According to a recent press release by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG, a number of its employees and volunteers working at Caples Lake rescued thousands of fish over a 72-hour period. More than 6,000 fish have been successfully transferred to two nearby lakes.
Stafford Lehr, DFG senior environmental scientist in charge of the operation said, "We adapted our fishing techniques, once we found electrofishing was the most effective method. We brought in four additional electrofishing boats for the last two nights of fishing. We cut back on our net fishing."
Rainbow, brown and brook trout made up the majority of the fish. Some very large Mackinaw or lake trout - to 15 pounds - were taken. Nearly 2,000 brook trout were transferred to Red Lake, while the remainder of the trout were released in Silver Lake.
Volunteers organized by Trout Unlimited and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance worked alongside DFG fisheries biologists, netting fish throughout the night.
The rescue effort extended over four days, covering a 72-hour period. Night fishing with electrofishing boats was the most productive method. Net fishing yielded minimal results and was mainly curtailed. Thursday, Aug. 28 was the last night of the effort.
Dam repairs at Caples Lake required a draw-down of water which could result in substantial loss of rainbow, brown, brook and Mackinaw trout.
Rescue efforts began on Aug. 26.
For information, call DFG Office of Communication, Education & Outreach in Sacramento at (916) 322-8911.