The Fish Sniffer - Cutthroats Spawn Naturally in Truckee River
Cutthroats Spawn Naturally in Truckee River

Written By: Mike McNeilly, June 23, 2014
Species: Trout
Location: Pyramid Lake,

Although the fishing front is relatively quiet at Pyramid Lake, there is some huge news that may bode very well for the fishery and its native fish. For the first time in 76 years, Lahontan Cutthroat have successfully spawned in the Truckee River.  

According to the USFWS, at least 89 cutthroat trout have dug spawning redds in Truckee River below Marble Bluff Dam. What’s even more amazing is that the lowermost section of the Truckee River where these fish are spawning is subpar spawning habitat at best. Low flows from a dismal Sierra snowpack also should have thwarted the efforts of these fish to spawn, but nature is finding a way.  

Not only are the fish digging redds in silted in sections of the lower river, but they have been successful in their attempts to breed. USFWS has trapped a handful of freshly hatched fry and confirmed through genetic testing that these are indeed the progeny of the newly reintroduced Pilot Peak race of cutthroat. This is some very exciting news!  

Fishing interest is typically minimal in June at Pyramid Lake. However, good scores of typically smaller to medium sized cutthroat trout can be had by trolling the east shore of the lake at locations like Anderson Bay, Red Bay, and Hell’s Kitchen. Although smaller fish will dominate the catches, anytime you have a line in the water at Pyramid there is a shot at a 20 lb plus trout.

The Hell’s Kitchen area is also a good area to look for Sacramento perch. Sacramento perch typically have a very short season of vulnerability to anglers. In warm dry years like this one, they may begin congregating to spawn by mid June, and the spawn will last for about a month.  

After the spawn, they will quickly pull a Houdini like disappearing act. There is no more elusive fish than a Sacramento perch. They are almost completely absent from the creel for 11 months of the year. Drop shotting curly tail grubs around rocky structure is a good bet for perch.

Remember, trout season ends after June 30th, and at that point all trout must be immediately released.  

 

 

 

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