CDFW Hot Creek Hatchery to Host First Trout Fest

The Hot Creek Hatchery in Inyo County will host its first family-friendly Trout Fest on Saturday, June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Trout Fest is a free fishing celebration that introduces people to the sport of trout fishing and gives the public a close up view of the millions of trout on site and hatchery operations.

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CDFW staff and volunteers teach attendees the basics of trout fishing from knot-tying to catching, cleaning and cooking trout.  Fly-fishing groups will demonstrate the art of fly-tying, casting and catch-and-release techniques.

Children can feed the fish in the raceways and try their hands (literally) at catching a trout in the either the raceway or the onsite ponds. Art activities will run continuously, including gyotaku, the traditional Japanese art of fish printing, wildlife stamp tattoos and face painting.

The trout tasting booth features grilling demonstrations, free recipes and samples of foil-wrapped barbecued trout.  CDFW will also feature its 1928 Dodge Hatchery Planting Truck, and wildlife officers will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how their K9 units operate. Visitors  will be able to see various life stages of trout up close in the living stream display.

Admission to the Trout Fest and all related activities are free. All tackle is provided. No outside tackle or rods are allowed. Children 15 and under can fish with a one-fish limit.

The Hot Creek Hatchery is located about 37 miles north of Bishop, or 3.5 miles south of the junction of U.S. Highway 395 and State Route 203, near the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport, follow the signs for parking.

Media Contacts:
Jana Lerian, CDFW Region 4, (559) 539-6644
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Lakes and Streams Looking Good for Eastern Sierra Trout Season Opener

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) anticipates good fishing for the eastern Sierra trout opener due to early spring conditions and rising temperatures.

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Warm weather has been melting snow and ice on lakes that often are still frozen in late spring, giving anglers more access to lakes, streams and waterways for the Saturday, April 27 season opener. Lakes below 8,000 feet have already thawed and higher lakes could thaw considerably more prior to opening day.

Warmer water often means the fish have had more time to forage and add some weight after the winter. Hatcheries have begun to stock the open waters.

CDFW biologists have been surveying the waters and have made the following observations:

  • Crowley Lake is ice-free and has been open for two months.
  • Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, Lundy Lake and the Twin Lakes in Bridgeport are all open and ice-free.
  • The entire June Lake Loop, including June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Reservoir are all ice-free. Water level at Grant Reservoir is very low.
  • East Walker River is at very low flow but fishing is good with no ice or muddy areas. East Walker River is open to catch-and-release fishing all winter.
  • Monitor Pass is open.
  • The Bishop Creek drainage roads are open and the roads are snow-free, the creek, south and middle forks will be fishable. North Lake and Weir Pond are ice-free and open.
  • In the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Twin Lakes are open, no update on Mamie, Mary or George Lakes.
  • Rock Creek Lake is 50 percent open and melting. The road is open and all shoreline is accessible.
  • In Virginia Lakes, road is still closed due to highway work.

Anglers are reminded that anyone over 16 must have a valid California fishing license in their possession while fishing and that the limit for trout is five fish per day and 10 in possession.

CDFW wildlife officers will be in the area for the opener and enforcing the laws and regulations. On opening weekend last year wardens contacted 3,355 anglers, gave 73 warnings and wrote 91 citations for fishing without a license, catching more than the limit and other Fish and Game Code Violations.

The eastern Sierra trout season officially open at one hour before sunrise on Saturday, April 27. Check the CDFW freshwater fishing regulations for specifics on individual lakes at http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/FreshFish-Mar2013/

Media Contacts:         
James Erdman, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (760) 873-6071
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Eastern Sierra Lakes

CDFW Begins Stocking Trout in San Diego County Lake

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) last week stocked tagged and non-tagged rainbow trout at Lake Miramar in San Diego County for the first time.

CDFW will begin stocking Lake Miramar because the lake is in an urban setting and represents the potential to be a very popular urban fishery. The lake, which in the past was stocked by the city of San Diego, historically is very popular with anglers.

“I remember as a kid, growing up in Temecula, hearing stories about the trout fishing at Lake Miramar, and even having my mom drop me and friends off to fish while she went shopping,” said Russell Black, CDFW  fisheries biologist. “I am excited about this. It’s good for everyone: the city, the Department and most importantly the public.”

Some of the stocked rainbow trout will have $10 reward tags, which CDFW hopes will increase angler interest and recreational activities at the lake. Signs will be posted at access points around the lake with information on how to collect the rewards for tagged trout, and mail-in cards will be placed at the concessions.

Tag returns will provide valuable information to department biologists, including information on angler success, harvest rates and catch per unit of effort. This information will ultimately help the department assess trout plants.

All fish plants are subject to change depending on road, water, weather and operational conditions. Stocking is scheduled to resume in the fall.

Media Contacts:        
D. Russell Black, CDFW Region 5, Inland Fisheries (858) 467-4262
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW Moves Native Trout Program Forward at Kern River Hatchery

Contact:
Greg Kollenborn, CDFW Fisheries Branch, 559-243-4017 ext.257
Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, 916-322-8908

New Project Will Restore Native Fish, Improve Fishing and Help Local Economy

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reintroducing native rainbow trout to the Kern River.KernRivRbwTrt

Four water wells were recently drilled to serve as a back-up water source during adverse river conditions in preparation for the reintroduction.

“This is an important phase of the project and represents a significant milestone in preserving the heritage species in the Kern River,” said CDFW senior fisheries Environmental Scientist Brian Beal. “Upgrading our facility to reintroduce native trout will offer great fishing opportunities, while providing economic benefits and encouraging tourism.”

The reintroduction program will focus on Kern River rainbow trout, a strain of rainbow trout endemic to the Kern River. Because of heavy angling pressure and non-native introductions over the last century, the native fish can only be found in remote isolated areas of the Kern River.

As the program evolves, CDFW also plans to replace the existing non-native trout plants in the main stem Kern River and surrounding area with native trout. These non-native species include brown and other strains of rainbow trout that were planted over the years but not native to the river.

Additional planning is underway to collect the purest native trout from remote locations in SequoiaNational Park during the fall of 2013. Collection of these wild fish will provide fertilized eggs and serve as future foundation brood stock.

Funding for the project comes from both a Southern California Edison Company trust fund set-up in the mid-1990s and CDFW.

In addition to Southern California Edison Company’s financial support, the U. S. Forest Service, Kern River Fly Fishers, Southern Sierra Fly Fishers, Kaweah Fly Fishers, Friends of the (Kern River) Hatchery, the County of Kern and the local community have all made significant contributions and are working together to help make necessary improvements for this program.

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