SMUD and CDFW stock trout in El Dorado County reservoirs
For the third consecutive summer, SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), are stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The stocking will run through August with at least 25,000 pounds of fish stocked into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. The amount of fish stocked can number as high as 50,000 pounds in a given year, depending on matched stocking by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The effort is intended to increase angling opportunities for the public and contribute to the well-being of the ecosystem. Fishing is the top reason folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area, according to surveys. On average, the stocked trout will be one to two pounds each, and in a few years could be potential trophy fish. Environmentally, the fish stocking will increase prey opportunities for nesting eagles, osprey and other wildlife.
SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.
In 2014, SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.
Union Valley gets the largest number of fish as it’s the largest of the three reservoirs. Ice House and Loon Lake will get lesser amounts. Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek is contracted to deliver and stock additional fish. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts a very popular trout derby.
Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.