Looks like Tropical Storm Charlie saved the day for the trout. Canyon Lake filled up and the flows were up. Prior to the storm, TP&W thermometers were reporting spikes to 80 degrees at the second crossing, though temperatures upstream to the dam were within range for the trout to survive. I have been getting reports of some folks catching trout through the summer months, so it looks like this season will be off to a good start.

If all goes as planned, we will be getting 3,000 to 6,000 pounds of mature brown trout this year. Hopefully, these fish will be in the 15–17 inch range, but browns tend to grow a lot slower in a hatchery than rainbows do, and these browns were hatched out last November. No word on their size as of this writing.

We will be stocking egg-laden female rainbows again this year to help boost the natural reproduction that has been documented to occur in the river. Again this year, all the rainbows will be coming out of Missouri. The browns will be from Colorado, with our Missouri hatchery setting up to have browns for us next season.

I did get a few reports of browns being caught last season before we stocked browns and also some large ones that were caught by landowners on the river. If you catch any browns this season, please contact me so I can log this information for TP&W.

Thanks to almost all of you for being responsible and respecting our lessors’ property. We only had some minor infractions on the leases this year. To those of you that don't fit in the above category:

We were lucky that we didn't lose any leases this year because of the above behavior. Next year we might not be so lucky. If you do it, I hear about it.

As far as the stocking schedule goes, I had some questions and comments from people about last season and why it was done as it was. I will explain to all:

  1. What we are trying to do is get as many fish in the water as early as we can afford to as opposed to spreading the stockings out over the entire season. This gives our members a longer period during our lease season to catch more fish.
  2. The amount of fish that go into a particular lease area is based on the amount of parking and member usage, i.e., a lease that has a three-car limit will not get as many fish as a lease that has unlimited parking. Got it?
  3. Lastly, with the stockings so close together and our now having over 15 lease sites, it made more sense to stock half the sites one week and half the sites the next.

Why it made more sense was (a) it cuts down on the amount of time stocking by 50 percent (the faster we get those fish in the water, the better their chances) and (b) it allows the good volunteers from way out of town a chance to fish the half of the leases that weren't stocked that day.

As always, I will gladly receive any comments or ideas that anybody has.

Good Fishing,

Scott Graham
VP Fisheries

Return to October 1998 Newsletter