View Full Version : CSPA/TU - 100 Vol needed for fish Rescue at Caples

08-15-2008, 03:46 PM
CSPA/T.U. News

Application deadline, midnight, Tuesday, August 19

CSPA and Trout Unlimited to assist DFG with fish rescue at Caples Lake: Over 100 Volunteers Needed! YOU can help!

by Chris Shutes, CSPA FERC Projects Director
August 15, 2008. -- For four days, August 26-29, 2008, the California Department of Fish and Game will be conducting a fish rescue at Caples Lake, Alpine County, just east of Kirkwood on Highway 88. El Dorado Irrigation District (EID), which operates the Caples Lake hydroelectric project, will pay DFG to perform the fish rescue. The fish will be captured by net and electrofishing, and then moved via truck to Silver Lake, located 7 miles away.

EID needs to draw Caples Lake down to repair the outlet works that are located inside of the dam. The work, which includes replacing damaged concrete, replacing slide gates, and replacing the rods that connect the gates to a wheel that operates them on top of the dam, must be done in the dry. EID will draw down the lake, and install a bladder dam to keep as much water in the lake as possible. Unfortunately, the amount of water that will remain in the reservoir is not believed to be enough to sustain fish in the lake over the winter.

DFG plans to have as many as 35 staff on site for the rescue effort but will need as many as 100 volunteers to make the operation successful. The rescue will be run by as a command-type operation. DFG will try to pair volunteers’ skills with assigned tasks, but bottom line is that volunteers, if capable, will be required to do what DFG asks.

DFG is developing an extensive operation and plan, but on-the-ground reality may require spur of the moment changes. The operation must adapt to what works and what doesn’t. Preference will be given to volunteers who are willing to work all night. Preference will also be given to volunteers who have commercial fishing experience handling fish in nets, or who have experience electrofishing.

DFG has appointed a staff liaison to coordinate with CSPA and Trout Unlimited who have been given the task of gathering and coordinating volunteers. Volunteers do not need to be members of CSPA or Trout Unlimited.

The fish transfer is estimated to take 72 hours and will begin the morning of August 26th. The work will be conducted in 8 hour shifts, with the exception of the electrofishing shifts which will be 12 hours and will operate through the three nights. Approximately 10 to 20 volunteers will be necessary per shift (fewer for all night shifts). Tasks include moving fish from pens to trucks, counting fish and recording data, and providing general support. On Friday, August 29, volunteers will be needed move the last of the fish and clear the work areas. To provide efficient and continuous assistance to DFG, volunteers are asked to work complete shifts, and to leave the immediate area when their shift ends.

Volunteers will have to provide all their own personal needs including their own food, warm clothing, rain gear or waders, a PFD, and lodging. CSPA and TU are trying to coordinate campsites nearby for those who will be staying over.

If you’ve never worked, “In the trenches” with the dedicated field staff of DFG, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. You may even get to hold a 30 pound brown trout in your hands. If you wish to volunteer, please fill out the on-line application at http://www.calsport.org/caplesapp.htm

08-15-2008, 08:54 PM
wish i could go help but i am away on business during that time =(

08-15-2008, 09:25 PM
How can I not.

08-16-2008, 06:31 AM
Wish I could be there to help with this project. CC take some pics for us please. Thanks to those who help with this.


08-16-2008, 10:24 AM
What an opportunity!!!
I wish I could help.
Gotta work. :(

We would be very grateful to see photos of the process.

And as Mackattack said; "thanks to those who help with this".

08-16-2008, 05:22 PM
Glad that all these folks have stepped up and are working this out in spite of state staffing and budget situations. *I hope to help out on Friday and drop down to Silver on Saturday... *[smiley=grin.gif]

08-16-2008, 08:16 PM
How can I not help is exactly right...I just emailed my application in to Jerry. I am looking forward to it and i will try and recruit others to volunteer their time and skills as well...

08-16-2008, 09:35 PM
You go guys/girls and help where those of us down here cannot. Theres a cold beer in my cooler waiting for you and if you time it right dinner too. Again thanks to those that participate [smiley=worthy.gif]


08-16-2008, 09:40 PM
Those that have signed up so far, thanks, we're about 1/4 of the way to having enough people.

I should post that we are NOT taking walk-ins. You have to sign up since this whole thing is going to take a lot of coordination and people are expected to be there prior to the start of shifts for safety and work training.

We have a signup deadline of Tuesday midnight since it will take some time coordinating people's skills and shifts with DFG personnel.

A rescue this big has not been attempted in years and everyone will be in a learning mode as we go. Luckily, quite a few of the people volunteering are retired fisheries people. Don't let that discourage you if you are not an expert. There will be work for everyone.

Some people have asked about Silver Lake next year. The dam configeration will not require the lake to be drained to the same extent and a rescue will not be needed. The fish transfered there will stay there.

The re-stocking of Caples will be massive. CSPA will watchdog that EIR pays adequate mitigation for the loss of the fishery and that the monies will be spent on Caples.

DFG is also discouraging spectators, who could slow down the transfer and cost some fish.

The form page on the website does *not work with all browsers or e-mail programs, (thanks MicroSoft!) so if it doesn't seem to work, use the cut and paste list below on the same page and e-mail me.

dinos marine
08-17-2008, 08:32 PM
sent in my application tonight to jerry. i know im a newb to the forum, but we have been fishing for a while.....40 years?? or so. i booked a room at the silver lake hotel, and hope to see you all tuesday or wes?? i am trying to spread word around. i think this is a chance of a lifetime to return something back for the fish. :D

08-17-2008, 10:00 PM
Dino, there are four people below you on the list already!

I plan on arriving Tuesday about 10am. and will stay through to Friday. I don't know what my "job" will be yet. I told Chris and Barbara that I'd rather be in the trenches than organizing. However, if we get enough volunteers I may help with the organizing and then document the entire rescue via stills. It would serve a number of purposes.

I'll be camping at Silverlake for the four days.

08-18-2008, 02:09 PM
30# pound brown trout, ;D. i doubt theres a 15# brown in there. should we place bets? i say they find 3 over ten. no bows over ten no brookies over 6# and no 25#+ macks but 30 fish between 10 and 20#s

08-18-2008, 02:18 PM
Man I swear if another wedding stops me from doing something fun and cool in the outdoors again my girlfriend wont ever get married. I cant believe I am going to miss this. But I am most excited for the type of Fishery that Silver is going to become. Caples to me has always hands down been a better fishery but this is going to take Silver to another level.

Good luck guys!

08-18-2008, 02:21 PM
Chubby there is no need to bet but I am very confident that they find several Macks over 25# and more than a handful of Browns over #15. I have caught 2 8+ Browns from Caples and haven seen bigger ones break line. I have also had Browns take small brookies off my lines as I was reeling them in. There are some very large Browns and Macks in Caples.

dinos marine
08-18-2008, 08:21 PM
my bet is that there will be at least one mack 30 or better, brown 16 or better, ten or more bows over 8.
imho :D

08-19-2008, 08:04 AM
are any fishing closures or restrictions being placed on Caples between now and then?


08-19-2008, 08:34 AM

None as far as I know but the lake is very low. I don't know the state of the surface for walking down to the water's edge. Eighty plus years of silt buildup may cause the edges to be a bog at the current low level.

You might call DFG as to any restrictions but considering the fact that a good deal of fish will perish, even with rescue attempts, I doubt if DFG will restrict fishing.

08-19-2008, 12:16 PM
I wish I had the time to go up there and help. Work and a new baby at home make that impossible. Hopefully someone can post some pics of the operation and fish that are netted. I sure would like to some of those trophies!

08-19-2008, 04:30 PM

None as far as I know but the lake is very low. I don't know the state of the surface for walking down to the water's edge. Eighty plus years of silt buildup may cause the edges to be a bog at the current low level.

You might call DFG as to any restrictions but considering the fact that a good deal of fish will perish, even with rescue attempts, I doubt if DFG will restrict fishing.

Muchos Gracias! :)

08-19-2008, 05:55 PM
There needs to be someone there taking pictures of the effort. It would be nice for people who cant make it see the wonderful work the volunteers are doing. Oh and pics of the rescued fish. ;D

08-19-2008, 07:43 PM
CC to the rescue with pics to come. [smiley=worthy.gif]

P.S. Did anyone call the local news up there they might be interested with this photo op ?

08-21-2008, 02:40 PM
OK guys .... please do not forget your cameras and batterey.
( no excuses) I wish I can come and help, but already volunteered to help with an event on the rubicon trail. Dang it !!!!!!!!!
please post pics are let me know where the pics my be posted afterwards

08-21-2008, 02:54 PM
Garbageman, I'll be taking pictures throughout the entire event, probably exceeding 100 daily. I'll post the best two dozen or so from each day on the CSPA website starting Tuesday night and the last on Friday night.


What are you doing on the Rubicon, the Jamboree?

08-21-2008, 02:59 PM
Where on CSPA web site will they be located ?


08-21-2008, 03:12 PM
There will be daily links on the front page.

Kirkwood has WiFi so I'll be updating the CSPA website in the evening each night.

08-21-2008, 03:22 PM
Thanks Also if you need a break Kirkwood Inn,s food is pretty good besides the the beer bonus.


08-21-2008, 06:00 PM
I wish I'd known about this before. Those are my days off. Haven't been on the Sniffer for awhile & now I feel useless, 'cuz there's enough volunteers. We we're just discussing at work how the transfer was going to happen. I'll contact the Tahoe Daily Tribune (local tahoe newspaper) & try to get them out there. I'll e-mail some Reno t.v. stations, too. Maybe I can get some response & coverage.

dinos marine
08-21-2008, 11:22 PM
just wanted to know where everyone is staying for the caples lake voluteering. where are we supposed to park as well? :o :D :-?

08-22-2008, 05:38 AM
just wanted to know where everyone is staying for the caples lake voluteering. where are we supposed to park as well? :o :D :-?
We are supposed to get an Email detailing where to park etc. They are supposed to contact the last of the volunteers today for work assignments.

08-23-2008, 08:59 PM
I'll be donating my time Wed. and Thurs. for the 2pm shift. Will be driving from Carson City both days if anyone wants to carpool. Good luck, Eric :)

08-23-2008, 09:04 PM
The e-mails with full instructions and the needed attachments were sent out at about 5PM today (Saturdary). They can also be found at