Tahoe Trout Farm receives historical designation, plaque
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — In an “extraordinary session” on Thursday, South Lake Tahoe’s 77 year old trout farm was “well and truly dedicated” to be preserved by the Native Sons of the Golden West.
More than 100 NSGW members joined community members and public figures such as South Lake Tahoe City Council member Tamara Wallace, South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce’s Duane Wallace, Lake Tahoe Historical Society’s Paula Peterson, several members of Daughters of American Revolution and, of course, the long time owners and operators of the trout farm, Jim and Jacky Vallier.
“With over 1,500 dedications to date, historical preservation of the state of California is taken very seriously,” said newly elected NSGW President George Adams.
NSGW are philanthropic men who work towards preserving and honoring points of interest for the state of California, host events, functions and activities that “are as varied and diverse as our great state and those who call it home,” according to the NSGW website.
“It’s my number one plaque,” Adams told the Tribune and added that the event took place within an hour of him being sworn in. “I’m a family man and a fly fisherman, I hope everyone brings their kids back.”
The plaque is on display at the entrance of the fish farm.
Mike Mota, of Christmas Valley, has been working with the owners for eight years and said the biggest fish to come out of the pond weighed in at about 10 pounds and was 30 inches long.
“It’s like the Fourth of July every day,” Mota said. “During the summer 40 to 50 groups per day will gather around the two ponds stocked with fish and get the full experience. Once they feel that pull on the line they can go out on the water and have that patience to feel it again.”
Mota added that while it’s not for everyone, he hopes to help teach the craft of fishing to those who will enjoy it for years to come.
Nostalgia plays a big part in the current operations of the “Huck Finn”-esque fishing holes, which remain largely unchanged since 1946.
Vallier, who has owned the property since 2012, told the Tribune he remembers fishing in the ponds as a child with his father and uncle.
James Dixon has worked for the family for 10 years and lives on site at the peaceful fish farm and said each season 16,000 pounds of fish are delivered between the ponds with 2,000 pounds for each delivery.
The cost of the catch is dependent on the size. Those from the “whopper pond” will ring up a prettier penny than those in the “catchable pond.”
Hybrid golden lightning trout and rainbow trout are certified green raised by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which means they’re organically raised and sourced from Mt. Lassen Trout Farm.
All supplies are provided for a fee as well as other add on services such as cleaning and packaging.
Vallier said MacDuffs Pub nearby will professionally cook the fish. Reservations are required.
For good ole’ down home cooking the Vallier’s website provides a host of tasty recipes.
There is no catch and release allowed, however, unwanted fish will be donated to one of the several causes, including to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care to feed the bears, or to Christmas Cheer to help feed the homeless.
The ponds are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm is located at 1023 Blue Lake Ave.
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