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Whiskeytown Fish Habitat Project

By Gary Heffley
03/03/16 -- In an effort to enhance the fishery at Whiskeytown Lake outside of Redding the CDFW along with other outside agencies and volunteers have been taking advantage of the seasonally low water period at the lake to place fish habitat along many shoreline locations.

These anchored manzanita clumps are engineered to provide cover for first year fry from predators but also serves as an attractive holding area for larger fish. Bass in particular are drawn to cover. While most of these structures are high and dry at the moment, they will be well under water in May as the lake is filled and maintained at a full level through the spring, summer and fall.

Manzanita clumps at Whiskeytown lake, for fish habitat, by Monty Currier, CDFW
Manzanita bunches prepared for fish habitat. Photos courtesy of Monty Currier, CDFW

Whiskeytown is part of the Central Valley Project and water from the lake is released into Clear Creek. The waters join the Sacramento River which is used to deliver water to agricultural and urban demands in the central and south state. As part of the project Whiskeytown Lake enjoys very consistent water levels and has not been subjected to much of the major draw downs suffered at other reservoirs in the state as a result of the drought.

Anglers will reap the benefits of this habitat enhancement as 150 structures were placed into the lake with the just completed project. The goal is an establishment of 700 structures around the lake, with many already completed and providing cover.

fish swimming in Whiskeytown lake, by Monty Currier, CDFW
Whiskeytown Lake fish habitat

As with any state or federal project, there is a great effort by cooperating agencies and volunteers involved. Monty Currier of the CDFW in Redding noted that Dave Leitaker and Rusty Freeny of the CDFW Red Bluff Habitat staff, as well as CDFW personnel from the Inland Fisheries and Yreka Habitat Staff, were instrumental in the project. As was the cooperation and efforts of Russ Weatherbee and Jim Milestone of the Whiskeytown Recreation Area staff. Monty also noted the volunteer efforts of Matt O' Neil and Patrick Howser as key to the completion of the project.

Remember Whiskeytown Lake and Recreation Area is managed by the United States National Park system and that beside a valid California Fishing License, a daily or annual permit is needed to access or fish the area. These permits are available at numerous locations at the lake, most notably at the Visitor's Center located at the east end of the lake just off Hwy 299 on JFK Parkway.

Many of these types of CDFW projects go unheralded, but bringing projects like this to light does show that some of our monies are being utilized to enhance not only the fisheries but the public's angling experience.


Fishing Reports

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11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
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german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story

 

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