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Dan Clark
10-11-2018, 11:43 AM
Greetings Mr. Clark,

First, thank you for contacting the Department with your concerns. It means you care about California’s fisheries, and it is good that the citizens are paying attention to how the resources are managed. You are right that the Department is currently managing the Lakes mentioned below differently than the historical mixed cold/warmwater fishery. The primary reasons are the cost of stocking, availability of trout in the Central Region, increasing water temperatures, and the return rates of hatchery fish to the angler in mixed fisheries. These factors influence where the Department will decide to provide additional fishing opportunities in the form of stocked trout.

The first reason the Regional trout allotment were reduced were increased cost of production. The cost of employees, feed, and fuel has increased through time, but overall budget available to the Hatchery has not increased proportionally. Fisheries Branch is working to make the entire system more cost efficient, but that has proven difficult. There simply is not enough money to produce the number of fish the Department has stocked historically at the mixed fishery lakes.

Recently, a second reason has been the availability of fish due to the flooding and scheduled shutdowns of Moccasin Creek Hatchery. This has put further strain on the fish available to the Central Region as all the production was lost, and Moccasin will not produce catchable trout until later 2019 or early 2020. This resulted in a further reduction and re-prioritization of the locations being stocked. The Central Region has reduced the number of locations from 70-80 down to about 30 waters.

The Department has observed increasing water temperatures at many locations with the recent drought. Additionally, climate experts with the Department believe the long-term trend will be for increasing water temperatures in streams and lakes in California. As an example, the Department initiated a fish recues on the lower Merced river due to increased temperatures. McClure Lake was reduced to less than 8% capacity and was unable to support a mixed fishery. The same was true for the larger lakes south of your area, including Millerton, Pine Flat Lake, and Lake Isabella. Don Pedro and New Melones did have cold-water habitat during the drought due to depth.

The final reason the Department is moving away from stocking trout in marginal mixed fisheries is due to the return rate of stocked trout in warm-water lakes. Large bass are able to consume hatchery trout, reducing the number caught by the angler, and increasing the cost to effectively stock the location.

Taken all together, the Department has decided to manage angler opportunity at the warm-water lakes with bass as the primary species. All three Lakes you mentioned are fantastic bass lakes, with most of the anglers targeting warm-water fish including bass, sunfish, catfish, and bullheads. New Melones and Don Pedro do have cold-water, so there still are angler opportunities for inland salmon (chinook, kokanee). The Department’s trout stocking is focused on mid and upper elevation lakes, like Pinecrest, and high recreational use areas on the rivers/streams in the major travel corridors, i.e. Hwy 108. We believe this is the most efficient use of the limited available hatchery trout. There still is great angler opportunities in New Melones, Don Pedro, and McClure, and anglers utilize the cold-water species when available. Stocking the cold-water habitats, including appropriate river/streams appears to be the most efficient and economical approach at this time. Please contact me directly at brian.beal@wildlife.ca.gov is you have additional questions or would like to further discuss the subject.

Sincerely,


Brian Beal
Senior Environmental Scientist Supervisor
Central Region- Inland Fisheries
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Slvrsides
10-11-2018, 11:17 PM
Thanks Dan for getting involved and getting the info straight from the horses mouth!!..unfortunate news for those of us who fish these lakes regularly...it sounds as well like their decision is long term barring a major change in the way the stocking program is funded...unfortunate that the health and quality of the local fisheries are so low on the totem pole...I hate to get political on a fishing forum but that is once again where the problem lies...majority of the population in CA DO NOT FISH and vote for representatives that DO NOT CARE about our fisheries and have no interest in securing funding for them...'warm water' and 'low angler return' are not valid excuses because they have been the same...water temps in lakes cycle and fluctuate with water levels and climate cycles and bass have been eating hatchery fish for as long as there have been hatchery fish in the lakes!!..underlying reason is money and not enough of it cause not enough people care..same goes for our salmon fisheries..our hatcheries collect and raise fry until a quota is met..why not collect as much as humanly possible and utilize the proven best method to get them out to sea and back to hatchery?..not in the budget...the ignorance of the majority of the public in CA has put people in charge of allocating money that I wouldn't trust to break a $20 bill!!..wake up people!!..pull your heads out of your......smartphones...and drive past city limits someday and enjoy the outdoors...change perspectives and vote accordingly

BigUnInDaBoat
10-12-2018, 12:16 AM
So these guys planted a bunch of sterile fish that grew fast, yet couldn't reproduce, and may in fact have had a negative effect on natural spawning, and now are going to cut further planting of these fish? Fact is very little of what they plant at pinecrest and other target lakes are caught.... Please excuse my french but $%*& DF&W.

They are doing a great job of managing our deer herd in this region also, these guys need to be fired.

Captain Compassion
10-12-2018, 04:26 AM
http://www.graywave.org/sniffer/moonbeam.jpg

That's it. Blame global warming. This is the fourth straight year of excuses. Getting a bit old.

CC

ppickerell
10-12-2018, 07:03 AM
Yes Hillary did this and she should be locked up LOL. Mr. Clark, can you tell me if it is believed that rainbow trout spawn naturally in Melones?

BigUnInDaBoat
10-12-2018, 07:20 PM
Yes Hillary did this and she should be locked up LOL. Mr. Clark, can you tell me if it is believed that rainbow trout spawn naturally in Melones?

Yes melones has a wild spawning population.

Slvrsides
10-13-2018, 09:35 PM
Yes melones has a wild spawning population.

Between global warming, the drought, and bass eating them, naturally spawned fry don't stand a chance!!..angler return is non existent

Slvrsides
10-13-2018, 09:36 PM
Might as well start stocking stripers

steelydude
10-14-2018, 01:42 PM
First, I would like to thank Dan Clark and Brian Beal for responding-- I have family members who work for DFW and I know many of them really do care about California's fisheries.

Second, as an angler who has purchased fishing licenses in California for close to fifty years, I have to add the cutbacks to trout stocking to a long list of epic failures to protect sportfishing opportunities by DFG/ DFW. During my years as a California angler I've witnessed the demise of most of our salmon and steelhead fisheries, our once fantastic striped bass fishing, the end to the stocking of most Sierra lakes, and what now is beginning to look like a collapse of the Ca Delta. Is it any wonder that fishing license sales have declined from 2.2 million to about 800,000 this year? Seems to me, DFW would be looking to find ways to develop innovative, new fishing options to reverse this slide (if only for job security!). The reduction of planting in these lakes represents another lost fishing opportunity for current and future anglers.

I'm sure the loss of Moccasin hatchery has had an impact. Couldn't trout have been purchased from private hatcheries to supplement planting until the hatchery was back up to speed? I remember there was a lot of interest in using private hatcheries (Alpers, Mt Lassen) several years back. What happened to this effort?

Dan Clark
10-14-2018, 03:05 PM
The problem is NOT with the personnel who manage/operate our hatcheries, case in point, when moccasin hatchery flooded, the hatchery crew along with other DFW worked all night to salvage as many fish as possible and transfer to Don Pedro. They went back the next day to electroshock and salvage trout trapped in pot holes between the lake and hatchery. Case in point is quote "the fish stinks from the head". I have been told the commissioner has close ties to Cal Trout, an organization who does not promote hatchery production or stocking although they do some good with habit restoration etc. The commission as far as I know no longer has members who fish or hunt, I believe Mr. Kellog was the last sportsman to serve. He resigned in disgust. How can people who do not fish or hunt be expected to make intelligent decisions regarding fish and game management. When moccasin hatchery comes back on line if they would manage at full capacity there would be plenty of fish for the mother lode lakes. Wilderness lake stocking has been almost ended due to opposition from the frog lovers. Moccasin hatchery historicaly provided fingerling trout for airplane stocking, those fish should be available for other purposes. More than myself need to get involved or those beautiful holdovers will only be a distant memory.

Dan

Captain Compassion
10-14-2018, 07:20 PM
Exactly Dan. Moonbeam don't fish. The government is controlled by the major urban areas. Few fishermen here. The counties where the major fishing opportunities exist have little power. If you are a fly fisherman who supports catch and release fishing with severe fishing restrictions for "wild" trout in limited access areas than Cal Trout is for you else they are not the trout fisherman's friend.

CC

Jfitalia
10-15-2018, 08:18 AM
Why are we not also placing blame on the lakes themselves? These lakes all charge fees to fish and high fees to camp. They are all CHOOSING to not manage their fishery. They could choose to follow the game plan of the many successful lakes from Southern California and plant their own fish. Lakes up here like Collins, Amador, Pardee, and Camanche dont rely on DFW. While they do get the occasional plant, they also use the money from gate fees to plant trout from other hatcheries. All these lakes can choose to do this but instead prefer the cheap route and want to basic small fish from DFW. That's at the fault of lake management.

Captain Compassion
10-15-2018, 08:32 AM
Not all lakes have fees involved. The only rivers on this side of the hill that get private are the Carsons and the West Walker. Alpine County is better than most. it's a matter of survival. Without these stocks summer tourism would tank.

CC

PapaGreg
10-15-2018, 10:41 AM
J-fit, as much as I agree with you, most of the lakes in question have government regs involved some way, and you know what that entails:duh:

Jfitalia
10-15-2018, 02:40 PM
J-fit, as much as I agree with you, most of the lakes in question have government regs involved some way, and you know what that entails:duh:


I get that but the lakes I mentioned also have govt regs as well. Which is why the also receive plantar from DFW too.

Jfitalia
10-15-2018, 02:43 PM
Not all lakes have fees involved. The only rivers on this side of the hill that get private are the Carsons and the West Walker. Alpine County is better than most. it's a matter of survival. Without these stocks summer tourism would tank.

CC

I get that but places like mammoth, lone pine, bishop etc do not charge but instead raise their own money.any of the lakes mentioned in the start of this thread all charge at a minimum a launch fee and camping fee. Shoot collins is 10 bucks to launch my boat and fish
They manage to stock their own fish too. Melones charges a decent amount last time I checked.

Captain Compassion
10-15-2018, 05:01 PM
Many of the campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra are BLM or USFS and don't contribute to any stocking programs.

CC

Jfitalia
10-15-2018, 07:03 PM
Many of the campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra are BLM or USFS and don't contribute to any stocking programs.

CC

Correct but the waters are still stocked by private hatcheries. The money is raised and spent on fish

PapaGreg
10-15-2018, 07:53 PM
And moonbeam would love nothing better for private hatcheries to stock fish, NO cost to Kalifornia and he could use the license money and other fees for F&W elsewhere, like he's done already!:hitoverhead:

Captain Compassion
10-16-2018, 07:10 AM
Mono County also pays for a lot of the stocking. I miss Alpers.

CC

Jfitalia
10-16-2018, 07:58 AM
Mono County also pays for a lot of the stocking. I miss Alpers.

CC

Which is exactly the point i'm making. These lakes, and fisheries have the choice and are choosing not too

EddieTee
10-19-2018, 04:00 PM
I Love New Melones Lake, so no more planting of trout and kok's. I guess no more season pass for me :(

Captain Compassion
10-19-2018, 08:14 PM
Which is exactly the point i'm making. These lakes, and fisheries have the choice and are choosing not too

If the stocking is to become all private than why am I paying $150 a year to California for a state fishing license? Perhaps it would be better to pay individual counties or waters for fishing.

CC

BigUnInDaBoat
10-19-2018, 09:27 PM
I Love New Melones Lake, so no more planting of trout and kok's. I guess no more season pass for me :(


one less boat on the water. Melones has a natural spawning population of all cold water species. Melones is a low pressure fishery. I doubt even a couple years of no plants will affect the fishery, we are not catching fresh planters...just saying.33340

EddieTee
10-20-2018, 04:31 AM
So your saying that the trout that your catching were never planted there :)

BigUnInDaBoat
10-20-2018, 07:10 AM
So your saying that the trout that your catching were never planted there :)


No I did not say that at all. What I said was the lake has very little fishing pressure, (it's also been planted heavily for many years). So you're saying all those planted fish get caught and that the wild fish don't supplement the population there?

EddieTee
10-20-2018, 07:45 AM
No I did not say that at all. What I said was the lake has very little fishing pressure, (it's also been planted heavily for many years). So you're saying all those planted fish get caught and that the wild fish don't supplement the population there? I thought they planted sterile trout there.

Captain Compassion
10-20-2018, 09:21 AM
I thought they planted sterile trout there.
Exactly. Not much reproduction among the rainbows.

CC

Jetspray
10-20-2018, 09:27 AM
Exactly. Not much reproduction among the rainbows.

CCThe females can pop eggs all day, but it is mainly fish food.:wileecoyote1:.....Jetspray

stefanoflo
10-20-2018, 09:47 AM
Exactly Dan. Moonbeam don't fish. The government is controlled by the major urban areas. Few fishermen here. The counties where the major fishing opportunities exist have little power. If you are a fly fisherman who supports catch and release fishing with severe fishing restrictions for "wild" trout in limited access areas than Cal Trout is for you else they are not the trout fisherman's friend.

CC

Good point and don`t forget our License fees goes up and up and is the Most expensive n the entire USA and for those that have money would rather spend what they have elsewhere than waste it knowing that it is all about just getting your hook wet and nothing else . fees will increase as we loose fisherman or future interest in fishing as well as more resources that should go into the fisheries , like you said,, Moonbeam don`t fish and Newsom i`m sure does not Fish and if Cox Wins the Governors seat what make you think he even fishes??? or gives a raps ass . what we need is a Outdoors man in Sacrament and Whats the chance of that happenning??.............. slim and None !

BigUnInDaBoat
10-20-2018, 09:48 AM
I thought they planted sterile trout there.


And for decades non-sterile fish have been planted. There is a wild breeding population of browns, rainbows and kokanee there.

I WISH they'd put kings in her, historically they were there.

stefanoflo
10-20-2018, 09:49 AM
Exactly. Not much reproduction among the rainbows.

CC

hell with rainbows . Give us Big badass Browns with teeth galore .that are breeders and fighters and will take on bass anytime anywhere..

BigUnInDaBoat
10-20-2018, 09:50 AM
hell with rainbows . Give us Big badass Browns with teeth galore .that are breeders and fighters and will take on bass anytime anywhere..


If that's the way you feel, how about "hell with browns" give us big bad ass lahontans.

stefanoflo
10-20-2018, 09:51 AM
And for decades non-sterile fish have been planted. There is a wild breeding population of browns, rainbows and kokanee there.

I WISH they'd put kings in her, historically they were there.

don`t be surprised if they start planting Stripers in Melones like they did Hogan. That would be the happy medium to replace trout period!!!

stefanoflo
10-20-2018, 09:53 AM
If that's the way you feel, how about "hell with browns" give us big bad ass lahontans.

I can do that for sure .that be really something sweeeet!!!!!!

Captain Compassion
10-20-2018, 02:22 PM
If that's the way you feel, how about "hell with browns" give us big bad ass lahontans.

I love Lahontans but they can't compete with other trout. Don't fight as well as Bows. Their eating quality is not as good. They are too aggressive and are easily caught. They do well in Pyramid but they stock 1,000,000 fish a year and have catch restrictions.

CC

Jetspray
10-20-2018, 05:25 PM
I love Lahontans but they can't compete with other trout. Don't fight as well as Bows. Their eating quality is not as good. They are too aggressive and are easily caught. They do well in Pyramid but they stock 1,000,000 fish a year and have catch restrictions.

CC
Yep and they have plenty of food sources and the Truckee River flowing into the lake. Also a bunch of areas that are off limits to fishing......Jetspray

BigUnInDaBoat
10-20-2018, 10:31 PM
I love Lahontans but they can't compete with other trout. Don't fight as well as Bows. Their eating quality is not as good. They are too aggressive and are easily caught. They do well in Pyramid but they stock 1,000,000 fish a year and have catch restrictions.

CC

Well I've never fished pyramid. My experience with the lahontans is from a lake up highway 4 and Crowley. The Crowley lahontans are amazing eating, and fighters, the bows in there jump more but I think the cutts pull harder.

I was joking about putting them in Melones, but not Kings, I think they should put kings in there.

Dan Clark
10-21-2018, 09:57 AM
Lots of good conversation on this thread, but unless you express your concerns to DFW better put away the shad and needle fish and dust off the crank baits and rubber worms.

Dan

Jfitalia
10-23-2018, 07:48 PM
Lots of good conversation on this thread, but unless you express your concerns to DFW better put away the shad and needle fish and dust off the crank baits and rubber worms.

Dan

You're overreacting. Express your concern with the operators of the lakes that choose to be cheap