Alpine County fills waterways with trout
About 800 rainbow trout wriggled from nets into the rivers and creeks of Alpine County Friday for the second time this year.
The county Fish and Game Commission expects to stock Alpine’s lakes, rivers and creeks about 20 more times this season. By October, more than 15,000 pounds of fish will have been released.
“We try and spread them out as best we can so it’s fair for everyone,” commission chairman David Zellmer said Friday morning.
Volunteers dipped nets filled with 10 to 15 trout into about 40 spots along the Carson River and into Markleeville, Hot Springs and Silver creeks and Caples and Alpine lakes. The largest fish was 4 pounds, said David McFarland, owner of American Trout & Salmon, which provided the stock.
The first fish plant was three weeks ago at Indian Creek Reservoir. Some of those trout topped out at 9 pounds, McFarland said. As fishing season progresses, the trout planted in county waters will increase in size in tanks in Susanville.
“Fish that are 6 pounds now by July or August will be 8 pounds,” Zellmer said.
The commission started its planting on Friday along Highway 88 between Woodfords and Picketts Junction from a truck with two tanks containing 500 pounds of trout each.
Once the fish are in, they don’t move much. Studies done by the commission indicate the trout stay within a half-mile of where they are dumped.
Nearly all the fish are paid for by the South Tahoe Public Utility District. In the late 1960s, the district struck a deal with a county that allows the district to store treated wastewater in the county. In exchange, the county gets money from the district to buy 15,000 pounds of fish each year. Today, a pound of rainbow trout costs about $2.