Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Respect Needed for Lake Davis Rainbows
As another spring approaches on the shores of Lake Davis, rainbow trout do what comes naturally; they seek out feeder creeks with fine gravel to spawn. There are many snow creeks that come into the lake and all but Grizzly creek will dry up before the fry can get back into the lake. It is estimated that only 2 percent ever will.
For years anglers have fished at these inlets of water that pour into the lake where fish gang up and stage before making their journey upstream. In my youth I did it myself. But there comes a time when an angler has a soft spot for these fish, after all they just want to produce offspring and go on their way into the fertile weed beds and graze. How sporting is it to fish for them at these times? I guess if you have a big ego and want numbers then you can overlook it all and say “Well, I’m just fishing” as many do.
There is no law that says you can’t practice this. Lake Davis has a limit of 5 fish, and 10 in possession; it is after all a put-and-take fishery. An angler can have just as much fun and success fishing on the points that are near the feeder creeks without the guilt of being greedy. People want it the easy way, the way our society has programmed us with fast food and other services that can make a person lazy and not think outside the box.
Even more disturbing is some people will take these fish without even using a fishing pole in their hands; they use a net as they scoop them up out of the creeks and fill up the garbage bag heading for home. This practice is illegal; it’s called poaching! Only once have I seen these culprits arrested but what a fine show it was by the California Department of Fish and Game. In this case a warden was in the middle of the lake using binoculars and spying on the guilty party as they netted these vulnerable fish in the skinny water of a creek. Equipment was confiscated and tickets written. There is decent cell phone coverage at the lake and I urge all anglers if they see this type of activity to walk away and say nothing to these law-breaking people and call the California Department of Fish and Game’s CAL-TIP at 1-888-334-2258. As many of you are aware the Department is under-staffed with wardens and many of them have a huge area to patrol. They can’t be everywhere at once and this is where concerned anglers come into play by helping out.
In my opinion the regulations should be changed to protect these fish so that all anglers have a fair chance at them. Closing the lake from March 1st to May 15th could be a viable solution. This way ice fisherman could still be able to fish through the winter months, and the fish would get a much needed break between the dates mentioned. Another possibility is to close off the creeks with structures that would not allow upstream migration; sounds simple right? All this takes time and money, and with state budget cuts the fish lose and the poachers win. Responsible anglers will hold the future of our state’s waters. I hope you can be one of those anglers and think of the fishery first so that other anglers can enjoy the rewards of catching the big one at Lake Davis.