For Immediate Release: May 26, 2020

SMUD's sixth year stocking El Dorado County reservoirs with thousands of trout

This is the sixth summer of fish planting in the Crystal Basin Recreational Area 

As summer starts and folks get anxious to get out and enjoy the outdoors, SMUD is again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting starts in June and runs into August. SMUD will stock 25,000 pounds of fish at Union Valley, Loon Lake and Ice House reservoirs in El Dorado County.

Surveys say fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreational Area and the trout plants enhance angling opportunities for the public. On average, the fish weigh almost two pounds, including some trophy fish.  

SMUD has scheduled six separate trout plantings. The largest of the three reservoirs, Union Valley, will get 9,400 pounds; Loon Lake, 8,100 pounds; and Ice House, 7,500 pounds. Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek will deliver the fish. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts a very popular trout derby.

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities. “Many SMUD employees work and live in El Dorado County and support the local businesses and the tax base,” said SMUD Chief Energy Delivery Officer Frankie McDermott. “Though El Dorado County is outside our service territory, we consider it a very important part of the SMUD community.”

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. The resource provides about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average water year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

Fishing licenses issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at

For more information about UARP and associated projects, please visit the Community and Recreational Areas web pages.