Last chance for trip to Davis Lake; pike eradication to begin
People Hoping to fish Davis Lake before the season ends should make their plans immediately, as Davis is likely to be closed before Oct. 13.
This closure is due to the controversial plan to eradicate the Northern Pike that are now in the lake. The temporary restraining order (TRO) by Superior Court Judge Roy G. MacFarland, which had delayed the eradication, was removed Sept. 22.
The TRO kept the California Department of Fish and Game from beginning the project until an alternate drinking water supply was provided. The alternate water supplies are now operational and the lake is being lowered in anticipation of starting the project.
In an effort to further alleviate concerns about the chemical Nusyn-Noxfish, the DFG has indicated that it will use powdered rotenone to treat as much of the lake as possible.
Nusyn-Noxfish is a form of rotenone in a liquid dispersant and contains about 90 percent petrochemical dispersants to aid in the application of the rotenone. These dispersants contain a product called trichloroethylene (TCE) which is a listed carcinogen.
The trichloroethylene level will be no more than one tenth the amount allowed by law in drinking water. While this does not alleviate all fears, the California Department of Health Services is satisfied that this level poses no threat to the water supply.
Nusyn-Noxfish will still have to be used in the tributaries, shallow weed beds and water below 40 feet in depth.
The court found and determined that no alternative exists to alleviate the significant possible catastrophic damage to the California fishery if the project is not allowed to go forward.
In a discussion with Patrick Foy, public information officer for the DFG, he indicated that the lake would be lowered to approximately 50,000 acre feet before the project would begin. While the DFG has limited experience with powdered rotenone, they will have technical support from members of the Utah Fish and Game Department.
Utah successfully eradicated trash fish from Strawberry Reservoir near Heber City, Utah, in 1990 and returned that lake into a thriving trophy trout fishery. Trout to 16 pounds have been documented in this lake.
The Utah project was a large undertaking since Strawberry Reservoir is huge compared to Davis Lake. Strawberry is around 14,000 surface acres, while Davis is around 4,000.
Once the project begins, fishing will not be allowed. Timing is difficult to precisely predict at this point. According to Foy, the first weekend in October will be fine, but the weekend of the 11th and 12th look very tenuous at this point.
When asked about regulations, Foy indicated that normal seasonal regulations would apply right up until the closure. So those of you that may be thinking that the special unlimited bag limits that existed over the Labor Day weekend better take note.
Once the project is complete, the lake will be monitored and once it is safe to reintroduce fish 700,000 fingerlings, 200,000 sub-catchables (about nine inches), and 10,000 pounds of mature fish (two pounds plus) will be stocked to begin the recovery. These fish will be Eagle Lake rainbows according to Foy.
— Sunday, Oct. 5, Second Annual Truckee River Day at the Granite Flat Campground on Highway 89 south of Truckee. A day for river awareness that will include group activities on many topics including history, archaeology, plant ecology, animals, birds, geology, insects, fly fishing, and fishing. It begins at noon and runs through 5 p.m. For more information contact the U.S. Forest Service at 587-3558 or the Villager Nursery at 587-0771.
— Saturday, Nov. 1, Tahoe Truckee Flyfishers Annual Dinner. Featured speaker reknown author, aquatic entomologist, and expert fly fisher Rick Hafele.
— Tributaries to Lake Tahoe close to fishing Sept. 30.
Boca Reservoir – Boca is at 31,351 Acre Feet. Shore fishermen are doing fair. Most are using inflated nightcrawlers, power bait and salmon eggs. Trollers using minnow type lures or a flasher/worm combination are have fair fishing for the rainbow and brown trout. Fly fishermen are doing fair to good using woolly buggers, nymphs, or midges near the inlet.
Donner Lake – Shore fishermen are taking mainly planted rainbows. Most are dunking nightcrawlers, power bait, or salmon eggs near the boat ramp or west end beach. Trollers are taking some nice mackinaw. Jigging for mackinaw has also produced a few as well. Topliners should try the shallower water with flasher/worm combinations or minnow imitating lures.
Lake Tahoe – (6227.72 Lake Elevation) Mackinaw fishing is good. The majority of fish are still being taken in water over 200 feet deep. Most fish are in the three to five pound range. Rainbow fishing is improving, particularly on the east side of the lake. Toplining has been fair. Most use inflated nightcrawlers from shore or troll minnow imitating lures such as a Rapala. Tributaries are open through September 30.
Martis Creek Reservoir – Martis is a zero kill lake – catch and release fishing only with only artificial lures with barbless hooks. No bait is allowed. Fishing has been improving with the cooler nights. Vegetation near the inlet is thinning out so those with float tubes can now access this area. A variety of nymphs, midges, and streamers have been successful. Seasoned anglers have found steady action. Try woolly buggers, bead head nymphs, midges, and emerger patterns. Blood midges and small midges have been good early and late. Callibaetis have been effective about mid-morning. Damselfly imitations can still be effective as well.
Prosser Creek Reservoir – Prosser is at 15,319 Acre Feet. Fishing has been fair for shore fishermen. Most are using power bait, nightcrawlers, and salmon eggs. Trollers are having fair success. Most are trolling flasher/worm combinations or minnow imitating lures. Flyfishermen are having success with olive or black, woolly buggers, nymphs and midges.
Stampede Reservoir – Stampede’s lake level is 181,653 Acre Feet. Shore fishermen have been taking some nice rainbows and browns. Most are using nightcrawlers, power bait or salmon eggs. Some nice fish are still caught near the dam. Kokanee fishing still remains the main draw for trollers. The traditional flasher/wedding ring and white corn combination has been a good producer recently as have Ted’s Bugs and Kokanee Bugs. Fish are still schooled up around the dam, and anglers are having fair success with jigs such as the Buzz Bomb. Flyfishermen have been taking a few fish on woolly buggers, nymphs, and midges near the inlet streams.
Truckee River – The Truckee river is in great shape and fishing has been fair. The section between Truckee and River Ranch is rated fair. Bait and lures have accounted for most of the fish. Good numbers of small fish have been reported. Fishing from Tahoe City to Truckee has also been fair. The Wild Trout Section below Truckee has been fishing fair. Try standard nymphs such as the Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, Birds Nest, and Zug Bug. For dries and emergers try an Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Humpy or Quigley Cripple. Soft hackles and streamers can also be very effective on the Truckee.
Other Waters – The Little Truckee River is fair. Most success has been by the fly fishermen working nymphs, streamers, and some fairly good dry fly action. Jackson Meadows level is low and the fishing has been fair to good. Frenchman Reservoir and Davis Lake are fair. Fish are beginning to move into the shallows. Woolly buggers, snail and blood midge patterns seem to be the best bet at these lakes.
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Students from North Tahoe and Truckee recently made the trip to Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley to compete in the annual Kays Ostrom Invitational.