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Thread: Lahontan Cutties can go from Pyramid to Lake Tahoe

  1. #1
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    Default Lahontan Cutties can go from Pyramid to Lake Tahoe

    Wonder: 1) how long it will take the fish to start spawning in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe; 2) what impact these lunkers will have on the Truckee River fish and fishing in the Truckee. Cool thought of hooking one in the Truckee.

    AP ARTICLE:

    SCOTT SONNER
    Sun, October 4, 2020, 8:48 AM PDT

    WADSWORTH, Nev. (AP) — U.S. and tribal officials are celebrating completion of a $34 million fish bypass system at a Nevada dam that will allow a threatened trout species to return to some of its native spawning grounds for the first time in more than a century.

    Construction of the side channel with fish-friendly screens is a major step toward someday enabling Lahontan cutthroat trout to make the same 100-mile (160-kilometer) journey — upstream from a desert lake on tribal land northeast of Reno to Lake Tahoe atop the Sierra — that they did before the dam was built in 1905.

    “This is a great day for conservation,” said Paul Souza, the regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who said it wouldn't have been possible without support from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

    "This is an iconic species. This project is going to help get it home,” he said at a ceremony Wednesday at Derby Dam on the Truckee River 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Reno.

    The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began reconfiguring the dam just a year ago in partnership with the USFWS, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Farmers Conservation Alliance, a nonprofit group that developed the screens.

    Brenda Burman, head of the bureau, said the quick work combined the alliance's innovative technology with the service’s biological experience and the bureau’s engineering and construction expertise.

    “And in the background, pushing and making sure this all happened, we had the relentlessness of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to recover the fish that they hold sacred,” she said.

    The largest trout in North America, Lahontan cutthroats grew as big as 60 pounds (27 kilograms) when they climbed 2,500 feet (762 meters) through mountain river canyons to Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada line, elevation 6,228 feet (1,898 meters).

    In recent years, they've made their way several miles upstream from Pyramid Lake but haven't been able to get past the 30-foot-high (9 meters) dam.

    Commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt, the dam was part of the first major irrigation system established in the West to “help make the desert bloom,” diverting water to farmers and ranchers in a region where only about 5 inches (12 centimeters) of rain falls annually.

    The new bypass houses an 80-foot-wide (24 meters), 390-foot-long (118 meters) horizontal fish screen — actually a metal plate with slots that pushes water down through the water system while sending the fish and other debris through the side channel.

    The Farmers Irrigation District of Hood River, Oregon, first developed the design after severe flooding in 1996. The district licensed the patent to the alliance, which since has completed 50 projects in seven Western states.

    This one is the largest and the first commissioned by the Bureau of Reclamation.

    “It is really amazing to think a year ago we stood here not knowing about pandemics, fires, all the challenges that would come up ahead of us. And yet we are all here today seeing these screens turn on,” said Julie O’Shea, the alliance’s executive director.

    “It provides a spark of hope for future generations about what the possibilities are for restoration and recovery of a species.”

    Tribal leaders and state and federal wildlife officials have been working for two decades to restore the fishery in Pyramid Lake — a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan, an inland sea that covered 8,450 square miles (21,885 square kilometers) of western Nevada during the Ice Age.

    The trout was thought to have gone extinct in the 1940s and was listed as threatened in 1970. But a remnant population later was discovered in a small brook along the Nevada-Utah border.

    Cutthroat trout also are native to parts of Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

    Tribal Chairman Anthony Sampson said the project is “safeguarding a precious resource of the tribe.”

    “We have to be vigilant to protect and restore what God created for us,” Sampson said. “Everything we do has an impact on life — not just plant life, not just animal life, but all lives.”
    Last edited by JayDubP; 10-04-2020 at 11:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Over 100 years ago I heard that Lake Tahoe had huge Cutthroat trout that they fished commercially and shipped to San Francisco.

    They put Lake Trout/Mackinaw in Lake Tahoe plus Kokanee.


    Now they found the original strain of Cutthroat that reached 60 pounds that I call the 'new old fish'......


    https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsre...RecordID=72744

    https://mynews4.com/weather/sky-visi...e-at-derby-dam
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
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    Contact me for any reason........
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  3. #3
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    That is great news that this is getting done! Very cool.

  4. #4
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    Good news indeed. The discovery of the pilot peak strain and the return of it to it's native Pyramid Watershed has been nothing short of a massive success and this effort just moves it along. Nothing like the right fish in the right place. However this report does not mention that similar lahontan cutthroat are in the Walker Drainage as well.

  5. #5
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    If you ever have a chance to stop and have breakfast or lunch at the Wagon Wheel Cafe in Truckee they have some great pictures on their wall of harvesting these giant trout for shipment to San Francisco. The mode of take was with pitchforks and train cars and an ice storage shed near Hirschdale.
    Tony
    TONY BUZOLICH
    Feather River Fly
    Yuba City, CA.
    (530) 790-7180

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Buzolich View Post
    If you ever have a chance to stop and have breakfast or lunch at the Wagon Wheel Cafe in Truckee they have some great pictures on their wall of harvesting these giant trout for shipment to San Francisco. The mode of take was with pitchforks and train cars and an ice storage shed near Hirschdale.
    Tony
    Every time I’m in truckee I make it a point to have breakfast at the wagon wheel. Love that place.

  7. #7
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    Not to totally be the wet blanket here, but the Klamath thread got me noodling on the Truckee again... Oh well, here it is, how do fish pass Fleish and Mystic dams? Is there available passage? Can they push up and over?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sv View Post
    Not to totally be the wet blanket here, but the Klamath thread got me noodling on the Truckee again... Oh well, here it is, how do fish pass Fleish and Mystic dams? Is there available passage? Can they push up and over?

    Fish can swim over all the diversion dams on the Truckee ( 9 of them?)--- plus since 2017 there has been an ongoing project to build rock weirs on top of the dams to allow fish to swim over/through easier. Think all the dams will be modified within next 2 years.

    Link to article on the project:

    https://www.fws.gov/cno/newsroom/fea...t/sidebar.html

    Jim

  9. #9
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    Thanks for informing me!

  10. #10
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    In my younger years and later with my grandson we fished the Truckee near Squaw Creek and hooked lots of planter size rainbows. Several times we'd have a big ? (trout) come up and take one right off our line as we were reeling it in. Maybe a big brown or one of those bigger rainbows they had at Fanny Bridge moved downstream?

    Lots of good old memories,
    Tony
    TONY BUZOLICH
    Feather River Fly
    Yuba City, CA.
    (530) 790-7180

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