Pyramid Lake producing fewer fish this year
April 3, 2009
Spring is typically a great time to fish Pyramid Lake, located on the Paiute Indian Reservation northeast of Reno. We always look forward to the warmer days and plentiful fish during the months of March and April and during the first week in May.
Winter this year was probably the most difficult one in recent memory for fishing, and spring has not been much better. This has given cause for me to wonder just what may be going on.
This past weekend we made a trip and I anticipated a banner day with rapidly warming water temperatures. I fished on the south end of the lake with three good friends I have fished with for a number of years through the winter.
Talking to another regular local angler this past weekend, he echoed our results this past winter. This is not the first time I have heard such comments this year. There were also a number of other anglers who expressed their difficulties.
With the water temperature sitting at around 52 degrees, I expected to have quite a few opportunities to catch good numbers of fish. Unfortunately, I was overly optimistic. Between the four of us fishing the entire day, we only had one bite, and fortunately that fish was landed. We only saw a handful of fish landed the entire day, and many anglers were on the water.
I have to say, it was the toughest spring day I have ever experienced at the lake, even since the 80s. In the spring, the numbers of fish we see are generally very good.
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Even places that had banner numbers of fish last season do not seem to be producing like last year. Pelican Point, which has become the new Nets, has not produced the fast-paced action it did. The Nets area at Sutcliffe was closed to all fishing two years ago from March 15 to May 16.
And while the fish that are being caught are much bigger, it seems that there are fewer fish overall.
I am wondering if fewer fish are being returned to the lake by the tribe, or if the fish that are being returned are being eaten by the larger fish. Whatever the reason, most anglers have noticed a considerable drop in the number of fish being caught.
A couple of years ago, I know the hatchery operations were planting fewer fish because of a concern for the population of forage fish, the tui chub. They were concerned that the number of tui chubs were dropping and that the Lahontan cutthroats needed more food.
Everything else seems to be happening as usual this spring. Two weeks ago, I saw our first White Pelicans of the season. This past week there were very good numbers of them at the inlet of the Truckee River.
Perhaps the fish are just not active yet, but whatever the reason, it seems that for this time of year, fishing should be much better than it has been. I am planning on following up with Pyramid Lake Fisheries to get their read on what could be happening. I am hopeful that they will be able to explain the relatively low number of fish that we are seeing caught this year.
– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.