Weather

Date: April 21, 2018 Time in: 1:43PM
Current Temperature:

69F; high 71F

 

Sunrise: April 22, 2018 6:13am
Low Temperature: 28F Sunset: April 22, 2018 7:49pm
Predicted High Temperature:

high 60’s to low 70’s all week

Moon Phase: April 22, 2018 ; 44% waxing
Current Wind:

ENE 4-7mph; 9mph/gust

Full Moon on: April 29, 2018
Predicted gusts to: NNW10/Su; ENE10/M; E10/Tu; S10/W

NOAA Weather Forecast for Eagle Lake

Ventusky great weather site, may have to change your default settings to F, mph & inches.  But pretty accurate!

CURRENT LAKE ELEVATION 
Scroll down to lake elevations

SPALDING MARINA PARKING LOT WEBCAM
Takes you to different website

 

Precipitation

Since July 1, 2017 16.18″:
April 2018: 2.34″  

Monthly:  Mar 2018 5.57″; Feb 2018 0.12″; Jan 2018 2.16″; Dec 0.24″; Nov 2.14; Oct 0.00; Sept 01.97; August .58″; July 0.0″

July 1-2016 to July 2017; 27.11″ season total

Barometer: 30.12 from 30.18  
Total snowfall:

2017/2018; 46.00″; Last snow 4-15/16 4″

2016/2017; 74″

 
 ROAD CONDITIONS
  
  THIS LINK ALSO SHOWS THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL AND RAIN TOTALS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, CLICK ON THE DOTS.  GREAT INFO FOR TRAVEL.
 
4-21-18
 
****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH  **** 
Although, that isn’t always the safe speed. 
Be careful pulling over onto the shoulders of any roads.  Soft and muddy in many cases.  NOTE: Deer and antelope are moving up.  Antelope along 139 have begun to be common.
 
USFS Road 21 Soft in places.
  
A-1 Eagle Lake Road south from 36: CLOSED FOR THE WINTER/SPRING unless you have a key.
 
A-1 Eagle Lake Road north:   Dry and in good shape.  
 
Highway 139: Good shape at this time.   Falling rocks common dropping down into Susanville from Antelope grade.  Especially after a storm and warm up.  Watch out for deer and antelope as spring is here in spite of winter weather conditions popping up.  The animals are moving now.
 
Highway 32: Check CA DOT Road conditions   WATCH FOR FALLING ROCKS IN THE ROADWAY.  This road has always been one for deer and wildlife crossing the road in front of you, year round.  Check conditions during weather events. Snow predicted the next few days.
 
Highway 36:  Check  DOT  for road conditions and continued construction this season.  See weather cams for road conditions.    Caltrans maintained… Good shape.  2018 construction season includes repaving from 4 miles east of Susanville to near Eagle Lake Road (A1) so if you’re coming in from Reno next season, Good Luck!!  No doubts that this project will cause long delays however, it is needed.  Been working on 36 in town intermittently with one lane traffic west of 139.
 
Highway 44:   See Road Cameras and check conditions. Good shape all the way.  This road is very dangerous during a storm event so take it easy, slow down, be safe.  Snow & ice makes for slower travel.  Slow down during a storm event.
 
Highway 395:  See Road cams.  Good shape. WATCH FOR DEER, ELK AND ANTELOPE ALWAYS.  HEAVY WINDS CAN CAUSE DELAYS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR.  Those that don’t head the warming, often end up turned over, wrecking or hitting someone else. CHECK WIND FORECASTS ON THE NOAA LINK ABOVE WHEN COMING FROM RENO or LEAVING SUSANVILLE AND DRIVING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE.   CalTrans sign at 36/395 junction.  Blowing sand drifts (zero visibility and some 100ft long) can also become a hazard in high winds any time of the year.  Also can see blowing snow during a storm event.   Remember that deer are prevalent in the Honey Lake Valley all year long.  The “Locals” name for 395 to Reno is “BLOOD ALLEY”.  Drive it often enough and you’ll understand what we mean.  Not always animals either. CA DOT is planning a major repaving project for 2018 that includes 395 and 36 thru Susanville.  
 
Check the road cameras and conditions at the links above.
 
><)))(*>   THE “REEL” WEATHER     <*)(((><
FISHING SEASON IS CLOSED UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 
SEE ACCESSES , QUAD & TOPO MAPS, NEWS AND ISSUES BELOW
AND VAL’S THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED & REGISTERED

Text or Call 530 249-1430 or email us
 
NOTICE
EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS GIVE $23,500 to date to TROUT UNLIMITED FOR PINE CREEK PROJECTS AND STUDIES!!HERE IS THE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR PINE CREEK IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIAL ENDANGERED SPECIES LISTING.  THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!  EVERYTHING FROM GENETICS TO GRAZING AND WATER IMPOUNDS ARE BEING ADDRESSED.Then, something happened.  Eagle Lake 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.  No one else can say that!!! Proof is in the pudding.  Want your money to go to Eagle Lake and Pine Creek, look no further than Eagle Lake Guardians.  We don’t waste your funding, we don’t throw ourselves parties at the expense of the Lake and Fish.  Ask where your funding is going.  

Update from Trout Unlimited on www.eaglelakeguardians.org on “current issues page” regarding restoration projects, filling in the super ditch and filling in impounded water holes!! Still awaiting an update from trout unlimited.

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.  These will be discussed with TU and perhaps these needs can be funded after we save our trout and watershed. Go to eaglelakeguardians.org and donate through the new PayPal Button.  

 
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4-21-18
 
4-21-18:  The grand total moisture from the rain showers and last 4″ of snow tallied up to 0.87″.  Not bad for us.  The last two days have been spring up here.  Sunny and warm, light winds and a nice change from winter last week.  LoL.  This next week is predicted to be mostly clear and warmer with high temps ranging from the high 60’s to low 70’s.  Low temps have still been in the mid to high 20’s but we’ll start seeing those rise a little too.  Very typical to see 30’s in May and into June.  Winds this week bounce around for directions but all in all, nothing over 10mph is predicted.  That can change though as late in the week we could have a slight chance of seeing a thunderstorm pop up.  Mostly these can blow in and out quickly.  Let’s just hope that with any lightening, we see rain.  Still pretty dry up here for the most part.  When traveling to and from Redding on 4-20 it was sure obvious once topping the ridge between the east and west sides of the Sierras.  The west side still had some snow, the east side had little to none.  But, Lassen and Shasta looked nice & white.
 
Approximately 1300 fish entered the trap this year.  The gates were only opened for a couple nights for free passage upstream.  Now that the fish are not interested in spawning anymore the gates were opened for free passage to allow for a native spawn.  Note that the creek started flowing on March 14th and the first fish arrived around the 20th.  Gates were closed until last week at the end of the run.  So much for “free passage” for the native spawn that isn’t supposed to be manipulated or restricted. This is what I call a predetermined outcome.  Restriction until the fish don’t want to head upstream any longer doesn’t exactly abide by the USFWS or the signed agreement.   DFW have had a good collection this year but I seriously doubt that this late in the season that there will be much of a native spawn with so few fish allowed upstream and so late in the season and flows.  In violation of the signed agreement? Since when did DFW ever follow the rules they signed on to? LoL.  I’ll be requesting information….seriously doubting I will get anything that I ask for in a timely matter or with a single request.  Always takes several requests before I get any information.
 
It takes an amazing amount of flow we need in Pine Creek before we see any significant rise in the lake but anything is better than nothing.  We’ll take every inch we can get right now…but lately it’s been by the fraction of an inch which is still better than loosing water….that will come sooner than later anyway.  The local precipitation does immediate good for the lake.  Every inch up for the lake buys us a week of evaporation on average.  Every bit of local weather does more good than Pine Creek flow which has been up and down with the temps and weather patterns.  But, unless we see a tremendous dumping of rain in the near future I believe the lake elevation has peaked and evaporation will now start kicking in.  We’ll see, but so far we are still around 6″ lower than last season’s high point.  I’ll measure again in a week & we’ll see if we go down, stand still or go up.  LoL.  A big thunderstorm will help if we actually see rain.  Spring is our time for thunderstorms so let’s just keep our fingers crossed.
 
So, all in all March blessed us and April is, well, helping add to that but at this point, 2.34″ is better than nothing.  We still aren’t going to fill up the lake just yet but every drop counts right now.  I can’t tell you how many people think that just because we had a good storm, that the lake is going to fill up.  We’ll see but I have lived here to long and seen what it takes to get too excited just yet.  We still have around 7″ before we are at last years high water.  So be cautious on assumptions.  I am just hoping we get to last years elevation but unless we keep seeing some significant storms, I’m not sure we are going to get there.  Time will tell.     See lake elevations here.
 
Here’s what NOAA has to say:  Note that these change all the time so always check the links in the chart.  NOAA is pretty accurate for the most part.  Ventusky is great for many other weather related things and their wind charts are VERY accurate.  Barometric pressure, moisture also pretty darn close to mine here at the house. The link above goes to the website which works great on your desktop or laptop.  I love the ventusky app on my iPhone (iOS and Google +) but you will have to make some setting changes for F, mph, inches and barometer.  Another very accurate iphone app is Dark Sky, I haven’t seen it on Google+ or Microsoft Store.  Wind predictions have been right on with Dark Sky.  I really haven’t found Accuweather app to be accurate at all for our location.  Most models are taken from Susanville weather.  And we are a far cry from that but Ventusky has a different model and it’s been very reliable.   The weather chart above tracks the local precip, snow, wind and now has links to NOAA, Ventusky link and the webcam at the marina parking lot.  this takes you off site
 

This Afternoon

Sunny, with a high near 69. East wind around 5 mph.

Tonight

Mostly clear, with a low around 36. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 34. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Monday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. Light east wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.

Tuesday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 69.

Tuesday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39.

Wednesday

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Wednesday Night

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then a slight chance of showers between 9pm and 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 41.

Thursday

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Thursday Night

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 42.

Friday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.

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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.  In my opinion, when you continue to catch tui chubs in December, 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.  If we don’t see a rise in 2018, 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.   At one point it 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. 

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.  People don’t come here to catch trophy tui chubs in summer. 20-30 a day was common 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.  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.  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. 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 that they are laying their eggs in.  It can be in 45-50ft of water or 15 to 35ft of water.  In the shallower north basins it’s much shallower but more visual as a carpet of chubs as the water is much shallower.  Over the drought years, the northern spawners 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. 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.  LoL. 

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. 2017 was the worst year for massive numbers of monster tui chubs everywhere.  We can deal with that. Fewer trout caught by the majority of anglers but others did well last season. We caught limits but had to adjust to conditions.  The trout were a little bigger this year, but 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.  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.  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.

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.  Of course, all levels got monster tui chubs, on just about every lure 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 2017.  Inflow from the creeks will undoubtedly bring in nutrients from the massive cattle grazing and feed the algae once the lake water starts warming up and days get longer.

Five Dot moved their cattle out this winter,  so hopefully we can get through this winter without 6 months of additional crap for the lake to cover next season.  The nutrients being more concentrated in a lower lake elevation.  The number of cattle didn’t change, but the lake size did.  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.
 
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 isn’t quite there yet so manual collection of fish is necessary.   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 doing the same for 2018.  2018 doesn’t look good for many fish in the tributaries but at least we do have a few fish coming up Pine Creek now that water temps have warmed up.  We had roughly 1700ish come up in 2017, so far in 2018 we’re around 1030 as of 4-8.  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.  We got lucky that we had a few fish in the local basin for the fish to know the creek water was coming in.  That’s a good thing. Just note that in years past, 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 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.  We’ll see what comes up Pine Creek in the coming weeks before we’ll know what is out there. In the mean time, DFW has plans for getting eggs and not waiting for Pine Creek but Pine Creek should provide a few for egg collection.   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 so that’s probably going to be a wash. If they do allow them to go upstream, I seriously doubt they will have time to spawn or get back to the lake.  At this point, travel is still restricted until DFW is done with the ripe hens.  Males may be released, but to have a native spawn one needs some girls in there too.  LoL.  Flow may not be substantial or last long enough to sustain a migration and native spawn either and the longer the wait, the less flow there will be long term.  Lower flows strand the trout in small pockets of water which generally run out of dissolved oxygen.  One week of storms isn’t going to keep substantial flow going for 50 days or more.  We’ll see what happens.  But it doesn’t look like we are going to see another good storm for a little while.

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 are 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.  MOST HAVE ONLY ONE FIN LEFT IF ANY.  TAILS ARE SPLIT OR HEAVILY NOTCHED.  THANKS AGAIN DFW.  ONE FIN TRIM IS OK AND IN NO WAY ARE ANY “GROWING BACK”.  REMOVING ALL THE FINS IS CONSISTENT WITH MUTILATION AND HARMFUL TO THE FISH.  GO BACK TO FREEZE BRANDING THE TROUT NOT MUTILATING THEM.  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 at the trap or any fish they spawn.  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. 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.

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.  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. 
 
We had a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley, some that is still locked away from the lake.  Meadows to be restored in “flood plains” that didn’t exist prior to 1977 as per the major hydrology study performed for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan by Vail and Associates are all for grazing (as per page 21 of the draft meadow restoration), not the fish or the lake.  That 1970’s study didn’t say what the powers that be wanted it to say so it has no references in any current data used.   At least, the current reports don’t refer to it but it was a hell of a detailed study for the time.  Just didn’t reflect using Eagle Lake inflow to promote grazing over the health of the lake and tributaries.  It didn’t fit the agenda 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 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.   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.
 
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There is only one local nonprofit that has gone into battle for Eagle Lake’s water to support a native spawn and restore the lake levels. Unfortunately, the battle for Eagle Lake was a political battle of which one has to be willing to do in Lassen County.  Why Lassen resists helping Eagle Lake that once provided for a lot of income to the county for a few thousand dollars in grazing fees is beyond me.  In its current condition, it isn’t the public draw it once was….and that needs to change.  We have some plans up our sleeves, but we have learned not to detail our plan until it is done or some how, some way, something gets tainted.  Our definition is simple…save the lake and it will return to it’s former glory as will the local businesses and economy as well as promote for a natural spawn.  Eagle Lake Rainbow trout, Pine Creek watershed and Eagle Lake are fractured and the USFS doesn’t appear to want to put it back together.  As long as the scientists and biologists don’t see the trout, creek and lake at its entirety and only see it as separate, Eagle Lake may be in serious trouble.   And if no flood plains existed historically, there is only one reason to create them now.  Grazing.  Already the Conservation Plan is being violated.  Not only the water but the free passage of the trout in Pine Creek to migrate upstream at their own choosing was restricted by DFW as DFW needed every ripe hen for artificial egg collection that they can trap.  Only after getting every ripe hen out of circulation did DFW reopen the gate….then let all the males go up and only a handful of females that were not spawn ready.  Still controlled by humans.  Pine Creek was flowing Dec 16th, 2016 but the gates were not opened for any fish passage until mid February.  That is not allowing the free will passage.  DFW had no way of knowing if there were any fish in the creek at that time so after I questioned them about numbers, they installed a camera, not a counter.  LoL.  In this day and age, they should know exactly how many fish made free passage.  We are still at a critical point when it comes to the native spawn.  Don’t believe what you might be told, unless it comes from Eagle Lake Guardians.  We hear some real, let’s just say, 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 flowing for many months so I doubt we will see the same problems on the surface flow, 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.  

 
Pine Creek and Eagle Lake should be restored for the lake and the fish, not restored to enhance more grazing.  That’s what seems to be killing the lake from nutrients and removing water from the watershed.  I believe I got my point across so far but we are constantly keeping an eye on things.  Words matter in draft plans, tell me the restoration is for enhanced grazing & I will jump right down your throat!  It’s not about the cows, it’s got to be about the fish and we are the only ones doing that.  There is only one way to save the businesses and livelihood of the resort communities, lake and trout, that is to restore the hard won drainage to Pine Creek, move the cattle up, drill some wells that flow into tanks for water for cows, power them with solar panels and give the lake back to it’s watershed.  Restoration of Pine Creek is essential to establishing a native spawn as well as getting the lake elevation back….but only a spawn is the driving factor…a minimal spawn at that.  But, what if they don’t have a healthy lake to come home to.  
With one good water year, it’s now about restoring grazing and feed, not the fish or the lake.  It all works together.  Climate change, climate manipulation, 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. in 2018 it’s doubtful we will reach 2017 high water mark.  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 creek has to stop flowing before the cattle are allowed in to graze.  So the sooner the creek stops, the sooner the grazing starts.  The more water locked upstream raises the water temps sooner than normal and that in itself stops the fish 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.  Getting them back to the lake in the same year is going to require longer flows.  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.  The water that is slowed down to improve grazing warms up too fast.  Looks like we may have to go after the water again.  
 
By not listing the trout, we have less red tape to get and keep projects moving forward.  Trout Unlimited has hired a facilitator in order to keep DFW and USFS moving…Where it began about the fish, it’s ending in grazing.  So something has to change.  We may see a native spawn, but without a lake, what’s the point?  As long as this lake is below 5100ft elevation, the trout in the lake are threatened.  Every report shows that.  It wasn’t all from the drought.  Mother Nature will respond once the attitude of the water diverter’s change. The lake had been robbed for decades and as water levels dropped, the robbing didn’t stop.  So some changes were in order.   We aim to keep the changes coming, regardless….even if we have to sue to get it.  
 
Where are the massive numbers of trout in the lake?  I hear from many people who have said 2016 had been the worst fishing season they have experienced in decades and 2017 fishing season shaping up to be the same.  Even though it picked up a little by late Sept and October last season, it hasn’t been phenomenal 30-60fish days out there. Consider yourself lucky to get a fish or two in 5-6 hours and don’t count on a big one. I have a second request in for creel data of catch rates per angler last season of which I have finally received the data from DFW biologist Paul Divine after additional request.  Catch rate down, anglers down, but fish slightly larger.  Too bad people can’t catch what they used to.  Many thinking it’s a waste of time and money to come up, fish for 12 hours in two days and be lucky to catch one! Campgrounds with lots of empty spaces, stores struggling, Stones Landing resort still closed.  Well, folks, I am certain that if the quality of the fishing was like it was in the past, more people would be here fishing.  Unfortunately, other lakes have better fishing so folks are going where they can have fun.  We have had better fishing, but the last two years has been, well, not very good. 
 
A 3 to 4 pounder hasn’t been uncommon in fall/winter for 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 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 and red with gold hammered lures show up in green water better than any other historically good color on this lake.  But still, working for our limits.
 
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.  We’ll see what happens in spring of 2018 but I have no doubts that we will continue to see fewer fish in the tributaries, just because we don’t have the numbers of fish we need for the anglers.   DFW, LNF and BLM fought against protecting the lake until public protest forced the issue.  Don’t believe for one second that saving the lake, restoring the creek and shutting down the Bly Tunnel was DFW, LNF or BLM’s idea. All their letters stating their support to keep grazing, draining water from the lake and keeping the tunnel open and flowing are public information.  It took massive public pressure to get ALL the agencies on board.
 
My fishing partner and I are already planning on fishing other lakes in between fishing this one.  Almanor is pumping out some big numbers of 5 to 9lb trout this spring! If we don’t see the lake rise more than a few inches, we will be back to levels of 2016 by late summer which is still higher than our peak low elevation. I do expect to see higher surface temps by opening weekend and a sooner than later blue-green algae bloom for 2018.  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!!  We have spent the winter and spring months fishing on lakes within about 1 1/2 hours from here and really having a ball.  Almanor has been pumping out some monster trout…rainbows and browns for us.  Butt Valley has some monsters too as does Antelope (access has been up and down thru the storms though).  I just won’t eat them from those lakes so I release or give them to people who don’t care when I have to keep one.  Antelope has also been 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.  I just don’t see the numbers of fish that we normally had after severe cuts in planting. So the fun we used to have is no longer. 

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.  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.  We are seeing some dead fish on the bottom in the clearer shallower water.  Not sure if these are released fish or just dead fish for no other reason.  But we have seen fly fishermen in the area.  As a note, I never take a fish out of the water if I am planning to release it.  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 early1990’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 160,000 but at 3 to a pound for the most part.  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.  I’ll be posting a link to a great article on catching and releasing trout.  Due to the high volume of readers on this site, I do want to warn the writer and have permission to post the link.

 
Without the lake at prime elevations (5106ft is considered full, 5100 is considered the lowest for the health of the fish), our watershed and our special trout are put back together, we have nothing. We 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 for over 14years.  It does have something to do with it but 86 impounds and water diversions on our main spawning and feeder creek has had devastating affects all for just one or two ranchers at most for cattle…and instead of less, more are planned.  Sound familiar IE National Geographic Water and Power series, Monterey Agreement, Agenda 21 and privatizing public 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 reduced our snow pack as well as our local moisture.  So it’s not all Mother Nature’s cycle.  We have a man made problem.  Regardless of having a fair water year, the lake is still below all recommended levels for the health of the lake, vegetation and trout.  Losing Eagle Lake and blaming it on climate change is mute when the climate is being manipulated to begin with.  Eagle Lake isn’t saved yet. 
 
As long as restoration for cattle grazing continues, the trout won’t be listed…but it has less to do with trout and more about retaining grazing.  But, slowly, the impounds are going, wells are coming and that’s better than what it was.  That restoration was the critical part of keeping the trout off the listing.  The first two pages were about USFS and State employees having immunity from past poor decision making regarding Pine Creek (in which well over 80 water projects exist with only 7 permitted), We’ll see if that still stands after more poor decision making in contrast to the conservation plan.  The last impound was finished around 2005…our last year of good water was 2005/2006 and we have lost water in the lake ever since.  The critical part is getting the fish and minnows back to the lake before the creek dries up and water temperatures spike.
 
It appears that TU may have fallen for the CRMP mentality of the ranchers on the board and using old government tactics.  We may need to replace the CRMP group that has been around too long, done too little and simply 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, “TU and CRMP didn’t have the Pine Creek organism study performed by Western US protocol and it needs to be done over again” was a direct quote from DFW biologist Paul Divine.  At least UNR still has the samples so it can be done but needs more funding.  Grant money will be used for that.  DFW biologist Paul Divine told us that when he asked if we would be willing to fund another study. Unbelievable?  No that’s just something normal for Eagle Lake.  Professional screw ups,.  Over the decades, CRMP has caused more of our problems than they have ever fixed, this is why people showed up at their meeting.  CRMP has very little support locally, known only for cattle grazing over fish habitat.  I had a discussion with Trout Unlimited recently about the plan and other things that were not in the best interest of the lake and trout.  We hope there are amendments to the plan and a better way of restoring Pine Creek than adding more impounds for livestock grazing.  If you want to be a part of the solution to Eagle Lake, then Eagle Lake Guardians is who you need to donate too.  All our donations go directly to Eagle Lake & Pine Creek Restoration or quite possibly legal council or legal action to save the lake.  Guardians is the only local nonprofit whose donations go ONLY to support Eagle Lake and no other pockets, projects or lakes…just this one.  And, we are working behind the lines but we aren’t afraid to flank these folks either.  More to come on that issue.  Some one has to do this job folks, it isn’t pretty but it has to be done. One fair water year isn’t going to cut the mustard.  The lake needs to be at an elevation no lower than 5100ft before it isn’t considered detrimental to the trout….or local economy.  So in spite of somethings going well, more work needs to be done.  
 
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Lake Conditions  for  water temps & Lake elevation by date
Ramp Conditions for launch ramp info.
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
 
(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