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. 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. A buddy calculated from the planting numbers by DFW that we are around 250,000 trout short of our normal planting allotment. Thanks DFW. ALSO, NOTE THAT NEARLY EVERY FISH HAS BEEN MUTILATED BY FIN TRIMMING. MOST HAVE ONLY ONE FIN LEFT IF ANY. TAILS ARE SPLIT OR HEAVILY NOTCHED. THANKS AGAIN DFW. ONE FIN TRIM IS OK AND IN NO WAY ARE ANY “GROWING BACK”. REMOVING ALL THE FINS IS CONSISTENT WITH MUTILATION AND HARMFUL TO THE FISH. GO BACK TO FREEZE BRANDING THE TROUT NOT MUTILATING THEM. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING THESE FISH NOT TO BE ABLE TO FEED CORRECTLY. i HAVE RECIEVED TONS OF COMPLAINTS FROM ANGLERS.
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. Perhaps the Lassen Pack of wolves will take care of these cows for us! LoL! 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.