Eagle Lake Fishing Information
By Val and Randy Aubrey
Upadted Every Day Possible
California fishing Guide License #1209
Over 45 years experience fishing Eagle Lake
This report is Copyright protected on date published below byVall Aubrey, eaglelakefishing.info
Val’s Daily Eagle Lake Fishing Report
We Dare to Care
|Current Temperature:||38F; predicted high of 48F||Sunrise:||Nov 21: 6:57AM|
|Low Temperature:||37F; as long as we have cloud cover it will be warmer, clear nights dropped to 15F||Sunset:||Nov 21: 4:40PM|
|Predicted High Temperature:||high 40's to high 50's this week||Moon Phase:||Nov 17; 4% waxing|
|Current Wind:||SW 4-8; 10 gust so far||Full Moon on:||Dec 3rd|
|Expecting gusts to:||SW5/M; SW10/Tu; SE5/W; extended forecast SSW gusts 12-15 towards end of the week and weekend|
|Precipitation since 1-1-08||Since July 1, 2017 (5.35"): Nov 2.09"; Oct 0.71; Sept 01.97; August .58"; July 0.0" July 1-2016 to July 2017; 27.11" season total|
|Barometer:||29.83 from 29.50|
|Total snowfall:||2017/2018; 2"; 2016/2017; 74"|
Eagle Lake Fishing Regulations
ALL TRIBUTARIES TO THE LAKE OPEN FOR FISHING ON THE SATURDAY OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. NO FISHING IS ALLOWED IN PINE CREEK BELOW HIGHWAY 44 TO THE MOUTH OF PINE CREEK ON EAGLE LAKE. NO FISHING INSIDE THE BREAKWATER JETTY AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA. NO FISHING IN PINE CREEK SLOUGH BETWEEN THE EGG COLLECTION FACILITY AND THE LAKE.
SECOND ROD STAMP USE: It is legal for a child under the age of 16 to fish with two rods however, the child has to be there manning his rods not out playing leaving the rods in mom and dad’s care or observation….mom and dad will get cited for fishing with too many rods and could lose their fishing licenses while the kid is off playing. Children and adults with a two rod stamp can fish with two rods until they keep their limit. The second rod must be removed from the water immediately once a limit is retained (I have learned how and attempt it as best I can to reel in that second rod while fighting my last fish on the first…Also, if by chance you do catch a fish on that second rod after or while you are reeling in the last fish of your limit on the first rod & release the fish in a condition that it is not alive or will not survive it could be counted toward your limit and you could be cited for having an over-limit of fish.
CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING: IT IS NOT LEGAL TO RETAIN YOUR DAILY LIMIT AND THEN CONTINUE TO FISH AND CATCH AND RELEASE. IF YOU PLAN ON CATCHING AND RELEASING, DO SO BEFORE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT. ONCE YOU RETAIN YOUR LIMIT, YOU ARE DONE FISHING FOR THE DAY. FISHING FOR TUI CHUB IS NOT AN OPTION OR EXCUSE AS THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED A "GAME FISH" SO YOU CAN BE CITED.
1) legal fishing time is “one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset”. Sunrise and sunset times are posted on the Weather page.
2) Daily limit of two trout and one person can only have four in possession (for two days of fishing). If you have retained your possession you cannot go out and keep two more trout on the third fishing day as that would be over-possession unless you have consumed your first limit. You can’t claim you are fishing for tui chub as they are not a game fish species. Canned and/or smoked trout DO count towards your possession. Also, transporting more fish than you have people in your vehicle isn't going to cut it. Transporting fish for other people is not an option even if their names and license numbers are on the fish.
3) No minnows can be used as bait, including minnows caught in the lake itself.
THIS LINK ALSO SHOWS THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL AND RAIN TOTALS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, CLICK ON THE DOTS. GREAT INFO FOR TRAVEL.
****SPEED LIMIT ON LOCAL HIGHWAYS IS 55 MPH ****
Although, that isn'a always the safe speed.
IF YOU HAVE TO BE IN 4-WHEEL DRIVE YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS DRIVING 55
Gallatin Road to the Marina: Nasty humps and bumps in the road along the straight away from the last left bend past Eagle Campground to the old Aspen launch ramp entrance. Slow down. Also, note that the road to the low water ramp also has some nasty bumps and dips so take it easy, these beat the hell out of your rig and boat if you're going a little too fast.
Gallatin Road to Eagles Nest is a rough SOB so be careful heading in. I really feel bad for the folks at Eagles Nest to have to travel this unmaintained road to get to their beautiful cabins. 4X4 advisable as it's a pretty good grade coming back up out of the "Nest" on a wet or snowy road. I doubt any fire trucks to access it very quickly either. LNF, get it together, these folks pay you and you should provide access that isn't so dangerous and damaging. Fire trucks won't make it in quickly by any means. LoL and SOL. This area is easy to launch kayaks off the gravel bar without having to drag them several hundred feet...getting in is the hard part. People have been drivng the shoreline to the springs. Note that doing so is not legal and could result in fines if caught.
USFS Road 21 Open for now. A small amount of snow but mostly rain with this last storm. Take it easy over the cattle guards. Some will let you catch some air if you're going to fast. Always stop at the RR crossing right near highway 44. This is an active line and several times a day.
Wildcat access MUDDY. These can be a nasty roads after a good thunderstorm or rain. Even 4x4's can get stuck without sinking and the heavier the truck the better chances you have of getting stuck. High profile vehicles recommended. Suggest the buddy system as no tow truck is going to go out and tow you back to pavement. Lower profile vehicles can get sucked into the big rig ruts and high center. If you slip into the ruts, be prepared. The ruts hold water for a long time and can look dry on the surface. The tow trucks don't go out there folks, so you need to run across good samaritans. There is firmer spots but you have to get beyond the nasty parts before you get to the lava capped parts of the road. It depends on the temps, frozen ground and the amount of moisture or snow. Last winter, these roads were very torn up by anglers getting through the mud after fall rains. LNF will not be improving any dirt road accesses, mostly to limit access to the lake for hunting and fishing. So the more torn up it gets, the more torn up it will stay.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road south from 36: OPEN. Be careful. Heavy loads, gear down at the summit because you will pick up speed quickly heading down into the 15mph turn I call Chrome Corner.... get it? Dropping from the summit down into the 15mph is also the coldest spot on the road. This time of year it can be icy or frosty. It is not generally maintained and is last on the list for any plowing or cindering in the event of a snow storm. This road is rough on trailers and vehicles, so take it easy. It can be critical to use your gears rather than your brakes. Generally doesn't close before the end of fishing season, but it can get nasty when it gets icy. It is not uncommon to have trucks towing boats or RV's get stuck on the grade. Several times after a snow storm, we have run across some idiot with a winch cable stretched across both lanes and we have had to stop our vehicle by ditching off the side of the road or get closelined. Tow trucks don't like it either but they do respond on pavement. From Spalding to the south end it expansion cracks just about every 20ft. Over repetative travel these have caused stress fractures in boat trailers and damage to vehicles. Vehicle damage includes, shocks, steering stablizers, tie-rods and alignments.
A-1 Eagle Lake Road north: Eagle Lake Road from highway 139 is open. Approximately 51 miles from Susanville on139 to the Recreation Area and Campgrounds down south. But it is a faster road and in better condition if coming to Spalding. Takes about the same amount of time to Spalding but around 10 miles longer. It may take longer to get to the south end when A1 south gets icy, but it could be better, at times, to be safe than sorry.
Highway 139: Be careful driving. There can be all sorts of wildlife and cows near the road. This road is in good shape to Susanville. There are some areas that have roadway flooding issues during a good rain so just be careful. They eventally drain off and soak in until the ground freezes. Longer from Spalding but takes about the same amount of time as taking A1 south to Spalding Tract. This is a better route to Susanville from Spalding during a storm event. 2018 season we will most likely see some some major construction heading up the grade from Susanville.
Highway 32: Check CA DOT Road conditions WATCH FOR FALLING ROCKS IN THE ROADWAY. This road has always been one for deer and wildlife crossing the road in front of you, year round. Check conditions during weather events.
Highway 36: Check DOT for road conditions. See weather cams on link above. Has some nasty areas of rough pavement on Fredonyer grade in both directions. Caltrans maintained...LoL. There has been intermittent road maintenance. 40-60 minute wait times and very slow travel when it starts moving. 2018 construction season includes repaving from 4 miles east of Susanville to near Eagle Lake Road (A1) so if you're coming in from Reno next season, Good Luck!! No doubts that this project will cause long delays however, it is needed.
Highway 44: See Road Cameras and check conditions.
Highway 395: Good shape. WATCH FOR DEER AND ANTELOPE ALWAYS. HEAVY WINDS CAN CAUSE DELAYS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. Those that don't head the warming, often end up turned over, wrecking or hitting someone else. CHECK WIND FORECASTS ON THE NOAA LINK ABOVE WHEN COMING FROM RENO or LEAVING SUSANVILLE AND DRIVING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. CalTrans sign at 36/395 junction. Blowing sand drifts (zero visibility and some 100ft long) can also become a hazard in high winds any time of the year. Remember that deer are prevalent in the Honey Lake Valley all year long. The “Locals” name for 395 to Reno is “BLOOD ALLEY”. Drive it often enough and you’ll understand what we mean. Not always animals either. CA DOT is planning a major repaving project for 2018 that includes 395 to Reno and 36 thru Susanville.
Check the road cameras at the links above.
Or check Cal Trans website for updated conditions for any temporary closures due to rock slides or storm events.© Copyright protected 2004 - 2017.
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Kayakers: No matter where you launch, be sure keep an eye on the wind speed and direction posted for the days you go out. You don't want to be caught an hour paddle away from where you launched if winds pickup over 10mph. Our wind comes up quick when it comes up, regardless of direction predicted. NOAA link on weather has been pretty accurate. BE VERY CAREFUL WALKING DOWN THE "HANDICAP" WALKWAY AT CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA. THIS HAS LONG BEEN A HAZARD FOR MOBILITY IMPAIRED PEOPLE AND FALLS FROM TRIP HAZARDS HAVE OCCURED. DESPITE THAT LNF HAD PROMISED TO REMOVE THE HAZARD THE USFS HAS LEFT IT FOR FOLKS TO GET HURT OR INJURED WHILE WALKING DOWN TO THE BEACH. Just trample the vegitation and make your own paths down, it's a lot safer. I advise making your way to the gravel bar to the northwest rather than right below the handicapping ramp down. the shoreline is soft, very smelly (worse than the outhouse) and leaves a nasty coating of organic matter on your craft that dries hard. Similar to the cow poop on the road that sticks to your car paint like cememt. It's better off the gravel.
Kayaks have limited availability. It's a shorter romp thru the grass now off the old Aspen Ramp (head towards the rock pile, firmer ground and not far away) but we have to get through tules and water grasses/weeds and soft stinky muck to get to the lake. Getting a craft down to the water isn't the hard part, getting it back up hill several hundred feet is. We are also having to deal with getting through the new tules along the shoreline just about everywhere before we hit open water. Christie isn't too bad for getting through, but shore fishermen lost some good spots due to the weeds. This will be a new normal as the water rises in the future but it will be good for the fish eventually.
Another option for kayaks is driving into Eagle's Nest and launching off the gravel bar. That road (Gallatin) is also in terrible shape. About 20 minutes to get in once past Camp Ron McD. I pity the home owners in there for having such nice places, pay LNF for leases and get crappy access to them. The trail from the parking area just past Camp Ron McD is the longest and steepest from the parking lot, plus some rough terrain getting of the hill and down towards the lake. Eagle's Nest and the low water ramp are about the only launch areas for kayaks that don't have tules to get thru to get to the water. These aren't too bad, just make sure there is nothing like a rod hanging outside the craft. Peddle drives have a little more to deal with but it is doable for most with some effort.
Wildcat Pt shoreline is still pretty good and has less weeds, but the road in is a mess. Winter fishermen really tore it up last year. Ruts are deep, mud is deep, side roads getting around them are as bad. Use the buddy system. No tow truck is going to come in a get you out no matter what kind of service you have.
Driving into Pelican Pt, Slough Pt, Shrimp Island and Lake of the Woods is illegal. The area is open for foot traffic only. No vehicles are allowed at any time. This is a wildlife area and fines can be stiff. Camera traps have been used in the past and folks received their tickets in the mail from DMV about 3-4 weeks later. LoL. This area is also patrolled periodically.
GALLATIN LOW WATER RAMP: The dock remains in the water for now. But it could be removed at any time. Water temps closer to what we normally see in December. It is not difficult to launch or load without the dock, just wear hip boots or waders. But north winds can be a killer. DO NOT PARK AND UNTIE YOUR BOAT STRAPS BLOCKING THE ROAD TO THE LAUNCH OR THE TURN AROUND AT THE BOTTOM. THERE IS PARKING WHERE YOU GET YOUR BOAT PREPARED TO LAUNCH, THE ACCESS POINT IS NOT THE PLACE. THIS RAMP IS FOR EVERYONE. Generally the dock is pulled around Dec 1. But that can always depend on the weather, amount of snowfall and how cold it gets. So far we only saw a little snow which has melted rapidly. The dock can get frosty and slick so be careful. It's a good idea to have some ice trekkers or traction devices for your boots.
SOUTH RAMP AT SPALDING: No Go, at least not advisable.
STONES LANDING: High and dry.
ROCKY PT: Lake level dropping, Kayaks can make it but it's a long paddle over the weeds before finding clearer water. Small boats should consider launching down at the south end.
SEE LAKE ELEVATIONS SINCE 2010 ON LAKE CONDITIONS PAGE.
NO HANDICAP FISHING OR BEACH ACCESS: Handicap parking at the launch ramp is further away than it was last year and not clearly marked by ADA requirements, cinder gravel for carts and wheelchairs is not compliance to ADA requirements.
ALL EAGLE LAKE, ALL THE TIME
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VIDEOS SHOWING THE LAKE RISE 2017
South Basin 11-20-17: Surface temps 46F to 48F depending on location. Weeds will move around and hopefully blow off the lake but the mud hens are still here so check lines periodically. Sunday was beautiful but winds are back up Monday morning so be careful out there.
Clarity tanked with the winds but still around 3-4ft on a good day. But at least the shrimp have dispersed and the trout are once again having to work for and chase their food. So come prepared. Fishing has been very good through the elements but it has had it's slower days for some folks. The south basin remains open longer as it is warmer water and has more wind and wave action. But we can see some freezing of the shoreline once we see clear skies overnight, just not generally the water until later in December. So far, we are good to go. Cloud cover generally leaves us with warmer low temps overnight while clear skies can drop into the teens. Be sure to check the weather and wind speeds if you plan on coming up. We live here and can pick and choose, some folks don't have that option.
Just because we got a little water in the lake this year, doesn't mean we don't still have dangerous rock piles to be aware of and the channel is getting shallower every week. So be careful out there. Buoys have been removed so nothing marking Miners Pt or Pelican. When trolling, don't depend on your depth finder as much as looking into the water once it shallows up to 10ft. You're already over the shallow stuff before your transducer picks it up at your transom. Note that when the south basin gets rolling with waves that the waves often double in size when rolling over the shallower water (20ft) and ledges.
I HAVE MET WITH TU REGARDING SOME ISSUES IN THE DRAFT PLAN THAT DIDN'T FIT IN WITH SAID RESTORATION. We will know more after CRMP meeting and field trip on May 31. Meet at Bogard Rest Area at 9am, bring bug spray and boots for mud & muck to walk at restoration area.
CHRISTIE DAY USE AREA HANDICAP RAMP TOWARDS THE LAKE IS IN SUCH DISREPAIR THAT IT CAN HANDICAP YOU IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY IMPAIRED. THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIP HAZARDS. IT ENDS A VERY GOOD DISTANCE FROM ANY ACCESS TO THE WATER. Walk on the vegetation. There are several trails. A statement from LNF has been long requested and short on delivery. This is a very dangerous "trail" to the lake. I have been hounding USFS to get the access repaired. I was told this week that LNF is still waiting for the State Lands Commission for input and approval to repair the existing handicap access.
2017 LAKE ELEVATION
9-24-17 5095.26ft, losing .6ft per week. 1.47ft lower than it's highest elevation as per Doc Bateson.
9-4-17: 5095.41ft and lost .94" since 8-6-17
8-6-17: EAGLE LAKE is dropping at a rate of 1.425" per week since July 2nd. It is now at 5095.73' and has lost 7 &1/8" during that time (about a month).
7-15-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.07ft; 7/8" above 5096ft. It has dropped 3 inches in two weeks and up to 1 1/2" per week evaporation. This is actually normal evap for this time of year. Going to be a long summer.
7-2-17: As per Doc's measurement the lake elevation is 5096.32ft and it is dropping 1.33 inches per week.
6-23-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation is 5096.479ft. It has lost 2.65" since May 20. Now that Pine Creek and other tributaries are no longer flowing into the lake we will begin to see our evaporation pick up a bit.
6-2-17: As per Doc Bateson our lake elevation perfectionist; 5096ft 7 and 5/8ths inches. That’s 5096.635’ it has dropped .065’ or .78” (a little over 3/4") in 13 days.
5-20-17: As per Doc Bateson the lake elevation measured 5096.7ft
4-30-17 As per Doc Bateson's measurment " 5096.375' which is 5.515' higher than on December 3rd 2016. It has risen 1.427' Just since March 18th.
4-18-17 Unofficial measurement at the Spalding ramp was 5096.54ft. Winds were blowing lightly so the elevation could be slightly off. Creeks are slowing down some now so we are probably going to see a slow down of rising. Any storm passing through can have flow pick up.
4-3-17 Lassen County Official Measurement: "We made our monthly visit to Eagle Lake this morning and found that the lake has come up 1.38 feet over the past month. The elevation at the Gallatin Ramp is currently 5095.78 feet above sea level and the lake has come up 4.99 feet since November 1st of last year. It is also 3.22 feet higher than this same time one year ago.
3-29-17: 5095.64' Measured from the elevation tags at Spalding ramp. A gain of about 2inches in 4 days. Flows in Pine Creek subsiding a little this week from last week, so we expect to see a little slower rise unless a storm passes through.
3-25-17: 5095.45ft (unofficial) Measured between the elevation plate screws at the ramp in Spalding. A gain of around 6" from the increased flow of Pine Creek and just over an inch of rain on 3-21.
3-19-17: 5094.948 as per Doc Bateson. Up a couple inches in the last few days. We have about 5/8' to resach 5095ft. Up a little over 4ft from our lowest water level last year and about 2 1/5ft above last years highest level. So we are doing ok, but could sure use a lot more.
3-16-17: 5094.8' up around 3 1/2 inches according to the markers at the Spalding ramp.
3-8-175094.5ft according to the markers set by Doc Bateson at the Spalding ramp. Up around a foot in the last month.
2-11-17: 5093.38FT As per Doc Bateson. 2.52ft higher than Dec 3, 2016 (which had held due to Oct/Nov rains). 18.29" of moisture since July 1 here at the house in Spalding. So the springs were still pumping good over winter too.
2016 LAKE ELEVATION
12-3-16: 5090.86ft As per Doc Bateson. Still a few inches above last year, but still below the record.
10-20-16: 5090.866' (after 3.03" of rain) Without the recent rain, the lake would have been where it was last year. So we didn't keep the 6" of water we had ovre last year. Only the rains brought it up. Bly Tunnel from the valve remains dry.
7-3-16: 5092.23; almost 6" lower than 5-30, but around 6" higher than last year at the same time. As per Doc Bateson.
5-30-16 5092.72: as per Doc Bateson, up 1/4 inch since 5-1.
5-1-16 5092.7FT Officially as per Doc Bateson, the lake is only 5.76 inches above last year's elevation, May 2, 2015. Expect similar conditions to last season. We still have 27 days to go. Hopefully we see more showers and hold on to that 5+ bonus inches to help get us through the season launching!
3-19-16 5092.43FT. UP 1.835FT SINCE 11-22-15. 2.52 INCHES HIGHER THAN MAY 2 2015. As per Doc Bateson's report
2015 Eagle Lake Elevation
10-18-15: 5090.61 and holding
9-30-15 5090.6 ft
8-16-15: 5091.2ft as per Doc Bateson’s measurements. We lost 2 1/2 inches in 2 weeks and are only 2.4 inches away from our lowest recorded level in 1935.
8-1-15:5091.4ft as per Doc Bateson's measurements. We had 2.41 inches of rain in my backyard in July (2.68" at Spalding's sewer ponds 2 miles NW) and the south end had more than we did up north but it helped counter evaporation.
7-4-15: 5091.70ft as per doc Bateson.
6-20-15: 5091.83ft; now just 9.96 inches from our lowest recorded level in 1935. (lost approx 4" in the last 20 days.
6-1-15: 5092.16ft now just over a foot from lowest recorded level in 1935
5-2-15: 5092.22ft as per Doc Bateson. About 1 ft 3 inches above lowest recordered level in 1935.
2014 Eagle Lake Elevation:
9-15-14 5092.035ft. As per doc Bateson, our local doctor and scientist we are now about 1 ft above the lowest recorded lake elevation of 5091 in 1935. Note: "recorded level".
2013 Eagle Lake Elevation:
September 2, 2013 5093.9ft; 18.5 inches lower than April 28.
July 28, 2013 5094.44 ft, about 5094 ft 5 inches.
July 7, 2013 appears to be about 2-3 inches below 5095ft.... or 5094ft 9-10 inches or so. Unofficial. Going by the end of the cement at Spalding ramp being out of the water & taking chances that the end of the cement is at 5095ft elevation.
June 1, 2013 was around 5095ft 1 inch. About 6" of cement in the water at Spalding ramp.
4-11-13 5095.5 ft (unofficial by the markers at Spalding ramp)....I guess my estimate was only 3/4 of an inch off. Not bad for a girl ehe?
2012 Eagle Lake Elevation
4-2-12: 5096.42 ft or 5096 ft 5 inches.
Ending Nov 2012 5093.70
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2011
MARCH 10, 2011 - 5096.28 UP 0.68ft up around 8" from local winter moisture, measurement taken hours before Pine Creek flow reached the Slough.
MARCH 17, 2011 - 5096.50, UP 2 1/2 INCHES IN ONE WEEK OF FLOW
MARCH 26, 2011 - 5096.63 FT; UP 2 5/8 INCHES SINCE 3-17
MARCH 29, 2011 - 5096.66 FT
MARCH 31, 2011 - 5096.70 FT
APRIL 4, 2011 - 5096.76 or 5096 ft 9 inches.
APRIL 9, 2011 – 5096.86 FT or 5096ft 101/4 inches.
APRIL 14, 2011 – 5096.90 ft
APRIL 19, 2011 – 5096.98 ft. Up 0.08 ft in 5 days…or around 1 inch.
APRIL 24, 2011 LAKE ABOVE 5097 FT! @ 5097.168 (almost but not quite a seven) UP A LITTLE OVER 2 INCHES IN 5 DAYS! INCLUDING A LITTLE OVER ½ INCH OF LOCAL MOISTURE SINCE FRIDAY MORNING! UP 10 ¾ INCHES SINCE PINE CREEK BEGAN FLOWING!
APRIL 27, 2011 – 5097.28FT! or 5097 ft 3 3/8 inches.
MAY 1, 2011 5097.34 FT or 5097 ft 4 1/16 inches; up 5/8 inches
MAY 4, 2011 – 5097.39 FT or approximately 5097 ft 4 13/16 inches…a little over ¾ inch.
MAY 7, 2011 – 5097.44 FT Or 5097 ft 5 ¼ inches.
MAY 16, 2011 – 5097.44 FT. NO CHANGE IN LAKE ELEVATION FROM 5-7-11. One and a quarter inches more water than last year means it is still going to be a bad year for the lake level.
MAY 21, 2011 – 5097.49 FT up 5/8 inches since May 16. Coincides very closely to the amount of local moisture in the last 5 days. Due to heavy winds that haven’t stopped long enough to get an accurate elevation we have not taken one. However, we can tell you that we are still pretty much the same and still well below the 5098 ft elevation.
MAY 30. 2011 – 5097.59, up around 5/8 inch in 9 days. Again, coinciding with the amount of local precipitation. We aren’t gaining and we aren’t losing at the current flow rate of Pine Creek. We have now just officially reached the 2 ft mark since the lowest lake elevation in Nov 2010.
JUNE 12, 2011 – 5097.68 ft from 5097.59 ft on May 30. Increase of around 1 inch (for elevation in inches it is 5097 ft 6 7/8 inches). We also had over an inch of precipitation fall in the basin in the last 10 days.
JUNE 24, 2011 - 5097.57 ft from 5097.68 ft June 12. That translates into inches as down nearly 1 3/8 inches in 12 days.
JULY 5, 2011 – 5097.46 from 5097.57 on June 24. That translates to 5097 ft 5 ½ inches. Down 1 ¼ inches in 10 days. Average daily humidity as been 13%.
JULY 18, 2011 – 5097.23 Ft from 5097.46 ft on July 5th. Down around 1 3/8 inches in 13 days which levels out at 5097 ft 2 ¾ inches.
JULY 24, 2011 – 5097.15 FT from 5097.23 ft on July 18. Down 3.96 inches since July 4 as per Doc Bateson.
AUGUST 4, 2011 – 5097 ft from 5097.15 ft on July 24. About 1 ¾ inch drop in elevation.
AUGUST 8, 2011 – 5096.97 FT from 5097.0 4 days ago
AUGUST 12, 2011 – 5096.86 ft shot from doc B. Average weekly evaporation of 1.23 inches per week which doc says is better (lower) than last year at the same time.
AUGUST 24, 2011 – 5096.68 FT. Down from 5096.86 ft 12 days ago.
AUGUST 30, 2011 – 5096.56 FT. Down around 1 ½ inches in last 6 days
SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – 5096.45FT, Down around 1 3/8 inches in the last 7 days.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 – 5096.34 FT. Or 5096ft 4 1/8 inches.
OCTOBER 14-11 5096.18 or 5096 ft 2 1/8 inches
LAKE ELEVATION FOR 2010:
BEGINNING LAKE ELEVATION 2010:
May 16, 2010 – 5097.36 feet;
October 30, 2010 was 5095.60 feet.
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EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS GIVE $23,500 to date to TROUT UNLIMITED FOR PINE CREEK PROJECTS AND STUDIES!! HERE IS THE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR PINE CREEK IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIAL ENDANGERED SPECIES LISTING. THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT! EVERYTHING FROM GENETICS TO GRAZING AND WATER IMPOUNDS ARE BEING ADDRESSED. Then, something happened. Eagle Lake Gaurdians are the only nonprofit whose funding goes directly to helping restore Pine Creek and Eagle Lake. Also, the only nonprofit going into battle to get it done. No one else can say that!!! Proof is in the pudding. Want your money to go to Eagle Lake and Pine Creek, look no further than Eagle Lake Guardians. We don't waste your funding, we don't throw ourselves parties at the expense of the Lake and Fish. Ask where your funding is going.
Update from Trout Unlimited on www.eaglelakeguardians.org on "current issues page" regarding restoration projects, filling in the super ditch and filling in impounded water holes!!
So proud that Eagle Lake Guardians have donated an additional $6000 for a total of $23,500 to Pine Creek Restoration projects, assessments and studies through Trout Unlimited to help prevent our Eagle Lake rainbow trout from being listed as an endangered or threatened species and assist speeding up Pine Creek's restoration. You can help by donating to Eagle Lake Guardians. Guardians will be meeting up with TU soon and discuss our options and future projects. See Guardians website for updates from TU. Funding is still needed and Guardians hope to contribute an additional donation soon. At least guardians are trying to help our lake and trout. These projects will also be monitored for years to come and will need our support. There are a lot of other issues that concern our trout and spawning. THE CONSERVATION PLAN IS WORTH READING AND WORTH ALL THE TIME EAGLE LAKE GUARDIANS SPENT ON EXPLAINING AND EXPOSING PROBLEMS FROM GENETIC ANOMOLIES TO MASSIVE DIVERSIONS OF WATER FROM PINE CREEK. These will be discussed with TU and perhaps these needs can be funded after we save our trout and watershed. Go to eaglelakeguardians.org and donate through the new PayPal Button.
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11-20-17: In spite of being around 15F on Sunday morning, the winds were barely existent. A nice layer of fog layed on the pond but finally lifted. The southwest side off Christie and up the west side stayed relatively clear compared to the middle of the south basin and east side. Saturday we started off with a light breeze and had 13+mph gusts by 10:30AM and no fog to speak of. Monday morning we woke to a cloud cover and a low overnight temp of 38F, raining lightly by 7:30am. Over 20F difference between clear and cloudy nights. Monday morning we started out with SSW winds 3 to 8 mph with gusts to 12mph. But they are expected to settle down a little bit for the day. Not bad but can make the lake choppy.
As this week is Thanksgiving weekend we know a lot of property owners as well as visitors come up for the last big long weekend before Christmas. Extended forecasts aren't real reliable for wind speeds but I did do a check on accuweather (not really my favorite weather site but attempts to go the distance). Looks like we have some slight chances for isolated showers, but our high temps (on several weather sites) look to be warmer and into the 50's with some sun here and there. Looks like we might see more clouds overnight which will keep our low temps somewhat warmer as well. Winds? That's a different story. In general, most sites agreeed on South and Southwesterly winds. Conflict to some degree on speeds. We have a chance to see gusts to 12-15mph by Thursday/Friday and up to 21mph by Saturday. Not that I really hold much reliability in the extended forecasts but it is something that we pay attention to as it can be too windy to shore fish or at least it makes a difference as to where to go to fish from shore. For boats, take caution. Bigger boats don't generally need to worry until gusts reach 20-30+mph. But kayaks, small boats and low bow bass boats have a lot to worry about. Chances for survival if you end up swamped and swimming to shore are slim in water temps in the mid 40F's. Just be smart. I can pick and choose my days, travelers who come this far for a few days are going to fish no matter what. I always recommend those with small boats to come prepared to shorefish just in case conditions prevent a safe trip on the lake. Depending on which direction the wind blows, we do have some areas of the lake flatter than others.
Here's what NOAA has to say (Note these forecasts change all the time so be sure to click on the link)
A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 48. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly before 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 39. South wind around 5 mph.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. South wind around 5 mph.
Partly sunny, with a high near 58. Southeast wind around 5 mph.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.
A 20 percent chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 56.
A slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.
A slight chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 54.
A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.
A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.
A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34.
A slight chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 50.
2016 was the worst year in decades for blue/green algae clouding up the water and decreasing the dissolved oxygen in the lake. We did see a return of the blue/green algae in 2017 and now that we have cooled down we are seeing our normal brownish hues. 2017 has been the worst year for massive numbers of tui chubs everywhere at every level. We can deal with that. Fewer trout caught by the majority of anglers but others did well. The trout were a little bigger this year, but that has more to do with fewer numbers than food supply, the food supply is so dense it fouls your lines. There has been so many tui chubs over the drought years that the reduction of trout couldn't keep up with their explosive numbers. Same deal with the grebes. Our first hatch of grebes since 2012 so they didn't have the opportunity to cull the chubs either. Now the "nursery" chubs are too large for the grebes and trout to eat so once these chubs become spawners, we are going to see a more massive chub population that we probably ever have. The tui chub do very well in low dissolved oxygen levels whereas the trout need a lot of oxygen. For catching the trout this year, we simply had to adapt to the water conditions and loss of dissolved oxygen at levels the trout normally would be at. For me, the trout stayed around 17 to 20ft deep where the water temperatures were 72F, just like 2016. It was 65F at 35ft but all that level got was tui chub all summer long. Of course, all levels got monster tui chubs. The chubs appear to have exploded and probably going to pose a problem in the coming years. We could easily see this problem for years, regardless of water rising.
Eagle Lake is basically drowning in cow crap in the north basins and the water appears brackish, brownish in some locations before finding clearer water. We'll see if the fish move up, but I seriously doubt it when the water is so much cleaner in the south basin. Over the last few years of drought, trout haven't moved up much above the Youth Camp. At either end of the lake, the shoreline muck smells worse than ever. Not only waterfowl crap and rotting weeds, the cow crap has added a lot to the mix. It is smellier than I have ever experienced in 5 decades of fall/winter fishing and launching tubes and kayaks. Gravel bars aren't nearly as bad, but any flats along Merrill, Christie, Gallatin and Spalding are pretty putrid. And, apparently we have more of that to look forward to when the water comes back up in the future. We still have thousands of cows grazing up north so this problem isn't going away any time soon.
I have no problem with a little culling of the tui chub population no matter what DFW might say or think. Our lake is over loaded and with fewer trout to eat the current hatch, we are going to see expedential number of tui chub. Not only this year but in the future. Yes, I am culling when I catch 1 or 20. The chubs are massive in size for their species and way over populated. There are a gazillion (in other words, a billion wasn't enough) to take the place of those culled this year. This massive population will surely begin to compete for the food for the trout if not kept in check.
In spite of a fairly good water year and creeks flowing in spring, there wasn't a lot of trout in the tributaries as there normally have been. We are not seeing a lot of fish being caught so far this year either, but we are seeing some. We have been doing okay catching. Basically it's been about finding the fish and working the hell out of the pod. But, there are a lot of disappointed anglers out there. Even though some of the fish being caught are larger, there is no consistency in numbers. They are few and far between for many folks. A buddy calculated from the planting numbers by DFW that we are around 250,000 trout short of our normal planting allotment. Thanks DFW. ALSO, NOTE THAT NEARLY EVERY FISH HAS BEEN MUTILATED BY FIN TRIMMING. MOST HAVE ONLY ONE FIN LEFT IF ANY. TAILS ARE SPLIT OR HEAVILY NOTCHED. THANKS AGAIN DFW. ONE FIN TRIM IS OK AND IN NO WAY ARE ANY "GROWING BACK". REMOVING ALL THE FINS IS CONSISTENT WITH MUTILATION AND HARMFUL TO THE FISH. GO BACK TO FREEZE BRANDING THE TROUT NOT MUTILATING THEM. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING THESE FISH NOT TO BE ABLE TO FEED CORRECTLY. I HAVE RECIEVED TONS OF COMPLAINTS FROM ANGLERS.
As long as Eagle Lake and Pine Creek watershed is the cash cow for a few thousand bucks for grazing, the millions of dollars lost income and business for Lassen County means nothing. Perhaps the Lassen Pack of wolves will take care of these cows for us! LoL! They have a taste for beef & I don't have a problem with that. Eagle Lake and Pine Creek are considered as separate entities....unfortunately, therein lies the problem. One can not survive without the other and the trout need both to survive. Eagle Lake appears to have been sold out to the lowest bidder...water is the new gold in CA and the state doesn't care where it comes from as long as it benefits the few and not the natural habitat it was destined for. But we won't stop putting the blame in the rightful place folks. Forget about eating fish, start eating more beef but you might want to see what is in it first. No beef is tested for heavy metals. Organic means nothing. All beef is considered organic if kept on a farm pasture or open range without testing. Yep, you spend more for organic but get nothing more. LoL! Cloud seeded water heading south is used to grow crops that aren't tested either. And that cloud seeded water is what is being sucked up by the vegetation as well as the cattle. Ever wonder why Alzheimers and Autism has increased substantially in the last 20-30 years? I don't. We have been being poisoned for years and don't know it....we're not supposed to. LoL. Agenda 21. Look it up, it's part of the plan to kill humans without us knowing about it. LoL.
We had a lot of water in Pine Creek Valley, some that is still locked away from the lake. Meadows to be restored in "flood plains" that didn't exsist prior to 1977 as per the major hydrology study performed for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan by Vail and Associates are all for grazing (as per page 21 of the draft meadow restoration), not the fish or the lake. That 1970's study didn't say what the powers that be wanted it to say so it has no references in any current data used. At least, the current reports don't refer to it but it was a hell of a detailed study for the time. Just didn't reflect using Eagle Lake inflow to promote grazing over the health of the lake and tributaries. It didn't fit the agenda. But it's high time that Eagle Lake, Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout and Pine Creek start taking priority over a few bucks in intensive cattle grazing. This county and our state is losing millions of dollars in revenue just so the ranchers get cheap feed, free water and the feds get a few thousand dollars so they get a "sale" on the books. At the expense of the lake, fish and businesses. We are currently assisting in restoration of Pine Creek watershed. Projects begin this summer to restore flow by filling the Super Ditch that has robbed the watershed for decades. Awaiting an update.
The drought didn't cause all our problems, they began long before the drought. There are many players who benefit with the demise of Pine Creek and the lake. Unfortunately, some of these players are also in charge of the restoration....the fox in the hen house needs to be kept in check. Nasty job but if no one does it, it won't get done. We are certainly willing to do the job no one else wants. It's about the lake, watershed and trout, it's all one system, not separate. We are tired of hearing complaints from those who choose nothing to do with helping the lake and trout which both need water to survive. Pine Creek is our number 1 tributary, trout spawning creek and has been destroyed over the decades. We have always aimed at getting the three elements rejoined, no matter what the personal cost is.
There is only one local nonprofit that has gone into battle for Eagle Lake’s water to support a native spawn and restore the lake levels. Unfortunately, the battle for Eagle Lake was a political battle of which one has to be willing to do in Lassen County. Why Lassen resists helping Eagle Lake that once provided for a lot of income to the county for a few thousand dollars in grazing fees is beyond me. In its current condition, it isn't the public draw it once was....and that needs to change. We have some plans up our sleeves, but we have learned not to detail our plan until it is done or some how, some way, something gets tainted. Our definition is simple...save the lake and it will return to it's former glory as will the local businesses and economy as well as promote for a natural spawn. Eagle Lake Rainbow trout, Pine Creek watershed and Eagle Lake are fractured and the USFS doesn't appear to want to put it back together. As long as the scientists and biologists don't see the trout, creek and lake at its entirety and only see it as separate, Eagle Lake may be in serious trouble. And if no flood plains exsited historically, there is only one reason to create them now. Grazing. Already the Conservation Plan is being violated. Not only the water but the free passage of the trout in Pine Creek to migrate upstream at their own choosing was restricted by DFW as DFW needed every ripe hen for artificial egg collection that they could trap. Only after getting every ripe hen out of circulation did DFW reopen the gate....then let all the males go up and only a handful of females that were not spawn ready. Pine Creek was flowing Dec 16th but the gates were not opened for any fish passage until mid February. That is not allowing the free will passage. DFW had no way of knowing if there were any fish in the creek at that time so after I questioned them about numbers, they installed a camera, not a counter. LoL. In this day and age, they should know exactly how many fish made free passage. We are still at a critical point when it comes to the native spawn. Don't believe what you might be told, unless it comes from Eagle Lake Guardians. We hear some real, let's just say, intersting things coming from others. At least it's good for a laugh.
Pine Creek and Eagle Lake should be restored for the lake and the fish, not restored to enhance more grazing. That's what seems to be killing the lake from nutrients and removing water from the watershed. I believe I got my point across so far but we are constantly keeping an eye on things. Words matter in draft plans, tell me the restoration is for enhanced grazing & I will jump right down your throat! It's not about the cows, it's got to be about the fish and we are the only ones doing that. There is only one way to save the businesses and livelihood of the resort communities, lake and trout, that is to restore the hard won drainage to Pine Creek, move the cattle up, drill some wells that flow into tanks for water for cows, power them with solar panels and give the lake back to it's watershed. Restoration of Pine Creek is essential to establishing a native spawn as well as getting the lake elevation back....but only a spawn is the driving factor...a minimal spawn at that. But, what if they don't have a healthy lake to come home to. With one good water year, it's now about restoring grazing and feed, not the fish or the lake. It all works together. Climate change, climate manipulation, less snow pack come into play, but on what should have been a good water year, we are still 9ft down from our prime, and over 3ft below what scientists determined was good for the fish. Eagle Lake Guardians have helped defeat the potential listing of an endangered species for our trout. This was our main goal. Unfortunately, the scientists are only looking at the trout, creek and lake as different things when historically, it all worked together as one. We have seen data manipulated as well. Perhaps, this is where the barrier to restoring anything is. As long as the agenda is to graze cattle for penny's and lose millions in the economy and stress the lake and trout, we are screwed. The trout have to make it back to the lake and, that has happened but only in the same year they went up to spawn. Other telemetry tags have been found in the dry creek bed after the creek stops flowing...the creek has to stop flowing before the cattle are allowed in to graze. So the sooner the creek stops, the sooner the grazing starts. The more water locked upstream raises the water temps sooner than normal and that in itself stops the fish. Our first tag found was near the A1 bridge, another near the Spalding bridge, two others from fish that retured to the lake the same year. The ones found in the creek were from fish that tried to get back but ran out of flow before making it to the lake. So getting them back to the lake is going to require longer flows....and they might bring the minnows with them rather than head to unchartered waters 20 miles upstream from 44. Looks like we may have to go after the water again.
By not listing the trout, we have less red tape to get and keep projects moving forward. Trout Unlimited has hired a facilitator in order to keep DFW and USFS moving...Where it began about the fish, it's ending in grazing. So something has to change. We may see a native spawn, but without a lake, what's the point? As long as this lake is below 5100ft elevation, the trout in the lake are threatened. Every report shows that. It wasn't all from the drought. Mother Nature will respond once the attitude of the water diverters change. The lake had been robbed for decades and as water levels dropped, the robbing didn't stop. So some changes were in order. We aim to keep the changes coming, regardless....even if we have to sue to get it.
Where are the massive numbers of trout in the lake? I hear from many people who have said 2016 had been the worst fishing season they have experienced in decades and 2017 fishing season shaping up to be the same. Even though it picked up a little by late Sept and October last season, it hasn't been phenomenal 30-60fish days out there. Consider yourself lucky to get a fish or two in 5-6 hours and don't count on a big one. I have a second request in for creel data of catch rates per angler last season of which I have finally received the data from DFW biologist Paul Divine after additional request. Catch rate down, anglers down, but fish slightly larger. Too bad people can't catch what they used to. Many thinking it's a waste of time and money to come up, fish for 12 hours in two days and be lucky to catch one! Campgrounds with lots of empty spaces, stores struggling, Stones Landing resort still closed. Well, folks, I am certain that if the quality of the fishing was like it was in the past, more people would be here fishing. Unfortunately, other lakes have better fishing so folks are going where they can have fun. We have had better fishing, but the last two years has been, well, not very good.
A 3 to 4 pounder hasn't been uncommon in fall/winter for years either. But the bigger fish meat quality isn't nearly as good as the smaller 2 to 3 pounders. I would rather see folks catch limits of 2 to 3 lb fish than to spend a weekend or two weeks and catch 1 or none. I think this lake has some serious problems. I know there are a lot of unhappy anglers. We had to learn from last years nasty conditions. Trout stay in warmer water if there isn't an ample supply of dissolved oxygen where it is cooler. Red shows up in green water better than any other historically good color on this lake. But still, working for our limits as opposed to catching and releasing and having a ball. Hopefully things will change for fall.
With fewer fish in all the tributaries this year, I am concerned about the quality of the fishing again this season. So far, there have been a lot of folks not doing too well, others doing better. Spending a week or two here for poor fishing isn't what made this lake famous. Lots of big fish did. In spite a few larger fish, there numbers are way down. Personally, I have done well but I had to adapt to conditions, work a pod and move on to find another. The only consistent thing I have done is stay higher in the water column and use red/gold lures to show up against the green water. Last year was tough and the lake was hard on the fish. I see how many we didn't have in the southern tributaries and a reduction of numbers in Pine Creek compared to normal water years. DFW needed 3.1 million eggs and after over 2 months of good flow in Pine Creek only got 1.3 million and had to resort to electroshocking in the lake to get that extra .3mil. That is a pathetic number of eggs for the resourses used to get there. DFW is really screwing this lake over. Blocking fish from upstream passage for the native spawn thne letting them head up too late in their desire. DFW has been pretty pathetic when it comes to maintaining this lake the last few years. Perhaps the biologist needs to move on and be replaced....that would be a good start. We'll see what happens in spring of 2018 but I have no doubts that we will continue to see fewer fish in the tributaries, just because we don't have the numbers of fish we need.
My fishing partner and I are already planning on fishing other lakes in between fishing this one. After 50 + years of great fishing and lots of big fish, we have found other lakes with better catch rates and big fish. This year we caught plenty of 5 to 7 lb rainbows elsewhere. Countless other people have contacted me regarding camping here but fishing other lakes. Why not, I am & I live here!! We have spent the winter and spring months fishing on lakes within about 1 1/2 hours from here and really having a ball. I do have friends that want to fish a couple time a week and I will oblige them here at Eagle but I just don't see the numbers of fish that we normally had after severe cuts in planting.
At higher water levels, the catch and keep recommendation had been posted for years during summer which was highly supported. Not posting it in critical times such as blue green algae blooms (since that may become our new normal) I have always believed that we lose fish during certain conditions. Was DFW wrong then, or wrong now? I have had a lot of other people comment similarly about that. General consensus: DFW lost support for many things as well as losing respect of many anglers. As long as we are paying high prices for licenses, we are going to catch and release. I have gone barbless or micro barb hooks and NEVER remove a fish from the water to release it and avoid playing it out and never take a picture of a fish out of the water that I release. We are seeing some dead fish on the bottom in the clearer shallower water. Not sure if these are released fish or just dead fish for no other reason. But we have seen fly fishermen in the area. As a note, I never take a fish out of the water if I am planning to release it. They just don't do well. But, DFW doesn't care what you do and won't compensate the yearly allotment to compensate. At one time, with higher water levels, our yearly allotment of hatchery trout was 250,000. That was reduced to 180,000 sometime in the early1990's. Since the drought, our lowest number was 75,000 and catch rates dropped severely the last few years. In 2017 (our best water year since 2011) we regained a little at 160,000 but at 3 to a pound for the most part. So we are still short on the trout population in this lake. Since it is based on biomass and tui chub population exploded (note that DFW has no clue as to how many chubs are in the lake when assessing "biomass" LoL) more trout might not be the answer. The answer may lie in the reduction of or culling of chubs.
Without the lake at prime elevations (5106ft is considered full, 5100 is considered the lowest for the health of the fish), our watershed and our special trout are put back together, we have nothing. We still have impounded water on Pine Creek and the green slime algae hasn't exactly left. We would have probably come up an extra 2-3 ft had the impounds and springs been transfered to the lake. What is it worth to you? It is worth everything to me. It's environmental & yes a political aspect as well, one has to be willing to step on a few toes to save the lake and make some waves, press the DFW and LNF on all counts affecting this lake and our trout. We will step on more than that if we have to & proved that a long time ago. And, we aren't done just yet. I have watched the climate change and tracked it for over 14years. It does have something to do with it but 86 impounds and water diversions on our main spawning and feeder creek has had devastating affects all for just one or two ranchers at most for cattle...and instead of less, more are planned. Sound familiar IE National Geographic Water and Power series, Monterey Agreement, Agenda 21 and privatizing public resources is here. Federal Gov might own the lake but the State owns the water. However PG&E has been manipulating our weather for many decades by cloud seeding for Lake Almanor and Lake Shasta, again, Monterey Agreement and sending every drop of water out. This has reduced our snow pack as well as our local moisture. So it's not all Mother Nature's cycle. We have a man made problem. Regardless of having a fair water year, the lake is still below all recommended levels for the health of the lake, vegetation and trout. Losing Eagle Lake and blaming it on climate change is mute when the climate is being manipulated to begin with. Eagle Lake isn't saved yet.
As long as restoration for cattle grazing continues, the trout won't be listed...but I highly doubt that USFWS knows what is happening....little has to do with trout and most of it is about retaining grazing. That restoration was the critical part of keeping the trout off the listing. The first two pages were about USFS and State employees having immunity from past poor decision making regarding Pine Creek (in which well over 80 water projects exist with only 7 permitted), We'll see if that still stands after more poor decision making in contrast to the conservation plan. The last impound was finished around 2005...our last year of good water was 2005/2006 and we have lost water in the lake ever since. The critical part is getting the fish and minnows back to the lake before the creek dries up and water temperatures spike.
It appears that TU may have fallen for the CRMP mentality of the ranchers on the board and using old government tactics. We may need to replace the CRMP group that has been around too long, done too little and simply abided by the wishes of the few rather than the many or the health of the lake. Also as a note, "TU and CRMP didn't have the Pine Creek organism study performed by Western US protocol and it needs to be done over again" is a direct quote from DFW biologist Paul Divine. At least UNR still has the samples so it can be done but needs more funding. Grant money will be used for that. DFW biologist Paul Divine told us that when he asked if we would be willing to fund another study. Unbelievable? No that's just something normal for Eagle Lake. Professional screw ups,. Over the decades, CRMP has caused more of our problems than they have ever fixed, this is why people showed up at their meeting. CRMP has very little support locally, known only for cattle grazing over fish habitat. I had a discussion with Trout Unlimited recently about the plan and other things that were not in the best interest of the lake and trout. We hope there are amendements to the plan and a better way of restoring Pine Creek than adding more impounds for livestock grazing. If you want to be a part of the solution to Eagle Lake, then Eagle Lake Guardians is who you need to donate too. All our donations go directly to Eagle Lake & Pine Creek Restoration or quite possibly legal council or legal action to save the lake. Guardians is the only local nonprofit whose donations go ONLY to support Eagle Lake and no other pockets, projects or lakes…just this one. And, we are working behind the lines but we aren't afraid to flank these folks either. More to come on that issue. Some one has to do this job folks, it isn't pretty but it has to be done. One fair water year isn't going to cut the mustard. The lake needs to be at an elevation no lower than 5100ft before it isn't considered detrimental to the trout....or local economy. So in spite of somethings going well, more work needs to be done.
Check NOAA link for the ever-changing details.
Lake Conditions for water temps & Lake elevation by date
Ramp Conditions for launch ramp info.
for ideas & set ups dialed in for fishing Eagle Lake. Most methods are covered. We make no claims of knowing everything about Eagle Lake, but we do know a lot about catching Eagle Lake trout in their native waters.
Eagle Lake Fishing Report on “Best Fishing Locations and Depths”
FISHING ACCESSES, TOPO MAPS Note that USFS has a new app for quad and topo maps. I believe you are given the option to purchase them through the app. I love having the maps available on my phone no matter if I have signal or not.
EAGLE LAKE ACCESSES, QUAD MAPS AND TOPO MAPS: USFS QUAD MAPS OF OPEN ROADS AROUND THE EAGLE LAKE AREA: The links below go to maps saved from Lassen National Forest website. Any questions you have should be directed to Eagle Lake Ranger Station staff. I am only providing them for quick access for our viewers. More information on road closures in the Forest is available on their website. All these maps have the access roads pretty well lined out for you to access say, Wildcat Point (Pikes Pt Quad and Topo) or the Youth Camp from Gallatin (Gallatin Quad and Topo). On the larger maps, one can enlarge a specific area and crop and print the selected area on regular paper. NOTE: I SAVED THESE TO MY IPHONE AND I HAVE THEM WITH ME MOST EVERYWHERE, helpful in names of places over Google or other maps/gps apps
(popular drive to see wildlife; County Road 105 & ends at USFS 21)
ZOOM IN You can also zoom up and crop specific areas of these maps to print. I personally did this myself to use to compare to other maps I had when bumpin’ along the dirt roads & believe it or not, there was some very good information on all these maps. USGS has just about everything you could ever need or want for maps…. Hunters might just benefit very well from downloading some of these maps and satellite images.
LNF HAS NEW ROAD MAPS OUT NOW ON THEIR WEBSITE.
ALL THE LAKES FORMED FROM WATER DESTINED FOR PINE CREEK, STUDIES THAT WERE CONVENIENTLY LOST BY FEDERAL/STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN REDISCOVERED .... and they thought all the hard copies of the most important study (Vail Report, the base study for the Eagle Lake Basin Plan....or the Bible for Eagle Lake) were no longer available and no one could actually go back and see what the study said....thus, they will only "tell us what it said" and since there was no copy left to compare with, they could pull the wool over peoples eyes. OOPS, seems that there was one remaining hard copy and it has been sent to LNF as well as USFWS. All photos of the large lakes formed by impounded water and the documentation that allowed the cows to take over in Pine Creek was submitted too. Well over a gigibyte of information and documentation is now in the hands of USFWS to assist in their determination of listing our trout on the protected or endangered species list.
2015 CONSERVATION PLAN DFW blocking the free passage of fish migrating up Pine Creek in spring 2017 so they could collect eggs out of every ripe hen entering the system constitutes a violation of this signed agreement. Next season will will be sure to use social media and expose DFW's violations of this agreed plan and expose the massive mutilations of our trout.
Copyright 2004-2017 By Valerie Aubrey, Eagle Lake Fishing
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
Copyright Protected and Registered by Valerie Aubrey.
Permission to copy and re-publish must be given by the Author.
Text and send photos to EAGLE LAKE FISHING INFO AND NETWORK
If you are on Facebook and want more from Eagle Lake
FISHING SEASON ENDS DECEMBER 31, 2017
We are not affiliated with any agency or other business
You can help by donating via PayPal link on eaglelakeguardians.org! We are going on an ONLINE fundraising campaign and need all the help we can get!! YOU’RE SUPPORT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! TOTAL INPUT FOR PINE CREEK RESTORATION TO DATE IS $23,500!!!
DOWNLOAD THIS 72 PAGE FILE. Finally! Eagle Lake Guardians assisted in financing some of the studies that went into this report AND the brook trout eradication this summer through Trout Unlimited!! HELP GUARDIANS CONTINUE TO HELP RESTORE PINE CREEK BY DONATING AT www.eaglelakeguardians.org
We will keep "motivating" those who signed off on this plan to insure it actually gets accomplished
SEE 2013 THRU 2016 CREEL DATA HERE. WHEN DFW CHECKS YOUR FISH WEIGHT AND LENGTH AND ASKS QUESTIONS OF HOW LONG YOU FISHED.
SEE TROUT PLANTINIG AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING.
NOTE: We are only waiting on one thing before the new site is launched. Stay tuned, it will be a smooth transition.
TROLLING: South basin. Fish cleaning sinks and bathrooms have been winterized for the season. Merrill Campground is now closed. Eagle Campground is open for now. Check in with the host. Generally some outhouses are brought in once the bathrooms and water is turned off and winterized. I don't advise filling water tanks in RV's and planning on camping. If camping, bring bottled water and try to keep it from freezing overnight as once the water is turned off, you'll have to bring your own. The low water ramp is still going strong. The dock can be frosty in the morning and it could be removed at any time regardless of normally being removed around Dec 1. Note that buoys have been removed so be careful out there. Foggy pond after any moisture falls so it may be pretty common now, especially on a cold clear morning.
There are still a few nice fish up off the Youth Camp and either side of Pelican Pt there but not in really big numbers. The trout have to work a little harder for food so they are foraging along the shoreline and rock piles. Some eventually moving back out but staying pretty close to the surface. Surface temps holding in the mid to high 40's.
My buddies have been finding a handful of fish off Wildcat Pt. Christie area has been fishing pretty good from shore as well as out and along the ledges towards Wildcat. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing as to when the fish come in closer to shore or remain out further over deeper water. We are starting to see more trout returing from the north end of the south basin so there are scattered pods along the west side but they are eager. We are seeing the east side between Camp Ron McD and Eagles Nest pick up as well as the ledges off the west side. Lots of smaller fish off Pikes and towards Camp Ron McD but a few good respectable fish have also been caught. For trollers they have been mostly hitting trolling flies in brown (various shades of cinnamon), tui chub, orange (burnt and rusty orange), and mustard. Mostly in the upper 10ft of the water column. Brown leech was my best under sunny skies and flat water but olive really kicked in by late morning. Tui Chub fly has been more location specific for me. Red and rust has also gotten attention the west side. I have also gotten fish on various other flies such as olive spruce (yes we troll small flies) and olive wooly buggers. Rapala's getting some attention, mostly for us it's been about silver/black on sunny days and gold on cloudy days. I really prefer double jointed this time of year. Double jointed small and medium Red Dog (Sure Catch), for needlefish; perch, red prism, red-dot frog and firetiger depending on the water and sky conditions. #1's best, #2 second best for us.
Some trout are back to foraging the shoreline, back to the minnows and flipping rocks for nymphs, leeches and other aquatics on the gravel bars and ledges very soon. Firstly, the trout don't care for being beat up by wave action pounding into the shoreline. They will hold further out. They will also hold on the leeward side of a point, waiting for wave action to lift and drive any critters out of the rocks. That's generally where we get them when wading or shorefishing in heavy winds.
If you get a fish, make a circle & see if there is one more before moving on. The only thing I haven’t changed is my running depth which has been 2 to 6 ft deep. Occasionally, depending on the depth of water I have dropped one line to around 8 to 10ft even down to 12ft off the deeper water ledges on the west side, but the majority of my fish are coming from my toplines (similar to Jay Fairs topline which are available from Glenn Fair) and running about 140ft behind the boat. But it is not uncommon to find the trout deeper as well as on top this time of year. I often find them 17 to 24ft deep at the same time I am catching at 2 to 6 ft deep.
These trout will change food sources with locations. The trout get tired of the same old thing too and change back and forth when new food sources become available as with changing locations. The shrimp larva is now stirred up so the trout will have to work for their food and are very good at taking "opportunity" foods. Just get something in front of them & they generally will grab at it.
Attractants certainly can’t hurt. Pro Cure Trophy Trout is my first choice right now. But don’t be afraid to try any other flavor. Next up for me is generally garlic.
SHORE FISHING: NOTE THAT IT IS ILLEGAL TO DRIVE A MOTORIZED VEHICLE INTO THE OSPREY MANAGEMENT AREA AND INTO PELICAN PT AS WELL AS DRIVING ALONG THE SHORELINE SOUTH OF EAGLE'S NEST TO THE SPRINGS AND INTO THE SHORELINE OFF CHRISTIE TO WILDCAT. QUITE A FEW VEHICLES HAVE DRIVEN IN ALONG THE SHORELINE TO BANK FISH. IT'S PRETTY DISGUSTING TO SEE THIS. LNF is the enforcement agency resposible for illegal vehicles. Camera's at some accesses have been used in the past.
Accesses include the Jetty, Pikes Pt, Circus Grounds, Christie Day Use. For the east side, there's a parking area just past Camp Ron McD and a long walk to the gravel bar, Eagle's Nest, the Youth Camp/Biology Station (roads suck). To access any areas of the west side, plan on a walk around 1/2 mile or more. There are old roads that have been closed to vehicles for decades which make for easier walking. Rocky Pt out of Bucks Bay is also an access point as long as the water is open.
For casting feathers (flies and jigs) from shore, black, rust and olive have been my best producers this week. But we can see white, tan, yellow and chartreuse work under some conditons.
For live bait we generally use nightcrawlers or pieces of them (it is illegal to use minnows, including any caught here at the lake). Other worms (sometimes redworms kick butt). Powerbait has earned its place. Colors can change. Rainbow covers several colors but we can see these trout shift to red, yellow and purple. Don't ask me how many jars I have. LoL.
We also often use longer rods, lighter line to get the distance. Just note that the 4lb line doesn't hold up to abrasion from rocks or weeds well, and trout teeth can damage it very easily. Use a lighter drag and re-tie your hook after EVERY fish. Trust me on that for 4 to 6lb lines. Jig fishing has been doing well...mostly on black/red and brown but the normal small jig colors are olive, brown/rust/cinnamon and black. We can see yellow and orange do some damage too, mostly a little later in December. We use the small jigs up here under weighted bobbers. But in a pinch a regular crapy jig can work too. If that is all you have in your tackle box & nothing else is working for you, don't hesitate to tie one on. Quite often we have cast out our second rod with a jig into the waves and let the wave action do the work, just make sure your rod cant get towed out with a fish on it and run, don't walk to set the hook before the fish spits it. Gone are the 30+ fish days of catch and release but decent limits are possible.
FLY FISHING: The fly fishing has had some good days of catching a few to other days of working hard for one. It has mostly been about a matter of timing. Some days the fish just haven't come in close until later in the day. This is one reason I love having my float tube or kayak rather than wading from shore. I can always access the fish. Rusty brown leech and olive nymphs were my best colors along the shoreline this week. Olive wooly buggers (#10 or 12's). Don't hesitate to tie on something small like a prince, hare's ear or pheasant tail nymph. Most of my fish have been eating various small critters and only a couple have had minnows in their bellies. You have to cover some ground to catch a few off Lake of the Woods and Shrimp but we are seeing some action.
I was out tubing this week and did well. Jig fishermen did well too. Wading is going to take getting out beyond the new tule beds in order to get a line out but it is doable. In some areas there's drop offs that can fill your waders up and its no fun to have to hold your elbows up for hours just to keep dry. There are a few pockets of open accessible water off Christie, but mostly just need to get a line out beyond them. We still have a few rock piles and points without tules, but it’s going to have to take some work getting to them. It’s not going to be like years past from Christie to Wildcat or along the Circus Grounds or Lake of the Woods, we have a whole new weed line. But, once we see higher water levels, this habitat will prove beneficial!! I like having my options, that’s why I like my float tube or kayak. I can get in close and shallow but I can also follow the fish out when they go. That's how I get to double digits...follow the fish. I can reach deeper water when I have to.
The new tules off Spalding are very difficult to access through the soft mud along the shoreline. The old tules are still high and dry but we have seen some reseeding and migration of the tules. This will be great in the future. The water is still very brackish above Pelican too. Yes, we have a handful of fish. Float tubers can't launch well through the mud and kayakers have a lot of weedy water to cover. But our future in the coming years is looking up.
All lake elevations are also posted on Lake Conditions page going back to 2010 so it is easy for you to compare. All launch ramp photos are posted in the 2017 ramp album for you to view. All surface temps for areas are also located on Lake Conditions, even though I add a few here.
Thousands of cows grazing along highway 139 thru mid January so we can safely assume some heavy nutrient loading has occurred and they remain there in 2017 so cow poop city coming our way again for 2018. We believe that the heavy nutrients led to our massive blue/green algae problem last season and it won't be going away now. Rotting weeds from recently being covered in water contribute to the nitrate loading too. The north basins were dry for a long time and it will take a little time to get the food supply back.
In spite of seeing a few larger fish in 2016 season, the numbers of fish caught were dramatically decreased. For the first time in my 55 years, the lake was green and massively cloudy all 2016 season. So far 2017 we have seen clearer water up until mid July when the green hue began getting more obvious. Visibility around 2-3ft now as August waned to Sept. By October we began to see some clearer water again and poof, November we were cloudy again. But it's normal to see cloudier water in Nov/Dec.
With reduced trout planting a smaller trout the last few years, the tui chub have expedentially reproduced and have pretty much taken over the lake in 2017. It's going to take a heck of a lot of trout to put a meager dent in the minnow population and the stage two tui chubs are too big and protected by gardian chubs and the trout rarely even target the 5 to 7" chubs. Personally, I think we need to get rid of several million chubs or they will be competing for the food for the trout. A 7 to 10" trout isn't going to eat a 4 to 7" chub. This happened at a lake in Oregon this year. OFW ended up netting several thousand pounds of chubs every day for several weeks just to balance the population as their trophy trout fishery tanked due to too many chubs eating the food up.
We saw a lot fewer trout in the tributaries this spring than in years past. I was more amazed by what I didn’t see than from what I did see. Papoose creek had up to a couple hundred, Merrill Creek just a handful. Both of these tributaries have traditionally had well over a thousand fish in them, even in years with less water we have seen 1700 to over 2000 in them. Pine Creek finally drafted around 1200+ over 6 weeks not all were spawners but DFW had to close the gate and prevent free passage upstream for a while so we haven't really had a native spawn so far for this season. DFW needed every ripe hen they could which was in violation of the conservation plan for free passage for the native spawn so it was manipulated again this year. Then had to resort to electro-shocking in the lake for as many more as they could get. DFW wanted and expected to get 3.1 million eggs and after many weeks of good flow in all the main tributaries had to electroshock in the lake and still only got 1.3 million eggs. Hello? And they don't see a problem? LoL. It took well over a month of flow before any trout had come up Pine Creek and DFW had to work through the first week of May. Pine Creek started flowing in mid Dec and continued to trickle through the winter under the ice. Generally, eggs collected that late in the season aren't generally as viable as earlier eggs. Time will tell but we are seeing a lot fewer fish than we have in years past...absolutely no doubt about that. Many of the fish that did get to go upstream late in the flows, stayed between the A1 bridge and Spalding bridge….then flows receded quickly stranding quite a few in low water and low DO. It is always a waste of resources to prevent the fish from heading upstream the moment they want to go. Holding them back several weeks only leads to a predetermined outcome. Water temps shoot up quickly in slower flows and eggs can’t generally hatch, reduced flow strands not only the spawners but the fry as well. Result is not natural when restricted by humans for their own convenience. One of my major beefs with DFW and the biologists who do what THEY want, not what the fish are telling them. They are wasting resourses and money trying to get the trout to spawn above highway 44 when all the natural spawning that HAS occured from the trout heading upstream from the lake in spring has been below that level.
Don’t complain to the stores or marinas about the fishing and fish, you need to complain to the local department of fish and wildlife biologist in charge of managing this lake. 530 254-6363 Paul Divine. SEE TROUT PLANTINIG AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN OR TAIL TRIMMING. We are about 250,000 trout short from reduced planting in the last 5 years. No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either. God forbid what next year will bring.
We are seeing a lot of trout with several fins removed. We have caught quite a few fish that were missing 3 fins or more and quite a few with split tails. DFW is marking after every time they handle a fish for the spawn or plant it. One fish had no fins, just his tail to manuvery. Sad case. We have caught hundreds of these mutilated fish this year in particular. If it was anglers, there would not be so many and most are all very close to the same size. If it is DFW (see fin trimming note from DFW), I would say they are mostly mutilating these fish now and freeze branding was much better for the fish. If you get a nice one that you may want to have mounted, good luck as it will be somewhat mutilated when it comes to the fins and tails. Not a trophy trout to be proud of, that's certain. This is being done so that in the future, a native (native spawn) fish may be fully finned. In the mean time, the hatchery raised/farmed fish might just swim in circles. LoL. DFW should go back to freeze branding the fish. This was much better for the fish. At least the fish had fins and a full tail.
Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release in the summer months. Tui chub (other than the hatch of the season) have no predators and live over 32years. They stay in the lake regardless. Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the depths of the south basin, leaving little room for much else. The chubs scope differently than the trout do and are pretty easy to determine on your screen. Generally, they stack up and are very thick in zones of the lake that have dissolved oxygen levels too low to support trout. Mostly, any school of fish that the top is at 7ft and the bottom is at 47ft are NOT trout. We caught some chubs 22" long in 2016 and again in late July 2017. Huge monsters for chubs so they are doing very well....maybe too well considering the biomass and fewer trout being planted. With a little more spawning habitat back for the chubs, we had another prolific hatch. I believe their population density is going to bite us in the ass if it hasn’t already. They're over populated, competing with the fewer trout and we don't have the numbers of trout or grebes to control the future population. I have no idea if the ones I am catching survive my release. LoL! I seee this becoming a very bad problem for this lake now. People don't come here to catch trophy tui chubs.
Various zooplanktons have also become very prolific to the point of fowling lines and downriggers...and when thick enough, can plug jet pumps. The biggest change in the fishing occurred in less than one year. From catching and releasing tons (20-40+ per day) of 2-3+ lb fish to being lucky to get one or two was a dramatic shift in Eagle Lake in less than one year. We may have seen some 4+lb fish but their numbers being caught were few and far between…lots of 2 to 3 ½ lbs as usual. Over 50 years of eating these trout, the best quality of meat comes from a 2-3lb trout. Meat of the bigger trout of 4 +lbs is generally grainy, mealy and soft. Everyone wants to catch a big fish, but the quality of the meat is not nearly as good as smaller fish. Consider that. I rarely keep a fish over 4lbs as to me, it is a waste if it doesn't eat as good as a smaller fish...most of us consider them to be "smokers".
Content of this website is copyright protected 2003-2017 by Valerie Aubrey. Any reuse of the content must simply be authorized by asking. Unauthorized use or lack of crediting content will be considered for legal action. We often see our report summarized in other publications with no credit to where the info came from. As a note, I do leave in some spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in and seeing them in other publications is a dead giveaway. LoL! Opinions on this site are not necessarily the opinions of our sponsors or people we work with. Our opinions are based on over 50 years of fishing Eagle Lake and nearly 30 years of living here full time. Through the El Nino's of getting 24ft of snowfall and through several droughts. We have been there and done that. We know that a lot of the local county info on the lake elevation in the past has been doctored due in part to not having an official actually checking lake elevations in the 1990's...1993 200 residents of Spalding witnessed the lake rising nearly 8ft from the local snowfall of 24ft over that winter. Despite our efforts when the lake chart was updated a few years later with incorrect numbers "to make the chart look historically accurate" not actually accurate, it remains inaccurate during those years as there was no water m. Our explanation from BOS was "No one will know when you are all gone". So we don't believe everything that Lassen County says. That is the honest to God truth and there are still many of us old timers around that know that.