Despite Hatchery Woes, Holiday Stockings Enhance Fishing Opportunities

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The winter holidays are a popular time for families and individuals to enjoy recreational trout fishing, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) trout hatcheries plan to provide plenty of opportunities for anglers of all ages over the next two weeks. Specific plants of catchable trout are scheduled at 53 waters in 25 counties.

Anglers planning trout fishing outings over the winter holidays should check CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule to see the latest waters planted with trout.

CDFW stocking of hatchery trout in central and Southern California waters has been hampered by ongoing infrastructure upgrades at four of CDFW’s 13 trout hatcheries. However, CDFW has been working diligently to ensure that trout stocking will continue in these and other parts of the state.

“Our Moccasin Creek Hatchery flooded, and supersaturated well water impacted the Fillmore, Fish Springs and Mojave hatcheries” said Dr. Mark Clifford, an environmental program manager for CDFW’s hatcheries. “Seventy-eight-year-old infrastructure and acts of nature are problematic. Our dedicated staff, including engineers, are consistently addressing issues as they arise.

“Overall, state trout production has increased incrementally since 2015 when the drought severely impacted our operations,” Dr. Clifford said. “This year was projected to be the best year in the last five. We have experienced setbacks but will continue to strive to meet our production goals.”

The spring flooding of CDFW’s Moccasin Creek Hatchery in Tuolumne County required evacuation of both staff and fish. The hatchery suffered $3.2 million in damages. Repairs are ongoing, and the hatchery is expected to come back online in the spring of 2019 and then return to full production by 2020.

Historically, Moccasin Creek Hatchery produced more than 200,000 pounds of fish per year and was a major supplier of trout for the 12 counties in CDFW’s Central Region – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne. To mitigate the loss of trout production at the Moccasin Creek Hatchery, CDFW’s San Joaquin Hatchery in Fresno County has maximized production and is currently raising and stocking trout for waters in these counties.

To maximize angling opportunities with limited resources, Central Region fisheries biologists have prioritized stocking waters adjacent to major highway corridors such as State Routes 108/120 in Tuolumne County, State Route 168 in Fresno County and State Route 178 in Kern County. The region will also prioritize children’s fishing events.

In Southern California, the 78-year-old Fillmore Trout Hatchery in eastern Ventura County is closed for maintenance, upgrades and modernization. Prior to its closure, Fillmore Trout Hatchery fish were moved to the Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County, which underwent renovations in 2017, and has been raising trout for much of Southern California.

CDFW is maximizing Mojave River Hatchery production with existing inventories along with trout brought in from other hatcheries and expects an improved Fillmore Trout Hatchery back online in coming months. Trout stocking in Southern California will be focused at urban parks, fishing derbies and Fishing in the Cityevents.

The following list offers a county-by-county breakdown of stocking locations throughout the state that will receive winter holiday trout plants between now and Jan. 4, 2019:

Alameda County

  • Lakeshore Park Pond

Contra Costa County

  • Heather Farms Pond

Butte County

  • Desabla Reservoir

El Dorado County

  • Folsom Lake
  • Jenkinson Lake

Fresno County

  • Fresno City Woodward Park Lake
  • Kings River Below Pine Flat Dam

Inyo County

  • Diaz Lake
  • Owens River (Bishop to Big Pine)
  • Pleasant Valley Reservoir
  • Orbit Pond

Kern County

  • Ming Lake
  • Kern River (Powerhouse #3 to Riverside Park in Kernville)

Lake County

  • Blue Lake Upper

Los Angeles County

  • Reseda Park Lake
  • Kenneth Hahn Lake
  • El Dorado Park Lake
  • Castaic Lake

Madera County

  • Bass Lake

Marin County

  • Bon Tempe Lake

Mendocino County

  • Mill Creek Lake

Nevada County

  • Rollins Reservoir
  • Scotts Flat Reservoir

Orange County

  • Centennial Lake
  • Huntington Park Lake
  • Eisenhower Park Lake

Placer County

  • Halsey Forebay
  • Folsom Lake
  • Rollins Reservoir
  • Auburn Regional Park Pond

Plumas County

  • Lake Almanor

Riverside County

  • Little Lake
  • Rancho Jurupa Park Pond

Sacramento County

  • Elk Grove Park Pond
  • Hagen Park Pond
  • Folsom Lake (Granite Bay boat ramp)
  • Howe Community Park Pond
  • North Natomas Park Pond
  • Granite Park Pond
  • Rancho Seco Lake
  • Mather Lake

San Bernardino County

  • Glen Helen Park Lake
  • Prado Regional Park Lake

San Diego County

  • Cuyamaca Lake
  • Murray Lake

Shasta County

  • Baum Lake
  • Clover Creek Pond (weather and road conditions dependent)
  • Kapusta Pond (weather and road conditions dependent)

Stanislaus County

  • Woodward Reservoir

Tulare County

  • Mooney Grove Park Pond
  • Del Lago Park Lake

Ventura County

  • Rancho Simi Park Lake

Yuba County

  • Collins Lake