Meeting on Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Aug. 18 | SierraSun.com
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Meeting on Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Aug. 18

Bruce Ajari, Sierra Sun

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is apparently taking its time in rolling out the update to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (LCT) recovery plan for the Truckee River. They have indicated that they want to take the time necessary before releasing the plan.

As you may recall, the plan was originally scheduled to be unveiled in October. At the Nov. 18, 2000 meeting at Boomtown the update team indicated that they were still soliciting input from the public.

As of now the plan has been apparently submitted to the California Department of Fish and Game and the Nevada Division of Wildlife for peer review.

The next public meeting, once again to be held at Boomtown, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this time it is hoped that it will become clear just when we may expect to be able to review the LCT recovery plan.

This plan is attempting to reintroduce the native Lahontan Cutthroat Trout into the Truckee River drainage which it once inhabited. This plan is being undertaken by the Fish and Wildlife Service is response to the Endangered Species Act. The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout is listed as a threatened species under this act. The USFWS has been charged with coming up with a plan to reestablish this native species into the Truckee River.

This plan has polarized the sport fishing community and various other groups. One side of the sport fishing community sees the plan as a threat to an already very viable trout fishery. The rainbow and brown trout that currently inhabit the river are considered non-native exotics. They have also been proven not to compete very well with the LCT. As a result, many see the plan as destined to failure.

The other issue is the one of just how much hybridization (cross breeding) may occur between the rainbow and cutthroat. This would be certain to happen if the rainbow is still present. How much hybridization would be considered as “close enough” to bring closure to the restoration effort?

Under the plan, stocking is to be done by the California Department of Fish and Game in the stretch between Tahoe City and Truckee. This is the stretch that once received the put-and-take hatchery stocking. There has been no stocking for the past two years since the Department of Fish and Game would have to stock LCT under this plan.

As a result the fish in this section of the Truckee are now becoming wild fish. They have been waiting to begin stocking once the proper species of trout has been identified and the hatchery can prepare for the changeover to LCT rearing. The original stream version has long since disappeared and the genetics experts have been trying to find the fish with the closest DNA to the one now extinct.

An impossible task, you say? Whatever choice of species is made there is sure to be some disagreement. Proponents of the effort have philosophical reasons for bringing them back. They feel that man has created the problem and should correct it by reintroducing the native species. This has been the case in bringing back wolves to the United States in areas like Yellowstone Park.

While both sides agree that it would be good idea philosophically, the people not too enthused about the plan feel that it is destined to fail. This is why both sides are anxious to see just what is contained in the LCT recovery plan whenever it is unveiled.

Stay tuned for more to come. Hopefully, many questions regarding when the draft plan will be unveiled will be answered at the meeting on Aug. 18. Those interested in the future of the Truckee River and its management under a LCT recovery plan should plan on attending the meeting.

FISHING REPORT

Boca – (8,995 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair and is dropping rapidly. Water is being released at 152 CFS and 102 CFS is coming into the lake. Anglers are still having success. Anglers near the dam are still catching fish. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boats that can still be launched are having some success. Most were using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Kokanee fishing is good for those experienced anglers that can get a boat in the water. Fly fishermen near the inlet have experienced fair to good action early and late. Nymphs and streamers have accounted for most of the fish caught recently. When it calms down, midges are very productive.

Donner Lake – Fishing has been fair to good. Anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had fair to good success. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair success.

Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6225.29) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish are in the 5- to 7-pound range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair overall. The creeks opened this past weekend. Keep in mind that any large fish that you catch are most likely fish that have come out of the lake to spawn. Please release these fish. No fishing is also allowed within 300 ft. of these tributaries.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may be bagged or possessed) Fishing has been fair to good. Most activity has been early and late with blood midges and callibaetis imitations. Most anglers are 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 Knat 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) – (102 cubic feet per second) Fishing here has been fair in the stretch between Stampede and Boca. Fishing has been fair near the inlet area of the Little Truckee into Boca reservoir. This area changes almost daily. Fly fishermen fishing this stretch between Stampede and Boca are experiencing frequent hatches where dry flies and emergers have been productive. Nymphs and streamers are still the first choice if there are no fish on the surface.

Prosser – (11,114 ac. ft.) Prosser has been fishing fair. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Fly fishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (175,496 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Shore anglers are catching a few more fish. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. Most use a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn. Look for improvement as the weather warms. There is still good action, mostly subsurface, with nymphs such as the pheasant tail and the bird’s nest. There is some good surface activity early and late as well. Streamers are also working.

Truckee River – The release from the dam at Tahoe City is 390 cubic feet per second and near Truckee it is running at 393 cubic feet per second. Fishing has been fair throughout the river. Seasoned anglers have been doing well. Prince nymphs, Bird’s nests and pheasant tail nymphs have produced some fish as well as streamers. Try an elk hair caddis, hares ear parachute or an E/C caddis. A grasshopper pattern can also work well. Fishing has hit the typical summer early morning or late evening peaks in activity throughout our local waters.

Other Waters – Jackson Meadows has been fishing fair. Davis and Frenchman lakes are fishing fair this past week. Typical summertime patterns are now occurring. Fish early and late to have the most success.


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