Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Update | SierraSun.com
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Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Update

GONE FISHIN', Bruce Ajari

By now it is common knowledge that the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collectively stocked some 30,000 Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (LCT) in the Truckee River in June of 2002.The last batch actually went in about the second week of July. California Department of Fish and Game, as part of the Recovery Implementation Team, identified the portion of the Truckee River between Tahoe City and Truckee during the planning stages of the Recovery Plan.This area was targeted because historically it received regular plants of rainbow trout for their put and take hatchery program. It was felt that this area was the best candidate for recovery given this regular stocking as opposed to the wild trout section below Truckee.This stocking of LCT ensures fishing opportunities in the Tahoe/Truckee area. Fish were stocked from the Tahoe Dam downstream to where Donner Creek joins the River. These fish are all of catchable size and will provide anglers with a unique fishing opportunity to catch the only trout native to the Truckee River. Most reports indicate that the fish being caught are in the seven- to 10-inch range.Great Basin Trout from Wellington, Nev. was the source of the LCT for the USFWS. These fish come from a wild stock of LCT found in Heenan Lake. The fish will be stocked in the Truckee River and Fallen Leaf Lake this summer.Besides providing sport for the anglers that have had little planting in this stretch for the past several years, the USFWS hopes to obtain some feedback from anglers in an opportunity to find out how the LCT respond to their historic habitat. Many experts believe that introducing a lake dwelling species of LCT such as the Heenan Lake fish is not optimal. The USFWS plans to conduct surveys in the summer and fall to determine where the fish travel and how they grow.In order to get some additional feedback the USFWS is asking anglers to fill out a survey that can be printed from its Web site http//nevadafwo.fws.gov/.It is a one page document that asks a number of questions to assess your overall fishing experience. If you do not have access to the Web site you can contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 1340 Fiancial Blvd. #234, Reno, NV 89502 by mail or call them at 775-861-6300 to obtain a copy of the survey.LCT look a lot like a rainbow trout. The main difference is a red slash under the jaw. Their coloring tends to be steel gray to olive-green. The sides tend to be yellow-brown. Their black spots are round and scattered over the fish, but tend to group around the tail. The small fin above the tail, known as the adipose fin, may be clipped. These clipped fish may contain a very small coded wire tag in the snout. They hope to establish a system soon that will allow anglers to provide them with the snout, along with information about where you caught it and how long it is. Such information will in their research.I would also urge anglers who catch and release their fish to provide feedback through the survey process. This is the only way to find out how viable these fish will be in Recovery Process or if some other sub-specie may be better. To find out how the Recovery Plan for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in the Truckee River is proceeding a Public meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 24th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Truckee PUD building at 11570 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.Stop by and see just what has been happening in developing the Recovery Plan for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in our region.Action AlertComments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Martis Valley Community Plan Update are due August 19. Send your comments to Lori Lawrence, Placer County Planning Department, 11414 B Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603.


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