Re-stocking of Lake Davis begins | SierraSun.com
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Re-stocking of Lake Davis begins

Bruce Ajari, Sierra Sun Columnist

The California Department of Fish and Game has begun to stock Lake Davis near Portola this past week. The initial planting began on July 9. Davis was chemically treated with Rotenone in the fall of last year to eradicate the predatory northern pike someone introduced into the lake.

It was anticipated that the lake would be replanted within six to eight weeks after the chemical treatment was complete. The lake has remained without fish due to the presence of residual chemicals since the October treatment was conducted.

As a result, many of the residents were pleased to see this first step taken in an effort to bolster the ailing local economy. Most businesses rely on the tourists that come to fish the area.

Davis was the main draw for many because of its fine rainbow trout fishery. Fish grew large and were a real pleasure to catch.

The recent plantings were held up due to the presence of the chemical piperonyl butoxide. This is a chemical used to disperse the Rotenone.

Most experts point to the late start that the Department of Fish and Game got on treating the lake in the fall for the residual chemical being present. Most felt had the project started earlier, the water temperatures would have been higher and would have dissipated much faster. The late start of the project was a direct result of the fact residents did not want their local drinking water source chemically treated.

California Health Officials met with Plumas County, Portola and the Department of Fish and Game representatives prior to the planting to decide whether to proceed. Water temperatures at Davis are already at 72 degrees. At 75 degrees, the Department of Fish and Game would not have planted this year.

The Department released about 50,000 fish ranging up to five pounds. This is the first step in the restoration process that will see about an additional 850,000 fish planted over the ten days following the initial planting. As a means of comparison, Davis typically gets an allotment of 35,000 fish per year. This year more than a million trout are expected to be released into its waters.

With the news of the stocking, the Portola City Council has authorized the expenditure of funds to sponsor a fishing derby with specially-tagged fish offering cash prizes totaling $30,000. Twelve fish will be released in Davis with tags. These tags, one -$20,000, one -$5,000, and ten – $500 will provide the incentive for the derby. Registration forms for the prized fish will be available from Portola merchants on the week preceding the fishing Derby. The Derby is scheduled for July 18 and 19.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, the fish that are being planted should be just fine to eat. However, many residents do not feel comfortable with the chemicals still in the lake. Some residents vow never to eat fish or drink the waters from Davis.

Like Frenchman’s reservoir to the east, Davis is a very healthy fishery for trout. Frenchman’s has also been planted heavily with fish that were originally targeted for use at Lake Davis.

Fishing for trout in these two lakes should be outstanding this fall. Frenchman’s has been fishing well all spring and should continue to do so right on through the fall. Most fish have been smaller.

Let’s hope the fish being introduced into the lake now translates into some real positive dollars for the area’s local economy. It would be outstanding to see such a magnificent fishery return to its former state.

They say time heals all wounds. Let’s hope everything returns to normal soon for the people and businesses affected by the Davis closure.

Fishing report

Boca – (37,952 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Most anglers fishing from shore near the inlet and dam are having some success. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having fair success on Kokanee. Most are using a combination of flashers and a wedding ring or Kokanee Bug with apiece of white corn. Those trolling for trout are using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlet should have fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamer, 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 some success. A few large fish have also been reported. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success. Kokanee fishing has also been fair to good

Most are trolling Ted’s Bugs, Kokanee Bugs or wedding rings with a piece of white corn behind a flasher.

Lake Tahoe – Fishing has been good for mackinaw as long as the weather permits you to get out. Most fish are in the five- to seven-pound range. A guide is highly recommended (if you are fishing for Mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Remember tributaries to Tahoe open July 1 and will close again on September 30.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed) Fishing is fair to good Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Small midge patterns have also been good at times. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams and Griffith’s Knat are good choices.

Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair to good Most anglers are using nightcrawlers, Powerbait or salmon eggs at the inlet of Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen are taking fish on nymphs, emergers and streamers.

Prosser – (29,253 ac. ft.) Fishing here has been fair to good. Bank fishermen use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Most trollers are pulling a combination of flashers and nightcrawlers or a minnow imitating lure. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (234,964 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are taking a few fish, still some very nice sized ones. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Those throwing lures are also having some success. Topliners have fair to good success for Kokanee salmon. With the warm weather, the fish are being found in deeper water. Most use a flasher of some sort and a Kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release has been raised to 785 cubic feet per second from the 598 last week from the dam at Tahoe City. Fishing in the river had improved dramatically with the reduced flows. This should continue since the water is high, but fishable. Bait, lures or flies have been successful in the river between Tahoe City and Truckee. In the wild trout section below Truckee, flyfishermen are using nymphs such as the caddis larva, prince, bird’s nest, hare’s ear or pheasant tail with good success. For dries try a humpy, elk hair caddis or a parachute Adams.

Other Waters – Frenchman fished fair to good this past week. The latest reports indicate that the fish are mostly small, but plentiful. Davis lake has been planted and should fish well. Jackson Meadows is fishing fair to good. Milton Reservoir has been fishing fair to good for flyfishermen. Middle Fork of the Feather River and Portola Area – The Middle Fork of the Feather River and many of the smaller streams In the area have been heavily stocked and are fishing fair to good.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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