The Department of Fish and Game stocked Bass Lake with 7,500 catchable Eagle Lake strain of rainbow trout (half to three quarters pound) Nov. 16 and additional plantings are scheduled before the end of December.
According to Dr. Andy Gordus, staff toxicologist with the Fresno office of Fish and Game, the stocking was to supplement "lost fishing opportunities" during the Bass Lake dam retofit project by Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
Last winter and spring DFG was unable to continue their normal trout stocking schedule at Bass Lake due to low water levels due to PG&E's $60 million construction project of retrofiting the dam to state and federal standards to withstand earthquakes.
The low water levels prevented Fish & Game planting trucks to reach the waters edge to release the fish.
Fish & Game carried-over Bass Lake's trout allotment from last year, scheduling additional plants this fall and winter to boost the trout fishing opportunities at the lake.
An additional 4,000 pounds of rainbow trout will be placed in Bass Lake by his department by the end of December. In addition to the Fish & Game plants, PG&E will purchase and stock 750 pounds of trophy (3-5 pounds) Rainbow Trout and 1,500 pounds of catchable trout in the lake before the end of the year.
According to Gordus, DFG worked closely with PG&E to monitor the water quality in Bass Lake throughout the construction project to ensure that the fisheries were not impacted. The water results indicated that fish, particularly kokanee salmon, retreated to deeper, cooler portions of the lake which lead to a decrease in fishing opportunities this past summer.
A planting of 50,000 kokanee salmon fingerlings is scheduled for mid-May as part of a two-year planting program PG&E agreed to.