Current Fishing Report

Eagle Lake Best Fishing Locations Depths

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April 16, 2018
The lake is closed to fishing Until Memorial Day Weekend.  See our Photo Gallery and Video Gallery for current views of the lake and area

Wondering why your fish don’t have fins or have split tails? 
Up next will be what spring brings and it is all in our photos and video galleries!
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. 
DFW utilizing the last of the run of fish in Pine Creek this week.  Then that’s it for the egg collection.  Since Pine Creek began flowing free passage of fish upstream was limited to only 2 nights in over a one month period and that was just recently.  Very late in the run and towards the end of sufficient sustained flow.  Only 1300 fish entered the trap this season.  Better than nothing but a far cry from what used to come up Pine Creek. 
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 by mid July and as August waned to Sept. By October we began to see some clearer water again and poof, November we were cloudy again.  But it’s normal to see cloudier water in Nov/Dec.  2018 we saw less fish in Pine Creek than in 2017, many were those planted in 2017 although we did see some 18-20″ fish.  Personally, I think we will see another season similar to the last two.

With reduced trout planting a smaller trout the last few years, the tui chub have explosively 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 guardian 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. Fewer trout in this lake is not the answer.  As with nature, some foods dwindle and others take off.  The trout change their diet, often by choice rather than necessity.  The zooplankton’s (shrimp, scuds and daphnia) have been so heavy that they foul your lines and downrigger’s the last several years.  The chironamides will most likely be very heavy hatches.  I’m not exactly looking forward to having 1/2″ thick layer of flies on my canopy, windshield or dash of my boat but a shop vac made fairly short work of cleaning that up on a daily basis.

We saw a lot fewer trout in the tributaries in 2017 spring than in years past.  I was more amazed by what I didn’t see than from what I did see.  2018 egg collection is being conducted by eletro-shocking the lake for fish and collecting eggs from the trapped fish on Pine Creek that were only allowed free passage upstream 2 nights since it began flowing on March 14th.  

For water levels  just keep your fingers crossed.  We are still 10ft lower than prime and the 2017/2018 winter hasn’t given us much moisture. yet.  We are still 7″ below 2017 high level but seeing a few storms pass thru and we just hope to come close to that level…doubtful we will get over it.   It will be pretty settled in by the end of April as to what we can expect for 2018 peak rise.

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 PLANTING 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 5 years.  No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either.  God forbid what next year will bring.
We had 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. DFW is marking after every time they handle a fish for the spawn or plant it.    Quite a few fish had no fins at all, just his tail to maneuver.  Sad case.  We have caught hundreds of these mutilated fish this year in particular. If it was anglers, there would not be so many and most are all very close to the same size.  If it is DFW (see fin trimming note from 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.  Not a trophy trout to be proud of, that’s certain.  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.  DFW should go back to freeze branding the fish.  This was much better for the fish.  At least the fish had fins and a full tail and could feed properly.

Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release in the summer months.  Adult Tui chub have no predators and live over 32years.  They stay in the lake regardless.  The trout mainly only target the hatch of the current year, although only rarely we encounter a 4-5″ chub in the belly of a fish over 5 lbs.  Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else.   The chubs scope differently than the trout do and are pretty easy to determine on your screen.  Generally, they stack up and are very thick in zones of the lake that have dissolved oxygen levels too low to support trout.  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, we had 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 see this becoming a very bad problem for this lake now.  People don’t come here to catch trophy tui chubs.

Various zooplankton’s have also become very prolific to the point of fowling lines and downrigger’s…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 55 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”.   But, I love smoked trout too and don’t mind keeping a couple big ones for the smoker rather than the table.
© Content of this website is copyright protected 2003-2018 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 55 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.  In 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 nor other government agencies.  That is the honest to God truth and there are still many of us old timers around that know that.