Friday, 21 November 2008 08:29

Hot Creek Fish Count October 21-23

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The Sac-Sierra Chapter sent 3 volunteers to assist the DFG Heritage and Wild Trout Program with their trout population survey on Hot Creek in the eastern sierra near Mammoth Lakes, Ca. From Tuesday through Thursday, the 34 volunteers assisted DFG personnel to carry loads of equipment down, then back up, the step canyon trails to/from the creek. The surveys were conducted on 3 separate 200' sections of Hot Creek. The crew would fence in the section, electroshock the trout, net them into holding barrels, weigh & measure them, check for injuries and release them back to the creek. The largest of the hundreds of fish caught was a 6# brown. The calculated number of trout per mile is, as yet, undetermined, but it equates in the thousands of trout/mile in Hot Creek. The lush vegetation in the stream provides unlimited cover for these big fish.

The region opened up Hot Creek (and a few other streams) for year round fishing last year. This survey was performed, in part, to determine if that year-round fishing on Hot Creek impacted these fish. As of this writing, this data, and additional data, is still being collated to determine the impact, if any, on the trout fisheries in Hot Creek.


Occasionally, the DFG needs volunteers to assist with this type of operation. The current season is closing but new volunteers will be needed next spring. The Heritage & Wild Trout crew are fantastic to work with. Prior to their next request for volunteers, we hope to have a member of that Program speak at one of our chapter meetings. Check your e/m and newsletter for the date, time and location of that meeting. Our chapter volunteers Stan Backlund, Don Kreuger and John Sikora all said they would be back next year if the survey is repeated. While there our chapter signed on a new member from Davis, Keith Pfeifer, a long time T/U member. Welcome aboard Keith!

Thank you letter from Jeff Weaver, Hot Creek Fish Count Coordinator, CDFG

Thanks again for all your tremendous efforts in assisting us last week on Hot

Creek. As you now know, there would have been no way to make these surveys happen without your help. Your enthusiasm and willingness to put in the hard work it takes to survey a stream like Hot Creek was impressive.

In all, 34 individual volunteers contributed one or more days of their time to

this effort, and each day's head count hovered around 28-30. A tidbit from

Thursday that sticks in mind: it took 68 t-posts and 13 of the fence panels used to block incoming vegetation in order to salvage the downstream net. We narrowly avoided catastrophic net failure each day only through everyone's collective contribution in the hour of need. Well done!

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