****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH ****
Although, that isn’t always the safe speed.
JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE 4 WHEEL DRIVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD DRIVE 55. DON’T PUSH THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU, SLOW DOWN. COLD TEMPS UP THIS WAY WILL KEEP THINGS ICY and FROSTY ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTHERN EXPOSURES AND IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. FAIRLY GOOD CHANCE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER THRU SATURDAY
USFS Road 21: Snow. Snowmobile trail until further notice.
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Text or Call 530 249-1430 or email us
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 Guardians 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. If needed, we will be seeking some legal action to get the motivation moving forward. No one else can say that!!!
2018 UPDATE: American Rivers has applied for more grants. Won’t know until April for one and August 2019 for the other. We pretty much got the same update as 6-2018. Still waiting for funding and applying for grants. 6-11-18 Preliminary update is that benefits to the fish aren’t being discussed. Some funding applied for and not successful. Here is a 6-18-18 partial update from TU. 12-14-18: It appears that funding dried up and nothing was done this season. At this time no state or federal agency is funding the restoration. Here is a “conceptual plan” NOTE: that CRMP has been “working on restoring the creek habitat for 31 years for “fish” and little to show for it. But the big impounds were installed under their watch. We are told that backing up this water enhances the wells in Spalding. If Pine Creek is double the nutrients, then why are Spalding wells not under continuous monitoring. More later on that. NOTE 2: it IS like pulling teeth from a live gator to get any updates. The whole conservation plan is to prevent the trout from being listed as an endangered species and restore the creek for a native spawn. Super Ditch still appears to be capable of trapping local water but now it’s for flood control of the highway and railway. LoL. 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 ANOMALIES TO MASSIVE DIVERSIONS OF WATER FROM PINE CREEK AND POINT OUT THE ISSUES THAT DEVASTATED THE WATERSHED TO PREVENT A LISTING BY FIXING IT. IF IT ISN’T FUNDED BY STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR OTHERS, THEN IT IS A WASTED PROCESS. 2019 USFS GRAZING PLAN HAS CHANGED FROM THE DRAFT. It really is unbelievable what devastation LNF has caused this lake and watershed for a few bucks in cattle grazing. Over 4000 units (2/cow&calf at $1.31 per unit). CRMP INFORMATION IS ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH EMAIL. NO PUBLIC INFORMATION AT THIS TIME. Email Tim Keesey CRMP at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for email updates. The cattle grazing at the north basins lake shore is now being looked into and evidence of misuse is being submitted, filed and printed by Lahontan for their case. We’ll be getting and update from Lahontan and we hope for good news. Massive cow crap inundating the lake is showing, the increased grazing on and in the lake since 2015 is obviously causing harm. They have certainly torn up the shoreline area over the last years of low water, and higher water covers up hundred of tons of crap which directly affects the water quality. The wave surge from a windy day can push water 100-200ft up the shallow shoreline which carries all the fresh nutrients right back into the lake. Eagle Lake Guardians have been asked to assist the State with water testing of the lake station. Guardians are committed to this lake and will assist in any capacity needed. McClellan Ranch has been very conscientious and one of the best when it comes to protecting the lake. They still get five stars.
Updated 2012 to 2018 fin trimming
Also, 2017 creel data was barely worth posting statement by DFW Paul Divine “With lower catch rates many anglers stayed on the water longer, past our survey hours, resulting in fewer anglers interviewed (on top of the already lower than normal fishing pressure)”. Put some fish in the lake & the people will come and start planting the lake with 2/per pound like we normally would receive rather than planting bait at 4+/per pound so they have half a chance at survival from the pelicans you are feeding during planting. If fall planters do better then plant them all in fall at least the average person would be catching a limit. DFW should ask for volunteers to float out in boats, tubes or kayaks to keep pelicans from eating them as fast as they are put in. Personally, in my over 57 years on the lake, this biologist and DFW in general is probably the worst we have had in over 30 years. That’s what happens when you have an environmental biologist that doesn’t actually fish the lake, spend several days a week seeing and watching it, or conduct weekly water quality tests, especially during our lowest historic elevations since the 1930’s. Ya see, folks, no data, no problem. That’s DFW’s new strategy right from the USFS handbook. LoL. If you have complaints about the fish and fishing complain here. Paul Divine Biologist: Paul.Divine@wildlife.ca.gov 530 254-6363 Redding office Supervisor: Andrew Jensen Andrew.Jensen@wildlife.ca.gov 530 225-2300. Have we seen a few larger fish come in in fall. Yes, there is more food in the lake than the low number of trout can eat. Tui Chub population is way out of control. AS OF 12-14-18 A TOTAL OF 144,135 TROUT WERE PLANTED IN THE 2018 SEASON. ABOUT 80% OF NORMAL ALLOTMENT. Not enough, but beggars can be choosers. REQUEST SENT FOR 2018 CREEL DATA and UPDATED FIN TRIMMING. Long on promise, short on delivery by DFW.
Spalding Volunteer Fire Department donation link
I challenge all property owners and regular visitors to match or donate what they can. Remember, if you, your family or friends have an emergency up here, chances are that Spalding Volunteer Fire Department will be responding. Any amount will help. We have a great crew and our small fire department needs our support!!
PINE CREEK HAS TO FLOW AT 500CFS FOR 3+ WEEKS TO GIVE US 1FT OF WATER. THAT’S AROUND 5.57 ON THE GAUGE. 6 IS MAX (approximately 803cfs) AND AT THAT POINT CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE EGG COLLECTION FACILITY BUT ADD WATER FASTER. LOWER FLOWS (IN THE 4’s) JUST KEEP UP WITH EVAPORATION. PINE CREEK HAS NOT CUT LOOSE YET. NOR HAS MERRILL. PAPOOSE HAS BEEN HOLDING ITS OWN SINCE EARLY FEBRUARY. (do note that average % reflects drought years too)
Might see a little water come into the lake. But, it has to flow fast and hard for many weeks to budge this lake elevation. Slow flows don’t cut the mustard but can keep up with evaporation and Pine Creek hasn’t cut loose yet. Not bad but at the local lake basin we still have a way to go for total moisture to reach 2017 by about 11-12″. So far for snowfall at 74″, 2017 was 74″. 2019 season total so far 16.01″, 2018 season total moisture 19.49″, 2017 season total moisture 27.11″, so we have some catching up to do before we see 5ft of water in the lake as we did 2017. We’ll see. We haven’t seen any significant moisture this week with the passing storms. Merrill hasn’t started yet but it will. Papoose has been dribbling since 2-8. The tributaries along highway 139? Some are draining a little but mostly on and off depending on the temps, nothing that will really help the lake elevation but some water is fanning out along the grazing areas that hundreds of cattle were on BLM throughout late December 2018 so there’s a great possibility of some heavy nutrient loading. Cleghorn has been up and down. Mostly only patchy snow around Spalding. 139 has very little snow left as does Stones Landing. The south basin? Patchy snow in Eagle Campground (lots of bare ground). The marina is about melted out. Merrill has patches that are deeper and less exposed ground. Christie and the Circus grounds have a little more. But all in all, our snow is going quickly. New photos up in our gallery so check those out. I’ve see posts of places where metal roofs drop the snow beside a building and people say they have 5ft of snow. LoL. Okay. But shoveling piles and metal roof drops are not the real deal. We plow and shovel out areas where we can measure the snow without the drifts and without sliding off any roofs or vehicles. If we didn’t do it like that we wouldn’t be able to accurately measure the snowfall. Looks like we have a chance for inclement weather this week, but I don’t think it will be much. Time will tell. I’ll take the rain right now. It will depend on the timing and temperatures. Pine Creek has been draining some local melt but the temps have been too cold this week to do much more than keep the dribble. We’ll take it. We’ve been waiting for the creek to bust loose but she’s mighty late this year. We’ll see. Once she roars, it generally won’t stop in spite of colder temps. Slow down? Yes. Stop? I doubt it. So hold on, this hasn’t been shaping up to be the same. I’ve been asked if the lake will fill up this year. No I don’t think so. But I am hoping we get to 2017 level and we still have just over a foot to go to get there. We still have a way to go to reach 2017 elevation which peaked at 5096.7ft. Currently at 5095.62 ft (unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp markers 3-19). Bring on the deluge. IWe’ll know pretty soon and by mid to late April we generally have a pretty good idea. We need a long duration of big flow and at this point, we haven’t seen it yet. The flows have been from 3 too 4.68. The highest is barely over the dam/weir. But at 5.57 it’s at 502cfs, at 6 (which is max at the gauge) it’s just over 800cft. So let’s see where we go once it starts. There’s some water up there, just depends on how fast it gets here as to how it helps the lake. Hard fast flows help the lake, slowed down flow helps the fish. Balancing act. Yes, I have the USFS chart for cfs vs the foot marks on the gauge, that’s how I know what the cfs is. The fuller the lake gets, the longer we need to see that 500cfs flow for that 1ft rise. That’s the math. The smaller tributaries are negligible for helping the lake elevation out, due in part to the sheer size of the lake. Short duration of drainage. We’ll often see them flush at high levels for a few days, then back to normal. The tribs on 139 flush out storms but even if they flow for a few weeks after the main flush, a dribble doesn’t even counter evaporation and often fans out before even reaching the lake.
Eagle Lake is in the rain/snow shadow and we don’t see what is predicted for Chester or Tahoe. But we do get snow, we always have cold temps. What we have isn’t bad but not great. 200% including 10 years of drought isn’t exactly massive and the 30 year average goes back to the last drought years. A lot of folks have only spent the winters here during the drought years which the recent drought really kicked in around 2007/2008. They haven’t experienced 24ft of snow in a month like we have. All I can say is that 24ft of snow in 92/93 we met with just a snow shovel. No need for a ladder to climb up on the roof. Every metal shed that wasn’t reinforced was flattened. Every tent type storage was also flattened or ripped. We have since purchased the equipment we need to dig out and not kill ourselves doing it, and finally get to use it again. LoL. Eagle Lake can have some really strange weather. Try growing vegetable gardens in summer. In our zone it can freeze ANY month of the year. Rarely have we seen it not. We have seen temps below zero through April in the past so this is nothing new or unexpected. We have seen 31″ of snow fall in one night on the first day of spring too so if one thinks spring means rain, that’s not always the case. We’ve also seen snow fall on opening weekend in late May as well as the Fourth of July. But we’ll take everything Mother Nature tosses our way. The forecasts have been funny. When they say we’ll get 2 ft, we get a few inches. When they say little to no accumulation we get 6-12″. LoL. We just wait till it’s over before we measure. LoL. The lake remains low and we could sure use a good flood and we hope it’s coming. But at least, it appears at this point we may reach 2017 but we need Pine Creek to get going. Hoping anyway. We’ll see. In no way do I believe it will the lake fill up with 10ft of water with what we have right now. Lets get to last years high water, then shoot for 2017 level and anything above that will be a good thing. I would rather see several inches of rain now. Everything that falls locally has a direct affect. But at this point, well just have to wait and see. The entire lake is now open water so evaporation rates are part of the equation.
We are seeing some of our migrating birds arrive in small numbers. This week, tree swallows are showing up, tricolor blackbirds, spotted towhee’s, a couple of finches. A few more species showing up every day. An osprey was checking things out in the Slough but didn’t stick around. Probably moved to where the fish are out in the lake. But all in all it’s very normal to see them begin to return in March. Besides, snow melting, warmer temps, creeks dribbling and the upcoming spawn, the return of the tweety birds is my favorite time of year. We had some western and eared grebes remain over winter. That isn’t unusual, the south basin only froze over for a few days and pockets of open water remained. In my last video, there were a half dozen sitting in a pocket by the marina. LoL. We have quite a few species of water fowl, swans and geese hang out over winter. But the sentinel pelicans are probably already checking out creeks. Once there are fish, there will be hundreds in a very short time. Mostly within a day or two.
A chance of rain showers before 11pm, then a chance of rain and snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light southwest in the evening.
A 40 percent chance of showers after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 45. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Rain showers likely before 11pm, then rain and snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 27. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
A chance of snow showers before 11am, then rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25.
A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47.
A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26.
Rain and snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46.
Over the reduced planting, by the numbers, this lake is STILL well over 250,000 trout short and a gazzillion chubs over populated. This was very poor DFW management. That’s what happens when biologists don’t actually spend much time on the water or actually fish the lake regularly that they mis-manage. I would have said “care for” but that is far from it with our current biologist. No one boat load of average anglers should be lucky to catch one ELT per day for 4 anglers let alone 1 in a week in summer. Loss by hundreds of pelicans hanging out at the only ramp where these fish have been being planted isn’t part of the DFW equation. 300 pelicans in spring and fall can do some numbers damage to small dumb trout. The birds had to follow the boats this 2018 summer, rather than the boats following the birds this year. Finally they were able to find minnows in close when the minnows moved into shallower water in the masses and to chase and feeding on the fall planted trout. I don’t mind saying that a pelican can eat 3 big 3lb chubs before it’s full. That’s around 7-9lbs of fish to fill up a 22-24lb bird. A 12″ or less trout is just an appetizer and it takes about 10 of those for a meal for a pelican. I would rather feed them chubs than have them get the trout. And I have seen a pelican swallow a 4 to 5 lb trout whole in fall as well as in spring during the spawn. It isn’t like they care what they eat, just THAT they eat. I don’t mind feeding the birds at all and I really don’t think the anglers can put a dent in the chub population for many years, but we are giving it our best efforts until WE feel we have culled the population down to the right numbers. I’ll be doing the same in 2019. Obviously, we can’t count on DFW to do much. LoL. Anglers (a lot fewer than in the past) will never be capable of depleting or reducing the population for decades. But, we will try for years to come. This is a man made problem & chances are that Mother Nature won’t be able to take care of the over population of chubs.
Eagle Lake trout are planted in larger numbers everywhere but Eagle Lake. GMO E.L. Trout that is. The trout are sterilized at fertilization before being reared and planted in other lakes & reservoirs. So you are catching and eating GMO fish in every other lake but this one. LoL. Triploids and Diploids are genetically modified not to reproduce. USFS is to blame for increasing grazing, taking water away from Pine Creek and the water quality issues that extensive grazing has done. BLM is just as guilty of extensive grazing. So we have a pretty big battle to fight to get the cattle moved off of and out of the lake and upslope where they can’t be as damaging to the Eagle Lake ecosystem. The low water levels and increased cattle grazing as well as increased duration has made for this green cloudy water, low dissolved oxygen and bacterial warnings. Jeeze. Who wants to recreate in cow poop?
I don’t believe the birds can see through the cloudy green water to catch fish. Only a few osprey remained after the spawn, pelicans were begging from boats. The grebes can dive very deep…100’s of feet if needed (we don’t have that depth here) but the grebes are more adaptable to cloudy water. People don’t come here to catch trophy tui chubs in summer. 20-30chubs a day was common in 2017 and often 2 to 4 at a time, same with 2018 season. This is because they school so densely and when you run lines through the school you can’t help but have all the lines go off. But the pelicans are fast at picking them up right away, just make sure they float. Nothing goes to waste here. We don’t have the osprey we had in the past either and the eagles are also fewer. Our resident eagles remain but no migrants stayed long at all. Loons also in small numbers. Between reduced planting, cloudy green water, more than the fishing has been affected by DFW. We have many factors that could affect this lake for 2019 season. From ash coming down Pine Creek, fire retardant and massive cow crap….all may have an affect on the algae blooms.
Tui chubs are very easy to determine on your scope. They school in three distinct groups and generally well below the depth that the trout need where there is more dissolved oxygen (often scoping below 40ft). Adult spawner’s, the nursery (several years worth, generally protected by several sub adults), and young of the year. I call them by stages. Stage 1, 2 and 3. Tui chubs don’t need the amount of dissolved oxygen that the trout do and are often much deeper in zones where the dissolved oxygen is too low to sustain the trout and stack up from top to bottom in many cases. This is a common occurrence in summer when the lake stratifies. So far in 2018 we haven’t stratified significantly so the trout are going to be found in higher dissolved 02 ranges again this summer. Seeing a lot of bait out there now. I would rather see single fish in a spread on my scope than masses and by watching that I have been doing well at catching. No skunks in my boat but there have been days I have worked hard for them.
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 summer 2017 and once we cooled down in fall it cleared up a little. We did start off clearer in 2017 with influx of 5ft of water than we have been for several years, but it didn’t last. Lots of nutrients flow in every year, lots of nutrients from the shoreline grazing were covered up with water. The lake remains much lower than normal yet the grazing numbers have not decreased, they increased. I believe we will continue to see this phenomena for years to come. As of 2018 the lake water was very cloudy and greening up before opening weekend arrived. It was nasty all summer and by late August I know of two dogs sickened. Visibility greatly reduced in all basins compared to 2017 season at the same time of year and after complaints. Adjust to conditions. After my cousins kids got sick after swimming in 2017, they don’t even want to swim in this lake anymore. Even into December, 4 ft down was all we could see. PS) I haven’t even let my dog swim in this lake since 2015. Too far away from a vet and that it costs around $1000 to cure your dog from cyanobacteria. Think what it would cost to cure your kid. We have never seen the lake so cloudy and green in my 59 years, my folks 79 years than we have the last 3 years. Perhaps that 150 years of grazing is rearing it’s ugly head, low water isn’t helping, but again, if we had the water from Pine Creek for the last few decades, we wouldn’t be at this severely low elevation and would have survived the drought just fine. 3 good water years and only 4 ft above our lowest point since 2015 which dated back to 1939. This isn’t rocket science folks. It needs to be exposed to be fixed.
There is no doubt fewer anglers on the lake and fewer visitors during the season. People want to catch fish, not spend a lot of money for little to nothing. This comes from the old timers who haven’t been here for several years and their reasons why. I have also been contacted by people who camp here and this year they are staying here but fishing other local lakes. PS) I don’t eat the fish out of Almanor for several reasons.) If you follow my report and do what I do, you will catch fish here too. The lake is fishing different that it has in the past, you’ll have to adapt to the changing conditions in the heat of the summer and search as we do for a small pod of trout here and there and the dissolved oxygen is the key, rather than the temperature. Those of us that are spend more time on the water than most visitors, are use to this adaptation. It will take years, maybe 5-10+ for this lake to recover under it’s current management by DFW and LNF. The increased cattle grazing is rearing it’s ugly head. Thus the water quality, blue/green algae, higher salinity, higher pH. We need some fresh perspectives before this lake returns to it’s former glory, or dies off completely. We’ve seen a lot of hype going on in 2019. We don’t hype conditions, or fishing. We believe that if you know what to expect you will deal with it rather than coming up with all these expectations and being disappointed and not return. We aren’t in the business of making money so we have nothing to gain. Consider your sources.
For catching the trout, we simply had to adapt to the water conditions and loss of dissolved oxygen at levels the trout normally would be at. For me, the trout stayed around 17 to 20ft deep where the water temperatures were 72F, just like 2016. 2018 I found more trout 12 to 18ft deep and as low as 24ft briefly before coming up to around 15ft for most all of the summer months. During the warmest water temps I found em 4-5ft deep. Much deeper & it’s going to be chubs in summer. Of course, all levels got monster tui chubs, on just about every lure or fly made, due to their stacking nature in summer. The chubs are probably going to pose a problem in the coming years. Birds gotta eat but they need floaters not sinkers. LoL.
Inflow from the creeks undoubtedly brings in nutrients from the massive cattle grazing and feed the algae once the lake water starts warming up and days get longer. Since the lake is lesser in volume and nutrients increased (no reduction in numbers of cattle (increased in 2014), just a big reduction in the lake) I believe is the reason the blue green algae is worse than in years of higher water levels. The lake just doesn’t seem to be able to absorb and digest the nutrients fast enough now. 2016/2017 5Dot had a few thousand cattle grazing all winter off 139 at an average of 10 craps per cow per day…then the water came up 5ft and covered all that crap. 2019 around 1000 cows were all up and down highway 139 (photos in our gallery) Google how much a cow craps per day. 10 times on average, up to 15 times per day. 2018 winter, so far around 800-1000 cattle up north…several in the lake itself. We’ll be dealing with that fertilizer for years. Poundage from 150-200 cows … 9750 to 13,000lbs per day and in a closed system!! No Wonder WE are GREEN!! (Note that the lower the lake is, the more property is owned by the ranchers. It is not beneficial to them to see the lake back up to recreational levels. Thus, Pine Creek water will remain locked up for grazing and the lake will remain low. Guardians are working on this problem.) The dissolved 02 has been dropping below 22ft in summer (that’s what blue/green algae does) to levels that won’t sustain the trout for more than a few minutes so in spite of cooler temperatures deeper, the trout need the oxygen and are now regularly living in water temps above 70F during the summer months. Either we support the cattle industry or the lake and fishery. At this point, I don’t think the two can co-exist until water levels are allowed to refill. The lake has been suffering for years, Pine Creek for decades of decimation and diversion (86 water impounds in 40 miles of creek as per USFS documentation, & they don’t like having to give some of that back to the lake after decades of removing it from the watershed). Along with Pine Creek, so went the native spawn and restoration is limited by funding (purposely?). Perhaps a new petition will put a fire under the butts of those dragging their feet for non-other than grazing. Along with DFW manipulating any free passage upstream until the spawn is over and water temps rise to unfavorable levels, managing days and numbers allowed, only makes for another predetermined out come in regards to any native spawn. Which hasn’t even been discussed regarding any current restoration projects OR USFS grazing plans. DFW took eggs from every ripe hen trapped at the trap that they could get. Opened the gate for free passage at first flow (for fish coming back LoL), then only 2 nights during the peak once the fish entered the system from the lake, and then once DFW was done collecting the eggs and the water warmed up, flow slowed down and the trout were no longer interested in heading upstream did they open the gates so the fish had free passage…back to the lake as water temps rose to 70F by mid April. But several didn’t make it as the creek began drying up…which only took a matter of hours. Quite a few were observed near the A1 and Spalding bridges trying to get back. Those we watched, didn’t make it as flows only took hours to end. Maybe this lake and OUR trout needs to take precedence for a few years. They do what they want regardless of the lake, fish or local economy. We’ll see who gets notified when the brook trout are chemically killed in upper Pine Creek and if any local wells are tested for any chemical contamination considering that they all say they are improving the ground water by impounding water for cattle. Lake Davis? Noted that Pine Creek water flows underground? Well’s? We’ll see.
5 Dot moved their cattle back to the lake shore near the old Stones Ranch and highway 139 this 2018 winter. Wave surge from winds just pull that crap and urine right back to the lake water. I do believe that it has a lot to do with our blue green algae problem in summer the last few years. Finally, they cows were moved but not until after 4 contacts by Lahontan water board. Several contacts were ignored. We have some help exposing this problem in the media outside the immediate area (locally, cows appear to be preferred over fish and the lake). The water up in Troxel Bay is very ugly, brackish, green and smelly. People reported they had to fence off their property at Stones just to keep the cows out of their yards. Fish haven’t been up there for years. Over the last few years of drought, masses of trout haven’t moved up much above the Youth Camp and the north side of Pelican Pt, even in fall to late fall. The cattle were west of Spalding Road, halfmoon bay and all along 139 and from Christie to Spalding along the west side. But they aren’t supposed to be at the north ends of the lake trampling the lake shore or lake bottom, or to be crapping in the lake all summer/fall/winter. This rule has been neglected and not enforced for many years. Public awareness is critical to this enforcement as the agencies only care about one thing….and that hasn’t appeared to be the lake or fishery which is the livelihood of Lassen County. If grazing helped prevent catastrophic wildfires it certainly didn’t help Spalding or Brockman Lava Beds (or any other heavily grazed areas) out during the Whaleback Fire now did it?
There were a lot of disappointed anglers out there for 2018 and 2017 season (2016, 2015, 2014…). Even though some of the fish being caught were larger, there is no consistency in numbers. They have been few and far between for many folks this season. 2018 season was very poor for the average angler until water began to cool off. 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. MANY 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. Every time a fish is handled through the spawn another trim is performed. I HAVE RECEIVED TONS OF COMPLAINTS FROM ANGLERS REGARDING FIN-LESS FISH. I’VE CAUGHT HUNDREDS, GUIDES HAVE CAUGHT HUNDREDS WHICH IS WAY TO MANY TO HAVE SAY A GROUP OF ANGLERS CUTTING ALL THE FINS OFF. DFW DENIES TRIMMING EVERYTHING AND SAYS ALL THE TAIL TRIMS GROW BACK. LOL. Although they submit the trimming fact sheets and always trim fins and tails at the trap or any fish they spawn or handle. I was told a long time ago that DFW will never admit to trimming all the fins off. Just ask one. hahaha MOST ANGLERS DON’T MUTILATE AND RELEASE…AND IF THEY DO, THEY AREN’T TRULY ANGLERS. AND IT ISN’T JUST AN ANOMALY, IT’S MUTILATION to continue to mark a single fish every time it’s handled. We did have a fly fishing group that came up and trimmed fins on every fish they caught. Although this particular group hasn’t been up in years (due to poor fishing), I seriously doubt they are responsible for several thousand fish in 3 days fishing. LoL. Chances are that the markings are to determine hatchery fish from an native fish in the future. But so far any native spawn restoration hasn’t been being funded by state or federal agencies. Questions/Complaints: Paul Divine 530 254-6363 Paul.Divine@wildlife.ca.gov AND Andrew Jensen in Redding office at 530 225-2300 email@example.com are those who you should file complaints with. 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, business and property values for Lassen County means nothing. Perhaps the Lassen Pack of wolves will take care of these cows for us! LoL! They have a taste for beef & I don’t have a problem with that. Cows run slower than deer, antelope or elk. That’s the chances one takes when open ranging for profit at the expense of the public. I don’t see why wildlife should be killed just so a domestic animal can graze cheap. The ranchers own plenty of land, alfalfa fields and can easily feed their own animals an pollute their own property and water sources. 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 and left a deposit of at least 10 craps a day per cow…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. Pine Creek is the lake’s ONLY tributary capable of feeding the lake substantial flows to replace evaporation and raise the lake elevation. Pine Creek water shed belongs to Eagle Lake, not the cattle industry responsible for high nutrient loading and taking water from the lake. Funny that the fish habitat hasn’t been discussed within current restoration projects. But we won’t stop putting the blame in the rightful place folks. And we don’t plan on turning down the heat with just a little fix here and there, we plan on turning it up. 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. Check your sources. 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 as well as the cattle. Ever wonder why Alzheimer’s and Autism has increased substantially in the last 20-30 years? I don’t. Aluminum isn’t the heavy metal being tested for and since we have no mining up here, mercury levels are always lower but definitely present. So, perhaps we need DFW to add aluminum testing of the fishes flesh. We have been being poisoned for years (crops from Delta water once it gets there) and don’t know it….we’re not supposed to. LoL. Agenda 21. Look it up, it’s part of the plan to kill humans and decrease the human population without us knowing about it. LoL. Stack em and Pack em. Nobody will be allowed to live outside a bit city. Thank God I’ll be dead (hopefully) before that happens. LoL.
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. $$$$ for the cattle industry? Buddies? In its current condition, it isn’t the public draw it once was…fishing has been poor for many folks for several and that needs to change. Even if DFW plants more trout, it will be years before they are sufficient for catching, especially when planted at 1/4lb or less. 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. Once this community is joined together to help the whole lake, things will begin to look up. 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. So only one store/RV park is open in Spalding (at our peak, 3 stores). Stones has RV sites available but the store and restaurant remain closed. No restaurant in Spalding (had 2 at our peak). One local guide working (and working other lakes as well) when 7 had been our norm. 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. Unfortunately, DFW thinks this is good management and great public opportunity for catching ELrT. LoL. The only ones they are convincing of that is themselves. General public knows different.
It all works together. Climate change, climate manipulation, impounding water to prevent it from coming to the lake as nature designed, 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 5ft below what scientists determined was good for the fish. Funny that Climate Manipulation in the US (west and east) is never part of the Climate discussion yet probably has the biggest effect on it.
The petitions were never about anyone wanting the listing of the trout, they were done in order to get Pine Creek restoration moving forward and ignored since 1995. Intent on original petition was to get water back to the lake and to allow the native spawn for the gene pool after decades of manipulation of the fish…all after CRMP screwed things up. 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 has been. As long as the agenda is to graze cattle for penny’s and lose millions in the economy and stress the lake and trout and increase the tui chubs to explosive levels, we are screwed. The trout have to make it back to the lake and, that has happened but mainly in the same year they went up to spawn. Some, but no large numbers of trout have “possibly” returned the following year but only in single digits. Other telemetry tags have been found in the dry creek bed after the creek stops flowing. The more water locked upstream raises the water temps sooner than normal and that in itself stops the fish from moving further up. Our first tag found was near the A1 bridge, another near the Spalding bridge, two others from fish that returned to the lake the same year they were tagged. 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. The newer PIT tags are small capsules inserted under the skin near the dorsal fin so most people who don’t fillet their fish don’t find them until after they cook the trout. Don’t worry, they are harmless when cooked and actually may retain information so keep them and send them to local DFW, or bring them with you when you get back up, give them to Karen or myself and we’ll make sure they get to the right people. Getting the the trout back to the lake in the same year is going to require longer flows. And I have no doubt that will require another study. LoL. Personally, I think these fish just want to get upstream, spawn and come back in the same year. The system worked until grazing came in force in the mid 1800’s. Perhaps 170 years of that is the problem and not the solution. Anything that gets above 44 (rarely) would have to stay until the following season….and they might bring the minnows with them rather than head to uncharted waters 20 miles upstream from 44. The creek needs to flow cooler and longer to the lake. The minnows need water to survive long enough to make it to the estuary where there would be plenty of protection, food and cover if the lake was back to normal. The water that is slowed down to improve grazing warms up too fast. Of course the flows are dependent on what winter and spring brings. That’s a no brainer. If weather manipulation wasn’t occurring, would we have better snow pack in our watershed or at the lake? We’ll never know because the weather manipulator’s won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Blue green algae a new normal for Eagle Lake fishes. We have always had a little of it, but the last few years it has been extreme for us. We really need this lake back to normal levels before we see her clear up significantly. After 55 + years of great fishing and lots of big fish, we have found other lakes with better catch rates and big fish. This year we caught plenty of 5 to 7 lb rainbows elsewhere. Countless other people have contacted me regarding camping here but fishing other lakes. Why not, I am & I live here!! But I do have to keep some secrets!! I’m just glad I had so many years of Eagle Lake before she ended up in the condition she is in now and Mother Nature isn’t the only culprit.
At higher water levels, the catch and keep recommendation had been posted for years during summer which was highly supported. Not posting it in critical times such as blue green algae blooms (since that may become our new normal) I have always believed that we lose fish during certain conditions. Was DFW wrong then, or wrong now? I have had a lot of other people comment similarly about that. Personally, I believe it hasn’t been posted just so the numbers of trout are being reduced. General consensus: DFW lost support for many things as well as losing respect of many anglers. Most of us have lost all respect for DFW locally. As long as we are paying high prices for licenses, we are going to catch and release. I have gone barbless or micro barb hooks and NEVER remove a fish from the water to release it and avoid playing it out and never take a picture of a fish out of the water that I release. They just don’t do well. But, DFW doesn’t seem to care what you do and won’t compensate the yearly allotment to compensate for loses. At one time, with higher water levels, our yearly allotment of hatchery trout was 250,000. That was reduced to 180,000 sometime in the early 1990’s. Since the drought, our lowest number was 75,000 and catch rates dropped severely the last few years. In 2017 (our best water year since 2011) we regained a little at 120,000 but at 3 to a pound for the most part and in 2018 4 to 5 per pound. So we are still short on the trout population in this lake. Since it is based on biomass and tui chub population exploded (note that DFW has no clue as to how many chubs are in the lake when assessing “biomass” LoL) more trout might not be the answer. The answer may lie in the reduction of or culling of chubs.
Without the lake at prime elevations (5106ft is considered full, 5100 is considered the lowest for the health of the fish as per all the studies), our watershed and our special trout are put back together, we have nothing. We need to get Stones Landing ramp back online (only water will help) so we can once again see Mariners Resort open up for business again. 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 transferred 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 since I lived here year round. It does have something to do with it but 86 impounds and water diversions on our main spawning and feeder creek has had devastating affects all for just one or two ranchers at most for cattle. Headway is slowing being made. Sound familiar IE National Geographic Water and Power series, Monterey Agreement, Agenda 21 and privatizing public resources 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, Monterey Agreement and sending every drop of water out. This has potentially 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 or good 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. AND THAT is never a part of the climate discussion. Of course the trout and native spawn aren’t part of the creek restoration projects yet either. LoL. Eagle Lake isn’t saved yet. Eagle Lake Guardians are still working on issues and another plan that if we disclose it, the pool will be tainted so we’ll leave it at that.
Eagle Lake Fishing Report on “Best Fishing Locations and Depths”
2015 CONSERVATION PLAN