Red Lakes on its way back | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Red Lakes on its way back

Hello, fellow anglers.

Sorry, I’ve been absent for awhile, but when the boss says, “Use it or lose it”, I used it. I’ve been on vacation for most of January, so now let’s get back in the groove.

I have all the information on Red Lake for you. As most of you know, the lake was drained last year. The reason, according to the Division of Safety of Dams, is that the dam required necessary repairs called “rip wrap.” This is where they extend the face of the dam by adding large rocks to avoid wave erosion, and this is why the lake initially was drawn down.



Then last summer a mistake was made, which the California Department of Fish and Game is assuming the blame. It seems one of their plant trucks released German Brown trout into the lake, which is very detrimental to other species, such as Cutthroat, Brook and Rainbow trout. The Brown trout is basically an eating machine and it literally took over the lake. So the CDFG drew the lake down to its minimal level to do a total winter kill.

As of Jan. 1, the condition of the lake was checked and the CDFG found that its efforts were successful. The oxygen level was to the point of being nonexistent. This was the alternative to using poison (Rotenone — we don’t need another Davis Lake incident). I received the information from Stafford Lehr, the CDFG fisheries biologist.




As he told me, by the first thaw in spring the CDFG will stock and double the amount of catchable Brook trout and double the 4-6 inch Brook trout and fingerlings. It will also double the Rainbow plants and more than double the brood stock Heenan Lake Cutthroat trout. The agency’s goal is to bring Red Lake back as soon as possible to the great fishery it was in the past.

Now, let’s check out other waters:

Remember, all rivers and streams are closed to fishing in California until the last Saturday in April, with the exception of the Tahoe Basin streams, which open July 1.

South Lake Tahoe: One angler using a dodger and a minnow in 40 feet of water in the Cave Rock area caught a 7-pound Brown. Shore anglers were also doing well in the area for average-size Rainbows. The Macinaws have gone deep. Most anglers have gone down to 200 feet to find them, using silver flasher blades and a live minnow.

Caples Lake: In talking with John Voss, fishing has been fair for many anglers out on the ice. Ice has been reported at 18-24 inches thick. For more information, call (209) 258-8888.

Indian Creek: One angler last Saturday known as the Mac-The-Naw, using Pautskes green-colored power bait late in the afternoon, caught a 6.5-pound Rainbow trout. At this time, the lake is clear of ice. There is an unconfirmed report from a local fly angler catching a 6-pound and a 9-pound Rainbow using a woolly bugger.

Topaz Lake: Fishing has been fair. For trollers, the action has moved out about 100 yards from shore, still on the top 10 feet using Rainbow or Perch-colored rapalas or standard cow bells followed by a night crawler. Shore anglers have been doing the best off the North Shore using inflated night crawlers or chartreuse power bait. And please pay attention to what you catch! The reason being the example of Fernley’s Don Fannin, who got all the way to Carson City as his children kept pestering him about a tag on one of his fish. He turned around in Carson City, returning to Topaz Lake only to learn that tagged fish was worth $1,000. Now, on the brighter side, there are still four more $1,000 tagged fish remaining in the lake.

I hope this brings you on out to fish. If you have a photo of your catch, drop it off at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, attention: Sports Mac-The-Naw. Any questions or comments can be placed on the Naw-Line at (775) 267-9722.

Good fishin’ and tight lines.


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