Winter die off at Big Springs

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The Nevada Division of Wildlife has put out a press advisory that Big Springs Reservoir in Northern Humboldt County has experienced a serious winter die off.

Low water levels from last Fall, combined with a thick ice cover over the winter of 2001-2002 caused a significant die off of fish beneath the ice.

Evidence of the die off was first detected in Mid-April.

"We haven't lost all of the fish in the reservoir but we do have a significant reduction in numbers." said NDOW fisheries biologist Jim French. "It is a very productive reservoir with high growth rates for the fish. People expect to catch 16-24 inch fish and in most years, we have those kind of quality fish to offer them. Unfortunately, the winter die off has taken most of the big fish out of the system and that is why we are trying to get the word out to anglers that there were some significant overwinter problems at Big Springs."

French cautioned, "Restocking has already taken place but the new fish will not be the trophies that anglers are used to catching from this very productive reservoir. The planters will grow quickly at a rate of about one inch per month, making the recovery of the fishery a fairly quick proposition."

Big Springs Reservoir is located in Northern Humboldt County within the boundaries of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, about 120 miles north of Winnemucca via Nevada S.R. 140. It opened to fishing on May 11 for the 2002 season.

On April 24, 1,500 rainbow trout (9.5 inches) were stocked and another 2,500 trout are scheduled to be stocked in the reservoir in June.

For information, call Chris Healy at the Nevada Division of Wildlife at 688-1554.


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