Of course we also need more trout planted for the future. It’s been tough fishing for most folks since the massive reduction in numbers throughout the drought (and we continue to be in a drought up here). In my opinion, when you continue to catch tui chubs even in December and start finding them early in the season, things are not good. DFW reduced our stocking so dramatically over the last 5 years that we simply don’t have the numbers of trout we need to keep the tui chubs in check. I don’t expect to see DFW give us our “normal allotment” of trout planting so expect to see reduced numbers again this year. Our normal allotment is 180,000 fish, we haven’t seen that number in many years. But the latest report from Karen is 70,000 for our spring plant which is generally 50% of the fish. These were 4-5 fish per pound so much smaller than our 2-3 per pound we use to get. Some were 4-5 inches long. Pathetic plant size for Eagle but beggars can’t be choosers. Pelican food and they were having a feast at the low water ramp. Bait. LoL The lake is lower than last year and I believe that any increase in the numbers of trout planted are due to the low numbers of trout in the lake. We might see some larger fish here and there this year, but my guess is that we will see a lot of smaller ones caught this year too. Again, we’ll see. At one point our allotment was reduced to 75,000 and only in 2017 did DFW raise it to 120,000 but that had a lot to do with the lack of fish being caught by anglers than it did the lake elevation. Loss by hundreds of pelicans hanging out at the only ramp where these fish have been being planted isn’t part of the equation. 300 pelicans can do some numbers damage to small dumb trout. Right now our grebe numbers are low and the pelicans are in low numbers too. That says a lot.
I expect we’ll catch some 3 -4+ pound fish but I also think we will see more 1 1/2- 2lb this season. Last fall’s plant fared well though the winter. Actually most of the fish at the trap were from that planting. We did see some decent fish come up, but the majority were smaller. 2017: a little over 1700 trout up to Pine Creek trap on a good water year. 2018 a Miracle March and only a little over 1300 fish sorted and around 100+ allowed upstream. In years past we cleaned out 7-10K fish in the system so they wouldn’t perish when flows stopped. Do the math.
DFW doesn’t appear to have considered the repercussions of the tui chub adding what appears to be 3 times the biomass in the lake since reduced trout planting. 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. 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. I really have no idea whether or not they are surviving my release. LoL. We know immediately when a chub is on the line. They resist arrest quite well but they shake their tails rapidly and head straight down beside the boat. Trout shake their heads, generally run out and up. Tui chubs are very easy to determine on your scope. They school in three distinct groups. 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 but are hoping to eventually. During the chub spawn it is common to see the adults for a thick line about 5ft thick just above the bottom…this happens in many depths of water, it depends on where the weed beds are and where they are laying their eggs. It can be in 45-50ft of water or 15 to 35ft of water. We’ll know pretty soon if we have had a big chub spawn in the south basin.
In the shallower north basins it’s much shallower but more visual as a carpet of chubs and is a good way to observe how they school when they move from point A to point B. Over the drought years, the northern spawner’s had one year that they didn’t know where to go or what to do in the south basin (2013) but ever since then they learned from the southern spawner’s what to do & where to go. Now so prolific it’s pathetic! And since the grebes didn’t have any young to feed from 2012 to 2016 and the trout numbers were reduced the chub had fewer predators to keep their numbers in check and thus the population exploded. If we don’t see more grebes show up or a good hatch, we’ll see more chubs survive to juvenile nursery stage. The trout mainly target the young of the year, not so much the nursery of subsequent years. Only a few trout had a minnow 4″ long. Mostly because in the “nursery” school, the guardians keep the trout in check by running out of the school and hitting the trout like a linebacker. Bamm! The trout don’t even normally like to hang out with the chubs but often just on the outside of a big school. And NOTE: you can smell the tui chub in the air. They do release a gas when transpiring and in dense numbers it’s very obvious. The minnows of the year are very “smelly” so in late summer, follow your nose & you’ll find the trout. Did I cull? Well, let’s just say I have no idea whether or not they survived a release. 4-6inch trout aren’t going to eat a 4 to 6″ tui chub. LoL. Here we go again. We are already seeing minor hatches of tui chub minnows off Spalding. That will draw the birds in but doesn’t always translate to a heavy feeding by the trout until they suspend in large clouds in the water.
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 than we have been for several years, but it didn’t last. I believe we will continue to see this phenomena for years to come. As of 2018 the lake water has been very cloudy and greening up already. Visibility greatly reduced in all basin compared to 2017 season at the same time of year. Adjust to conditions. The trout were a little bigger in 2017 but fewer in numbers, that has more to do with fewer numbers than food supply, the food supply is so dense it fouls your lines, downrigger’s and can even foul water pump intakes so always check that and flush your motors regularly. 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. If you follow my report and do what I do, you will catch fish 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. As of June 18th, we’re seeing very cloudy water, and fishing for the average angler has continued to be slow. We are catching, my buddies are catching and North State Guide Service is catching. But not everybody is catching. Those of us that are spend more time on the water than most visitors.
For catching the trout last year, 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. It was 65F at 35ft but all that level got was tui chub all summer long. I did have them for 10 days at 27-30ft before they had to come up for the O2. 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. Personally, I believe 2018 will be similar to 2016. 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 stayed the same (no reduction in numbers of cattle, 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. The dissolved 02 has been dropping below 22ft in summer 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. We did see some clearer water briefly in 2017 but by July we were cloudy and green again. I have no doubt the cow poop that last years water covered over was and is the culprit. This year we don’t even have many birds yet. Either we support the cattle industry or the lake. 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. Along with Pine Creek, so went the native spawn. Along with DFW manipulating any free passage upstream until the spawn is over, only makes for another predetermined out come in regards to any native spawn. Which hasn’t even been discussed regarding any current restoration projects. DFW took eggs from every ripe hen trapped at the trap. Opened the gate for free passage only 2 nights during the peak, 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. But several didn’t make it as the creek began drying up…which only took a matter of hours. 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.
Five Dot moved their cattle out this winter. The nutrients being more concentrated in a lower lake elevation. I do believe that it has a lot to do with our blue green algae problem in summer the last two 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. Already the ranchers are chomping at the bit to get the cows up grazing again, at least only one herd is grazing the west side. The cattle are not up off Spalding and Stones Ranch area…..yet. We’ll see how that goes. But they aren’t supposed to be at the north ends of the lake shore.
In spite of a fairly good water year and creeks flowing in spring, there wasn’t a lot of trout in the tributaries in 2017 and 2018 actually had fewer. DFW had to electro-shock on a great water year due to not having the numbers of trout in the tributaries as they expected and started doing the same plan in 2018 until the miracle March. 2018 we had around 1300 + fish coming up Pine Creek during this years spawn plus around 100 that passed through upstream shortly before the water flow dropped off and heated up. We had roughly 1700ish come up in 2017, around 1500 in 2018. DFW utilized every fish every chance they had. No trout have been imprinted near Pine Creek for years, they were lucky that the fresh flowing water attracted any trout at all. These trout would swim up a garden hose if fresh water was flowing in it. In comparison, it was normal to clean out and rescue 7000-10,000 fish in Pine Creek, 1700-2500 in Papoose and Merrill when the lake was at her peak. Now we are lucky to see 1300-1700 in Pine Creek and up to 200 in Papoose and Merrill. To me, that is a direct result of fewer fish in the lake. Dramatic difference & probably relative to why catch rates for the average anglers were way down from historic ones. Some bigger fish, but so few and far between. I still don’t think there will be enough water, long enough for any fish from the lake to make it upstream in Pine Creek to spawn since DFW manipulated the free passage clause again. So that’s probably going to be a wash. If they do get upstream, I seriously doubt they will have time to spawn or get back to the lake before dying when the water stops flowing. Lower flows strand the trout in small pockets of water which generally run out of dissolved oxygen.
There were a lot of disappointed anglers out there for 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. 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, 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. Just not a good one to mount. The last time fish were not marked was 2012. These fins have been cut at a very tough joint, it is doubtful in my mind that the cement hatchery ponds wear them down to the toughest joint. Wear off some, yes, wear off bone to a joint that a cutco knife cant penetrate through? Not hardly.
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! They have a taste for beef & I don’t have a problem with that. Cows run slower than deer, antelope or elk. 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. 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. 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. We have been being poisoned for years 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.
We had a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley this spring. Much of it was still locked away from the lake. But slowly some of the impounds (IE super ditch) has been blocked off from taking water off Pine Creek. It will not be filled in, and it will still take local drainage to some degree. Meadows to be restored in “flood plains” to cool the water down. That makes a lot of sense while it bakes in the full sun. I’m still looking for restoration projects that assist the native spawn. So far DFW and Lassen RAC hasn’t funded any restoration projects that funding has been requested for. So, TU is looking for funding elsewhere. 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.
But, finally referenced once so they still have a copy or they used ours online. 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 of the USFS to sell us out to the cattlemen so it was conveniently lost by the county and LNF…but I highly doubt they knew other copies existed so we scanned it and posted it online on Guardians. 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, the lake 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. So more wolves the less attractive it is for the cattle ranchers. We are currently assisting in restoration of Pine Creek watershed. Apparently, Guardians have been some of the only groups that have funded anything for restoration, despite being told we are standing in the way. Guardians are about the native spawn and creek restoration to restore that native spawn. We have put funding towards that where others have not. So don’t believe what you hear. Progress is slow.
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 and the main water source for Eagle Lake, 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. Eagle Lake Guardians have been saving some money up in order to take the matter to a higher level. This year is it.
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…fishing has been poor for many folks 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. So only one store and RV park is open in Spalding. 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 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.
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, interesting things coming from others. At least it’s good for a laugh. The electro-shocking for removal of the brook trout in upper Pine Creek has only curtailed numbers briefly, I believe it will need to be chemically treated which will take out all the fish and probably most of the food supply temporarily. I am certain that if this process is done, there will be public meetings for input, a half dozen EIR type reports/analysis (years worth) and if it is done it most likely will not be done while water is still flowing into the lake. This lake is not like Davis where the tributaries continue to flow. Ours stop surface flow for many months, although the ground water would be of a concern since all our drinking water is from wells, including the water district in Spalding which is the most tested water supply at Eagle Lake. We’ll see if DFW holds public comment on the chemical treatment when it comes.
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, county, lake and trout, that is to restore the drainage to Pine Creek. 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, 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 4ft below what scientists determined was good for the fish. We peaked at 6.4″ lower than last year 20 days earlier. Eagle Lake Guardians have helped defeat the potential listing of an endangered species for our trout. This was our main goal although the rumors around town were that we wanted to list the trout. The petitions were never about anyone wanting the listing of the trout, they were done in order to get Pine Creek restoration moving forward, water back to the lake and to allow the native spawn for the gene pool after decades of manipulation of the fish. 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. 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 elake. 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.
By not listing the trout, we have less red tape to get and keep projects moving forward. Where it began is about the fish, it’s ending in grazing. Funding requests so far denied. So something has to change. We may see a native spawn decades from now, 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 diverter’s change. The lake had been robbed for decades and as water levels dropped, the robbing didn’t stop. We aim to keep the changes coming, regardless….even if we have to sue to get it.
Too bad people can’t catch what they used to, if they could they would be here. DFW really screwed this lake up by severely reducing the trout population, increasing the tui chub population and not conducting water quality testing regularly, they screwed up this lake. Many thinking it’s a waste of time and money to come up, fish for 38 hours with 5 rods in the water and be lucky to catch one! Campgrounds with lots of empty spaces, store struggling, no food & 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.
A 3 to 4+ pounder hasn’t been uncommon in fall/winter for the drought years either. We have photos online to prove that point. 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 great quality fish than to spend a weekend or two weeks than 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, perish when released when surface temps and water temps where they reside are over 70F or released over deep water once they expel their air bladder. If they sink to the bottom, they can’t recover their oxygen.
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, including the 2018 fishing season. Almanor is pumping out some big numbers of 5 to 9lb trout this spring! Antelope is also a very good fishery.
Blue green algae a new normal for Eagle Lake fishes
. We really need this lake back to normal levels before we see her clear up significantly. After 50 + 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!! Almanor has been pumping out some monster trout…rainbows and browns for us. Butt Valley has some monsters too (limit2) as does Antelope (5). Antelope has provided some great fishing. I’ll eat those fish. I do have friends that want to fish a couple time a week on this lake and I will oblige them here at Eagle and I’ll fish it too but I’ll be going elsewhere when I never even bothered before. So the fun we used to have is no longer. I’m just glad I had so many years of Eagle Lake before she ended up in the condition she is in now.
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. 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 care what you do and won’t compensate the yearly allotment to compensate. 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.
But, slowly, the impounds are going, wells were coming but no longer appear to be being considered. 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. Pine Creek has to flow, flush and keep flowing. Fish need water to spawn. Perhaps more petitions to list the trout will need to be filed in the future. If there is no spawn after several more years, then the trout are basically screwed. 31 years of “restoration” by CRMP to restore a native spawn and not much to show for it but intensive grazing. And they wonder why no one up here respects CRMP. LoL.
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 abide by the wishes of the few rather than the many or the health of the lake. CRMP has been about as worthless as tits on a boar. Also as a note, CRMP leaders haven’t even been on Eagle Lake or ever fished it. Unbelievable? No that’s just something normal for Eagle Lake. Professional screw ups that don’t see the repercussions of there actions. As a note; I will not talk to DFW without recording every conversation now. 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. 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, others are not. And of upmost concern is enforcement of the signed conservation plan that federal and state agencies have been violating and not telling anyone. Yes, folks, we are watching every move whether we say it or not.
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. There are also some very good topo map apps that work when out of cell signal. One is free (maps not as detailed as the pay for version which is older maps with greater detail).
(popular drive to see wildlife; County Road 105 & ends at USFS 21)
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.
2015 CONSERVATION PLAN DFW blocking the free passage of fish migrating up Pine Creek in spring 2017 so they could collect eggs out of every ripe hen entering the system constitutes a violation of this signed agreement. Next season will will be sure to use social media and expose DFW’s violations of this agreed plan and expose the massive mutilations of our trout.
Copyright 2004-2018 By Valerie Aubrey, Eagle Lake Fishing