Column: What was a vision turns out to be annual event for Truckee fish and wildlife habitat
What began five years ago as a vision of several people has blossomed into an annual event that does wonderful things for Truckee-area fish, wildlife and habitat. The Truckee River Habitat Restoration Group, the Villager Nursery and the Forest Service are all major sponsors of this event.
As a local fisherman, I am encouraged by the efforts of the many volunteers who show up one Sunday each autumn to pitch in on one of the many worthwhile projects scheduled. This year is no exception.
The fifth annual Truckee River Day is this Sunday. Events begin at 9 a.m. for the all-day projects at the Granite Flat Campground on Highway 89 and run until 5 p.m. The popular release of cutthroat trout by the kids occurs at 4 p.m. The first Truckee River Day saw about 400 volunteers attend and grew to around 800 volunteers last year.
Among the events scheduled this year is work on restoration of the 1997 flood damage in Coldstream Canyon. As a fisherman, this is an area that provided some great fishing opportunities prior to the flood. Repairing the flood damage will take time and a great amount of work. In addition to a general river clean-up day, other projects include planting for streamside stabilization and erosion control, road decommissioning, trail building and construction of habitat for birds and small animals.
Maintaining the Truckee River and other local watersheds is crucial to the local population. The river provides us with a form of refuge and is a big part of the existing community. It is a place that can be enjoyed in many ways and has a wide-reaching calming effect.
It is also an important part of our local economy. The river provides a diverse number of recreational opportunities, both commercial and private.
With the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Recovery Plan update scheduled to come out this month, the release of cutthroat trout into the river takes on new significance this year. Is this a glimpse into what will be commonplace in the next few years?
Much of the work that is done will enhance the habitat for local fisheries. Planting of streamside vegetation provides shade and cover for the trout. The shade helps regulate water temperature and provides shelter for fish, particularly smaller ones. It also prevents streamside erosion by stabilizing the banks.
Fisherman should appreciate these efforts and pitch in where they can.
There are numerous other opportunities to work on areas that can enhance these fisheries. While it is too late to pre-register, you can still volunteer to help.
Call TRHRG at 587-4509 for more information or to volunteer for one of the many specific projects.
Boca – (22,648 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Anglers fishing from shore near the inlet are having success. The area near the dam is also fishing well. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having fair-to-good results. Most were using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow-imitating lure. Kokanee fishing remains good. Fly-fishermen near the inlet should have fair-to-good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers and emergers.
Donner – Fishing has been good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had fair- to-good action. Mackinaw fishing has been fair. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow-imitating lures have had fair-to-good results.
Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6,227.40) Fishing has been good for Mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for Mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair.
Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed.) Fishing is improving. Try using nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quigley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams and Griffith’s Gnat are good choices.
Little Truckee River – (This area between Stampede Reservoir downstream to Boca Reservoir is now subject to artificial barbless lures with a two-fish bag limit of fish 14-inches maximum.) The river flow is running at a rate of only 62 cubic feet per second. The fishing has been fair to good, but could be tougher with these reduced flows. Fly-fishermen fishing this section are concentrating on a mix of nymphs, emergers, dries and streamers.
Prosser – (12,002 ac. ft.) Prosser fishing has been fishing fair to good. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Trolling has been mostly with flashers and nightcrawlers. Fly-fishermen near the inlets are fishing primarily with midges, nymphs and streamers.
Stampede – (205,900 ac. ft.) Stampede is rated as fair to good. Shore angling is improving. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Trollers are having success for kokanee salmon. Most used a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn. Fly-fishing has been good. Nymphs, emergers, dries and streamers have been working.
Truckee River – The release has been reduced to 245 cfs from the dam at Tahoe City. In the Truckee area the river is running at around 254 cfs. Fishing in the upper section between Tahoe City and Truckee has been fair overall. Seasoned anglers are doing well on the Truckee. Most fish being caught in the special regulation areas are being caught on nymphs, emergers, dries or streamers. A streamer this time of year can produce well.
Other Waters – Jackson Meadows reservoir is good. Davis Lake has been very good for some and only fair for others. The same holds true at Frenchman.
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Local skier Ross Tester opened his career on the Freeride World Tour in style, claiming a first-place finish in the season opener at Ordino Arcalis, Andorra.