.
So far the “nursery” chubs are still along the east side ledge from Camp Ron McD to beyond The Springs, adults further out, but as the water cools down we should see them move out and the smaller minnows come back in. The ledge is still reachable with a good cast. I suggest minnie crawlers or a half or third of a nightcrawler over the whole worm right now and power bait is a good option. Sometimes smaller is better. Powerbait has also held its own for bait. Green, purple or beige have been this weeks colors. Water filled bobber or a slightly larger bobber with heavier weight will be needed to get the distance. We also often use longer rods, lighter line to get the distance. Just note that the 4lb line doesn't hold up to abrasion well, and trout teeth can damage it very easily. Use a lighter drag and re-tie your hook after EVERY fish. Trust me on that for 4 to 6lb lines. Jig fishing should begin producing some action. If I am catching 4ft deep on flies, the jigs generally do well too. Another couple of weeks and a good cold stormy day will change things up for the best. Hold on, looks like another week before we have a chance for any moisture.
FLY FISHING: Once we cool down a bit more, the trout will come closer to the surface for longer durations of time. A buddy did catch two in two days float tubing but I still want the surface temps to cool down a little more before working that hard to catch a fish. A few have been caught fly fishing from the boat, but it has been a short lived bite so far, we’ve had to cover some territory once we’ve worn out a rock pile. Some sporadic hatches along the weeds and tules off the west side. Surface activity has been more about small groups of minnows and a few grasshoppers than any winged bugs on the water. Nymphs, yes. If I were to be out tubing right now I would start out using small minnow patterns, toe bitters, small nymphs or brown leech patterns on a medium sink tip line. Wading this fall is going to take getting out beyond the new tule beds in order to get a line out. There are a few pockets but mostly just need to get a line out beyond them. We still have a few rock piles and points without tules, but it’s going to have to take some work getting to them. It’s not going to be like years past from Christie to Wildcat or along the Circus Grounds or Lake of the Woods, we have a whole new weed line. But, once we see higher water levels, this habitat will prove beneficial!! I like having my options, that’s why I like my float tube or kayak. I can get in close and shallow but I can also follow the fish out when they go.
All lake elevations are also posted on Lake Conditions page going back to 2010 so it is easy for you to compare. All launch ramp photos are posted in the 2017 ramp album for you to view. All surface temps for areas are also located on Lake Conditions, even though I add a few here.
Thousands of cows grazing along highway 139 thru mid January so we can safely assume some heavy nutrient loading has occurred. We believe that the heavy nutrients led to our massive blue/green algae problem last season. Rotting weeds from recently being covered in water contribute to the nitrate loading too. I doubt I will waste much time scouting the north basin early this season but we hope the fall produces some migration of trout if the tui chub minnows are prolific. The north basins were dry for a long time and it will take a little time to get the food supply back.
In spite of seeing a few larger fish in 2016 season, the numbers of fish caught were dramatically decreased. For the first time in my 55 years, the lake was green and massively cloudy all 2016 season. So far 2017 we have seen clearer water up until mid July when the green hue began getting more obvious. Visibility around 2-3ft now as August wanes to Sept.
I believe we are seeing the return of the blue/green algae this summer (look at the shoreline near the low water ramp). The water had a greener hue on 7-25 than it has been all season and is very obvious along the shoreline. Dissolved oxygen in 2016 dropped below sustainable levels for trout below 22ft deep. Could be why I have been catching most of my fish 17-23ft deep during the summer of 2017 in spite of having high surface temps. In August of 2016 I took a video camera down into the water column and was totally amazed as to the water quality being so poor. At that time DFW chose not to perform more water testing and has not conducted any water tests in 2017 and don't expect to until later in Sept. We are not well represented by DFW anymore. Smaller hatchery fish at 3 to a pound were common from the cold water hatchery that our fall plant comes from, but 3 to a pound from our spring plant hatchery is a lot smaller than our historic normal of 2 to a pound. With reduced trout planting a smaller trout the last few years, the tui chub have expedentially reproduced and have pretty much taken over the lake in 2017. It's going to take a heck of a lot of trout to put a meager dent in the minnow population and the stage two tui chubs are too big and protected by gardian chubs and the trout rarely even target the 5 to 7" chubs. Personally, I think we need to get rid of several million chubs or they will be competing for the food for the trout. A 7 to 10" trout isn't going to eat a 4 to 7" chub. This happened at a lake in Oregon this year. OFW ended up netting several thousand pounds of chubs every day for several weeks just to balance the population as their trophy trout fishery tanked due to too many chubs eating the food up.
We saw a lot fewer trout in the tributaries this spring than in years past. I was more amazed by what I didn’t see than from what I did see. Papoose creek had up to a couple hundred, Merrill Creek just a handful. Both of these tributaries have traditionally had well over a thousand fish in them, even in years with less water we have seen 1700 to over 2000 in them. Pine Creek finally drafted around 1200+ over 6 weeks not all were spawners but DFW had to close the gate and prevent free passage upstream for a while so we haven't really had a native spawn so far for this season. DFW needed every ripe hen they could which was in violation of the conservation plan for free passage for the native spawn so it was manipulated again this year. Then had to resort to electro-shocking in the lake for as many more as they could get. DFW wanted and expected to get 3.1 million eggs and after many weeks of good flow in all the main tributaries had to electroshock in the lake and still only got 1.3 million eggs. Hello? And they don't see a problem? LoL. It took well over a month of flow before any trout had come up Pine Creek and DFW had to work through the first week of May. Pine Creek started flowing in mid Dec and continued to trickle through the winter under the ice. Generally, eggs collected that late in the season aren't generally as viable as earlier eggs. Time will tell but we are seeing a lot fewer fish than we have in years past...absolutely no doubt about that. Many of the fish that did get to go upstream late in the flows, stayed between the A1 bridge and Spalding bridge….then flows receded quickly stranding quite a few in low water and low DO. It is always a waste of resources to prevent the fish from heading upstream the moment they want to go. Holding them back several weeks only leads to a predetermined outcome. Water temps shoot up quickly in slower flows and eggs can’t generally hatch, reduced flow strands not only the spawners but the fry as well. Result is not natural when restricted by humans for their own convenience. One of my major beefs with DFW and the biologists who do what THEY want, not what the fish are telling them. They are wasting resourses and money trying to get the trout to spawn above highway 44 when all the natural spawning that HAS occured from the trout heading upstream from the lake in spring has been below that level.
Don’t complain to the stores or marinas about the fishing and fish, you need to complain to the local department of fish and wildlife biologist in charge of managing this lake. 530 254-6363 Paul Divine. SEE TROUT PLANTINIG AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING. We are about 250,000 trout short from reduced planting in the last 4 years. No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either. God forbid what next year will bring.
We are seeing a lot of trout with several fins removed. We have caught quite a few fish that were missing 3 fins or more and quite a few with split tails. I certainly hope that anglers aren't trimming more fins when catching and releasing than DFW is by marking after every time they handle a fish for the spawn or plant it. One fish had no fins, just his tail to manuvery. Sad case. If it is DFW, I would say they are mostly mutilating these fish now and freeze branding was much better for the fish. If you get a nice one that you may want to have mounted, good luck as it will be somewhat mutilated when it comes to the fins and tails. This is being done so that in the future, a native (native spawn) fish may be fully finned. In the mean time, the hatchery raised/farmed fish might just swim in circles. LoL.
Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release in the summer months. Tui chub (other than the hatch of the season) have no predators and live over 32years. They stay in the lake regardless. Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else. Many have been spawning up north and concentrate off the Youth Camp before heading back down south but they are inundating the depths as of 7-20. The chubs scope differently than the trout do and are pretty easy to determine on your screen. Generally, they stack up and are very thick in zones of the lake that have dissolved oxygen levels too low to support trout. Mostly, any school of fish that the top is at 7ft and the bottom is at 47ft are NOT trout. We caught some chubs 22" long in 2016 and again in late July 2017. Huge monsters for chubs so they are doing very well....maybe too well considering the biomass and fewer trout being planted. With a little more spawning habitat back for the chubs, I think we will see another prolific hatch. I believe their population density is going to bite us in the ass if it hasn’t already. They're over populated, competing with the fewer trout and we don't have the numbers of trout or grebes to control the future population. I have no idea if the ones I am catching survive my release. LoL! I seee this becoming a very bad problem for this lake now. People don't come here to catch trophy tui chubs but that's what we are finding.
Various zooplanktons have also become very prolific to the point of fowling lines and downriggers...and when thick enough, can plug jet pumps. The biggest change in the fishing occurred in less than one year. From catching and releasing tons (20-40+ per day) of 2-3+ lb fish to being lucky to get one or two was a dramatic shift in Eagle Lake in less than one year. We may have seen some 4+lb fish but their numbers being caught were few and far between…lots of 2 to 3 ½ lbs as usual. Over 50 years of eating these trout, the best quality of meat comes from a 2-3lb trout. Meat of the bigger trout of 4 +lbs is generally grainy, mealy and soft. Everyone wants to catch a big fish, but the quality of the meat is not nearly as good as smaller fish. Consider that. I rarely keep a fish over 4lbs as to me, it is a waste if it doesn't eat as good as a smaller fish...most of us consider them to be "smokers".
Content of this website is copyright protected 2003-2017 by Valerie Aubrey. Any reuse of the content must simply be authorized by asking. Unauthorized use or lack of crediting content will be considered for legal action. We often see our report summarized in other publications with no credit to where the info came from. As a note, I do leave in some spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in and seeing them in other publications is a dead giveaway. LoL! Opinions on this site are not necessarily the opinions of our sponsors or people we work with. Our opinions are based on over 50 years of fishing Eagle Lake and nearly 30 years of living here full time. Through the El Nino's of getting 24ft of snowfall and through several droughts. We have been there and done that. We know that a lot of the local county info on the lake elevation in the past has been doctored due in part to not having an official actually checking lake elevations in the 1990's...1993 200 residents of Spalding witnessed the lake rising nearly 8ft from the local snowfall of 24ft over that winter. Despite our efforts when the lake chart was updated a few years later with incorrect numbers "to make the chart look historically accurate" not actually accurate, it remains inaccurate during those years as there was no water m. Our explanation from BOS was "No one will know when you are all gone". So we don't believe everything that Lassen County says. That is the honest to God truth and there are still many of us old timers around that know that.