Category Archives: hatcheries

Fillmore Trout Hatchery Temporarily Closed to Public for Scheduled Maintenance

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Fillmore Trout Hatchery in eastern Ventura County will be closed to the public approximately four months beginning May 4, while the facility undergoes maintenance and repairs. All of the rainbow trout normally raised at the Fillmore Trout Hatchery have been moved to the Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County to accommodate the necessary work.

The Mojave River Hatchery underwent extensive maintenance and upgrades in 2017 and is now open to the public. The hatchery is again growing and stocking trout to approved waters in Southern California. With the Mojave River Hatchery back online, trout production and distribution is forecast to improve significantly for Southern California in 2018. It is now the Fillmore Trout Hatchery’s turn for facilities work and the Mojave River Hatchery has adequate room to raise fish for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery for the next few months.

As with the Mojave River Hatchery, the maintenance scheduled for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery will result in increased efficiencies and better trout production. The Fillmore Trout Hatchery has been in service to the public for 78 years. The maintenance and repairs scheduled include improving capability of the aeration tower, pressure washing and epoxy coating of the rearing ponds, plumbing upgrades, water and electrical use efficiencies, enhanced public outreach and educational materials for visitors and grounds work.

During the closure, Fillmore Trout Hatchery staff will perform maintenance and repairs to the raceways, buildings and equipment. Once the repair projects are complete, the hatchery will begin to receive fish and will again open to the public. CDFW estimates reopening in September or October.

For a list of fish plants, please see CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule.

Media Contacts:
Matt Norris, CDFW Desert Region, (760) 938-2242
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Opportunities Abound for Central Valley Trout Anglers, Despite Flooding of Moccasin Creek Hatchery

Central Valley anglers anticipating California’s general trout opener Saturday, April 28 will find many local fishing opportunities despite the flooding of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Moccasin Creek Hatchery in Tuolumne County, which supplied many Central Valley and western Sierra Nevada waters with trout.

Don Pedro Reservoir, located downstream from the Moccasin Creek Hatchery, received an emergency plant of 150,000 rainbow and brook trout late last month when CDFW was granted a small window of time to return to the evacuated hatchery and rescue fish after the hatchery was flooded by a storm-swollen and overflowing Moccasin Creek Reservoir, which sits immediately upstream from it. The total weight of trout stocked to Don Pedro immediately after the flood was approximately 40,000 pounds. This emergency measure made the best use of resources in a catastrophic situation. CDFW biologists, hatchery staff and wildlife officers worked well into early morning hours to rescue fish and stock them into Don Pedro. Don Pedro is home to many species of game fish, but hadn’t been planted with trout by CDFW since 2016. Don Pedro is open to trout fishing year-round.

The San Joaquin and Kern River hatcheries, the two other trout hatcheries in CDFW’s Central Region, will continue to provide trout angling opportunities for the area and assist Moccasin Creek Hatchery in any way possible. Approximately 20,000 catchable-sized trout also will be trucked to the Central Region from another CDFW trout hatchery to support recreational angling for the trout opener.

As CDFW was able to return to the hatchery days after the flooding and emergency fish rescue, CDFW discovered thousands of additional hatchery trout alive but stranded in ponds and pools nearby created by the floodwaters. CDFW staff rescued approximately 10,000 of these trout and released them into Moccasin Creek. Moccasin Creek opens to trout fishing April 28.

At the time of the March 22 flooding, the hatchery was holding about 1.6 million fish – mostly rainbow trout but some brook, brown and golden trout as well – in varying stages of development, from just-hatched eggs to fish weighing 1 to 2 pounds.

In addition to the loss of more than 1 million fish, the hatchery suffered extensive damage estimated at $3.2 million. CDFW doesn’t expect the hatchery to be operational until the fall of 2018 at the earliest and the hatchery might not return to full production for 18 to 24 months. In planning to get Moccasin Creek Hatchery back online, CDFW shipped several hundred thousand trout eggs to other state fish hatcheries to hatch and raise for the next several months. Additionally, other CDFW hatcheries set aside thousands of juvenile trout that will be shipped to Moccasin Creek Hatchery as soon as feasible.

Moccasin Creek Hatchery sits on land owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) as part of its Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. SFPUC staff have been instrumental in providing crews and equipment for the initial clean up of mud, debris and dead fish.

Moccasin Creek Hatchery began operations in 1954 and provided trout for anglers who fish a variety of creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs located in Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Alpine and Alameda counties. The hatchery produced about 700,000 fish annually.

On average, the hatchery planted about 50,000 fish per month, but the numbers often exceeded 100,000 fish in April when waters are stocked just prior to California’s annual trout opener on the last Saturday in April.

While CDFW won’t be able to stock all the waters it had planned prior to flooding, CDFW is prioritizing the most popular trout-fishing destinations and plans to stock those waters with excess trout from some of its other 14 trout hatcheries around the state. These waters include Pinecrest Lake, Lyons Canal, the Clark’s Fork of the Stanislaus River (once the Sonora Pass opens), the Middle and South forks of the Stanislaus River, and the Middle and South forks of the Tuolumne River. All of these waters are in Tuolumne County.

Central Valley anglers making plans for the April 28 trout opener should check CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule to see if their favorite waters have been planted with trout.

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Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Dean Marston, CDFW Central Region, (559) 243-4005, ext.122

CDFW Photo: Moccasin Creek Hatchery staff, wildlife officers and fisheries biologists worked into the early morning hours of March 24 to rescue 40,000 pounds of trout from a flooded Moccasin Creek Hatchery and release the fish into nearby Don Pedro Reservoir.

 

Public Comment Sought on Statewide Management of Trout

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be soliciting public comment and ideas on the statewide management of trout at a series of public meetings.

“We are seeking stakeholder feedback on the development of three important elements of our statewide trout management efforts,” said Roger Bloom, CDFW Inland Fisheries Program Manager. “Our overall goal is make positive programmatic changes that will help ensure we’re getting the right fish in the right place at the right time.”

The three key areas for which CDFW are seeking input are:

  • The revision of CDFW’s Strategic Plan for Trout Management, last published in 2003
  • The creation of a new Strategic Plan for Trout Hatcheries
  • Simplification of inland trout angling regulations

Each meeting will include a brief presentation covering each area. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas.

All stakeholder input will be taken into consideration as draft plans and a regulation simplification package are developed for formal public review. Stakeholders can fill out a short questionnaire online or at any of the following meetings:

Bishop
Place: Talman Pavilion, Tricounty Fairgrounds
Location: 1234 Fair Street
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Truckee
Place: Truckee-Tahoe Airport Community Room
Location: 10356 Truckee Airport Road
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Los Alamitos
Place: CDFW Los Alamitos Field Office
Location: 4665 Lampson Ave. #C
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sacramento
Place: Arcade Library Meeting Room
Location: 2443 Marconi Ave.
Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sausalito
Place: Bay Model Visitor Center
Location: 2100 Bridgeway
Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018

Fresno
Place: Betty Rodriguez Regional Library
Location: 3040 N. Cedar Ave.
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018

Redding
Place: Redding Library Community Room
Location: 1100 Parkview Ave.
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More information is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland/Trout-Plan. Meetings are in-person only and no conference line or webcast will be available.

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Media Contacts:
Roger Bloom, CDFW Inland Fisheries Program, (916) 445-3777
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1487

 

Thousands of Steelhead Released into Oroville Afterbay This Week

During the first week of April, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Feather River Hatchery will stock 51,800 yearling steelhead into the Thermalito Afterbay near Oroville.  This is the second juvenile steelhead release of the year and brings the total number of steelhead stocked in the Afterbay this season to 234,000.

The practice of stocking the Afterbay with steelhead that are in excess of the Feather River allotment of 400,000 fish started in 2006 and has been very successful when the fish are available.

“The Afterbay grows fish,” explained CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Supervisor Jay Rowan.  “It’s a highly productive habitat with acres of shallow weed beds that produce huge insect hatches in the spring and summer.”

While these fish are going in at only 1/4 pound each, the juvenile steelhead will take advantage of these insect hatches and grow to catchable sizes quickly.  Twenty to 24-inch fish are common later in the summer and fall.

“It is really great to be able to provide an additional fishing opportunity for the community, especially one that is accessible to shore anglers,” said Feather River Hatchery Manager Anna Kastner. “When the fishing is good, people will line up along the banks to catch these steelhead.”

The Feather River Hatchery has also stocked 303 hatchery steelhead kelts to the Thermalito Afterbay this year which provides an additional trophy fishing opportunity. The kelt program uses male hatchery steelhead that have returned from the ocean to the hatchery to spawn. Their milt is first used to fertilize eggs at the hatchery for the next generation of steelhead.  The fish are then reconditioned and put in the Afterbay for anglers to catch. There are concerns that putting hatchery-produced males back in the river after they have been spawned at the hatchery could allow certain family groups to be overrepresented if that fish spawns again in the wild, which could potentially lead to inbreeding.  Moving kelts to the Afterbay solves that problem, with the added bonus of providing another fishery for anglers.

Media Contacts:
Anna Kastner, CDFW Central Region, (530) 538-2222|
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Trout Hatcheries Announce Angling Opportunities for “Trophy Trout” in 2018

Every year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) trout hatcheries release trophy-sized trout to approved waters for public recreational angling and a chance to “catch a big one”! Trophy trout are categorized by CDFW as larger than 2.99 pounds each, but can be much larger. Another category of large trout released by CDFW each year is “super-catchable,” which are fish between 1.1 and 2.99 pounds each. Some of these large fish are raised specifically to provide public anglers with a chance to catch a big one, and others are released to approved waters once they have fulfilled their role in providing fertilized eggs for populating fish of all life stages in CDFW’s statewide program of trout hatcheries.

trophy trout 1
Trophy trout. CDFW file photo

Trophy and super-catchable trout require more resources than catchable-size trout. Younger trout (fingerling to catchable size) grow quickly and efficiently convert fish food to body size, and that efficiency drops with age. By weight, 93 percent of all trout released by CDFW trout hatcheries are in the “catchable” size category (most often 1/2 pound fish, or approximately 12 inches in length). In 2018, approximately 100,000 pounds of trout released for public recreational angling will be in the trophy or super-catchable size.

 

The following locations are scheduled for trophy and super-catchable size trout releases in 2018:

Northern Releases

  • Hat Creek, Shasta County (late April to early May)
  • Burney Creek, Shasta County (late April to early May)
  • Baum Lake, Shasta County (late April to early May)
  • Iron Canyon Reservoir, Shasta County (May)
  • Browns Pond, Modoc County (May)
  • Rainbow Pond, Modoc County (May)
  • Ash Creek, Lassen County (May)
  • Shasta Lake, Shasta County (May through August)
  • Lake Siskiyou, Siskiyou County (May through August)
  • Juanita Lake, Siskiyou County (May through June)

North Central Releases

  • Red Lake, Alpine County (May)
  • Indian Creek Reservoir, Alpine County (May)
  • Sawmill Pond (children’s fishing pond), El Dorado County (May)
  • Pillsbury Reservoir, Lake County: (May)
  • Various locations for Kid’s Fishing Day events (November through May)

Central Releases

  • Kern River, Tulare County (February through April)
  • Kings River, Fresno County (January through April)
  • Stanislaus River, Tuolumne County (June and July)
  • Pinecrest Lake, Tuolumne County (June and July)
  • Shaver Lake, Fresno County (February through March)

South Coast Releases

  • Pyramid Lake, Los Angeles County (November through May)

Inland Deserts Releases

  • 35 waters in Inyo and Mono counties, including but not limited to Bishop Creek, Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Diaz Lake, Ellery Lake, the June Lake Loop, Lake Sabrina, Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Lake, the Mammoth Lakes, the Owens River, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Twin Lakes Bridgeport, Rock Creek Lake, Saddlebag Lake, South Lake, Tioga Lake, Virginia Lakes and the West Walker River (March through September)
  • Silverwood Lake, San Bernardino County (November through May)
  • Trophy fish are regularly added to weekly plants of regular sized “catchable” fish in Inyo and Mono counties.
  • The trophy sized fish are tagged for identification as originating from CDFW hatcheries and released to approved waters determined to have the ability to sustain the larger fish.
  • Trophy fish will be stocked in Diaz Lake for the early trout opener and in Pleasant Valley Reservoir and in Owens River Section II for the Blake Jones Derby.
  • Trophy fish have been stocked in Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Owens River Section II, Owens River below Tinemaha and Diaz Lake since January and these waters will continue to receive trophy fish over the next few months.

Updated information on trophy and super-catchable trout releases for recreational angling is released early each calendar year and will be posted to the CDFW fish stocking website (http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/). Anglers can also call the following lines for region-specific information:

  • Northern Region: (530) 225-2146
  • North Central Region: (916) 351-0832
  • Central Region: (559) 243-4005, ext. 183
  • South Coast Region: (855) 887-1275
  • Inland Deserts Region: (855) 887-1275

CDFW trout hatcheries are dedicated to providing millions of additional trout angling opportunities in approved, public waters throughout the state every year, using the best available science, and ecological, hatchery and resource management principles.

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Media Contacts:
Mark Clifford, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (530) 918-9450
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988