An unusual benefactor – Santa Ana suckers and their restored habitat in the Santa Ana River – provided the impetus for a CDFW transfer of fish to Lake Elsinore on Thursday, Dec. 27th. Largemouth bass were among 386 fish transported, along with a nice helping of green sunfish and bullhead. Lake Elsinore (a bump in the San Jacinto River) is actually a tributary of the Santa Ana River connecting near Corona. That put the natural lake in an ideal place to get discards from the states restoration of the Santa Ana. The relocated fish would have been otherwise dispatched, along with the carp, fathead minnows and goldfish captured in the tributary. Most of the fish were green sunfish; however, 14 largemouth, and two really nice bluegill were released at the new launching facility on the north side of the lake. They may work with the restoration crew again to relocate more fish including largemouth bass since it went so well.
January 4, 2013
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reintroducing native rainbow trout to the Kern River. Four water wells were recently drilled to serve as a back-up water source during adverse river conditions in preparation for the reintroduction. “This is an important phase of the project and represents a significant milestone in preserving the heritage species in the Kern River,” said CDFW senior fisheries Environmental Scientist Brian Beal. “Upgrading our facility to reintroduce native trout will offer great fishing opportunities, while providing economic benefits and encouraging tourism.”
The reintroduction program will focus on Kern River rainbow trout, a strain of rainbow trout endemic to the Kern River. Because of heavy angling pressure and non-native introductions over the last century, the native fish can only be found in remote isolated areas of the Kern River. As the program evolves, CDFW also plans to replace the existing non-native trout plants in the main stem Kern River and surrounding area with native trout. These non-native species include brown and other strains of rainbow trout that were planted over the years but not native to the river
Bad news for 2009 Salmon Season
Most of the fall run salmon return data is now available and the news is not good. It appears there can be no salmon fishing season in 2009. In 2007, 90,000 fall run fish returned to the Central Valley system to spawn. The fishing season was closed because a minimum of 121,000 returns are needed for the species to survive long term. In 2008, the returns are estimated to be only 60,000 fish, a 23% drop from 2007 and the 2008 fishing season was completely closed. The disaster deepens. Stakeholder groups are asking for another year of trucking hatchery fish around the delta to avoid the low water and delta problems. DFG, NMFS, and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will truck again in 2009 but the levels are yet to be established. Water4fish.org.