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Lake Davis fishing well at start

Bruce Ajari

Fishing at Lake Davis, near the town of Portola, has been very good during the early part of the 2000 trout season. The plan to control the predatory northern pike for the coming year is being implemented.

With spring upon us, the California Department of Fish and Game is attempting to capture as many spawning-sized adult northern pike as possible. The department is beginning a series of aggressive measures aimed at controlling and containing the non-native predator.

According to Science Adviser Diana Jacobs, the initial objective for this spring is to capture adult northern pike prior to their spawning in the lake. She believes that the adult pike will be concentrated in the shallow areas as temperatures warm and during that time will be most vulnerable to the equipment being used.

The activities are part of a plan that set forth these recommendations in a February document. The document was a collective effort of the Lake Davis Task Force Steering Committee in combating the northern pike. The report is titled “Managing Northern Pike at Lake Davis.” A plan for “Y2000” is currently available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/index.htm1.

Electrofishing has begun on the lake and a decent number of pike have been caught via this means and through gill netting. The combination of this electrofishing and the eight trap nets that are being used should help in removing a significant number of these fish. Whether this will have an impact on the overall war being waged is anyone’s guess. These activities are occurring around Mosquito Slough and the Freeman Creek areas of the lake. These have been identified as prime spawning areas of the lake for the pike.

Pike typically spawn when temperatures reach about 45 degrees. The lake should now be beyond this temperature range, but still in the low 50s. Many pike will be in the shallows.

All of the net areas are distinguished with orange marker buoys to alert boaters. The use of fyke and gill nets is also scheduled for use to trap any adult pike ascending the streams on their spawning runs. These will be set at Big Grizzly and Freeman Creeks. The nets are being checked daily to monitor for the presence of pike and to release any captured trout. Gill nets are scheduled to be checked twice a day.

Other recommendations outlined in the plan, including the use of detonation cord, will be utilized as the year unfolds and once the DFG and other interested governmental agencies take the steps necessary to comply with the various permitting and environmental review requirements that govern the project.

Last November, a 600-foot barrier net was installed by DFG at the mouth of Mosquito Slough before the lake froze so the pike wouldn’t escape into other parts of the lake during the winter months and spring spawning season. That net is still in place.

The present plan is to try to control the pike population. The skeptics would point out that perhaps the battle to keep the pike from migrating downstream is already a lost cause. I think that we all heard about the unconfirmed reports of a pike being caught down in Lake Oroville last year. If this were true, it would seem that the main reason for eradicating the pike from Davis would be gone.

The lake is fishing very well for now and should continue so for the foreseeable future. Get out there and give it a try. It is still a really great place to fish.

Fishing report

Boca – (33,017 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Most anglers fishing from shore near the inlet are having some success. The area near the dam is also fishing well. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having some success.

Most were using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow-imitating lure. Kokanee fishing is good. Flyfishermen near the inlet should have fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers, and emergers.

Donner – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had fair to good success.

few large fish continue to be reported. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow-imitating lures have had fair to good success.

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) – Fishing here is fair to good.


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