Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3816 Jul 19- Aug 2 2019 - Page 17

To Doyle, Milford & Highway 395 Frenchman Lake Facts Plumas County Drawn by Dewayne Hight reek t C ou ook Snallygaster Point Fishing Access Turkey Point Fishing Access To Lake Davis Nightcrawler Bay Fishing Access East Fork of the Middle Fork of The Feather River Salmon Egg Shoal Fishing Access L Chilcoot To Quincy, Portola & Oroville To Reno 28 Miles To Sierraville & 49/89 Junction Crystal Fishing Access To B Lunker Point Boat Launch ec kw ou rth Frenc hman -25 Lake mi Creek Big Cove Campground les Cottonwood Springs Family and Group Campground RV Dump Station Spring Creek Campground Dam Frenchman Campground Fishing Notes • Rainbow Trout - Fish bait and spoons from the bank at accesses, including Nightcrawler Bay, Snallygaster Point, Salmon Egg Shoal and the dam. Troll with minnow imitation lures during the spring, summer and fall. Ice fish with spoons and bait during the winter. German brown Trout are occasionally caught by anglers in pursuit of rainbows. Cal Kellogg nets yet another feisty rainbow while trolling in his kayak at Frenchman Lake. Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff. was electrofished a total of 3.97 hours in 2016. “ “Frenchman Lake was sampled by boat electrofisher with a total of two sampling events in 2016. Surface water temperature was 54°F during the first sampling event in April and an average of 69.2°F during the second sampling event in July. A total of 3.97 hours of electrofishing occurred during these sampling events, resulting in the capture of a total of 230 fish, of which 137 were measured. The effort resulted in a CPUE of 57.93 fish per hour,” she said. The survey caught 73 rainbow trout, 31.7 percent of the catch, 153 Lahontan redside, 66.5 percent of the capture, and 4 brown bullhead, 1.7 percent of the capture.” “Boat electrofishing surveys indicate that Lahontan redsides are the predom- inate species at Frenchman Lake,” she said. “However, this result is not repre- sentative of the entire lake since electro- fishing boats are better suited for sampling the littoral zone where warmwater species Frenchman Lake Recreation Area Last Chance Creek Location and history: Located in the headwaters of the Feather River, Frenchman Lake is only 38 miles northwest of Reno, NV, and 26 miles northeast of Portola, CA. The Cali- fornia Department of Water resources created the lake in 1962 by damming Little Last Chance Creek. A shoreline 21 miles long ends at the 129-foot tall earthen dam, which rises to an elevation of 5,607 feet. Overview: Frenchman Campground (5,700 feet) sites along the shores of its namesake lake, which boasts 21 miles of shoreline. The campground is situated at the southeastern peninsula of the lake. Situated on a pine covered hillside overlooking the lake, this is the place for campers to get in tune with their surroundings. The lake is at the interface between the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and high desert. Frenchman Lake and the surrounding Plumas National Forest together provide ample opportunity for recreation, relaxation and adventure. Facilities: The campground offers single-family campsites for tent and RV camping. Twelve of the campgrounds 38 campsites can be reserved during peak camping season. All other campsites may be taken on a ‘First Come’ basis. The campground remains open throughout the years. However, most winters include enough snow to keep the road closed. Each site is equipped with tables and campfire rings with grills. Vault toilets and drinking water are also provided. Natural Features: As part of California’s Plumas National Forest, the campground is located in northern California, between the rugged Sierra Nevada and the fringes of the Cascade ranges. The forest is home to hundreds of high alpine lakes and thousands of miles of clear-running streams. Pine trees provide moderate to good shade in most sites. A variety of wildlife make its home in the area Recreation: During peak camping season, the campground offers a variety of outdoor experiences including hiking, biking, picnicking and hunting. The nearby lake provides ample opportunities for swimming, boating, waterskiing, jet skiing and fishing. Frenchman Lake Boat Launching Facility and a day use area are near the campground. Winter activities range from ice fishing to snowmobiling. Information Center: Beckwourth Ranger District Office P.O. Box 7, 23 Mohawk Rd., Blairsden, CA 96103 Open 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (530) 836-2575 15 July 19 - Aug 2, 2019 MAP FEATURE VOL.38 • ISS. 14 and species such as Lahontan redsides (“a shoaling littoral zone species” (Moyle 2002)) are generally more prevalent. That’s not the only survey done at Frenchman. A recreational use survey conducted by DWR revealed that the angler catch rate was 0.31 fish per hour in 2010. Since 1988, catch rates have fluctuated between a high of 0.40 fish per hour in 1992 to a low of 0.17 fish per hour in 2000. The average length of rainbow trout caught in Frenchman Lake has progres- sively increased from 299 mm mean fork length in 1988 to 376 mm mean FL in 2010, according to their creel data. However, the CDFW electrofished rainbow trout measurements decreased from 370 mm mean total length (TL) in 2008 to 341 mm mean TL in 2016. Frenchman Lake was also surveyed in early June and late July during the 2008 sampling and in late April and late July during the 2016 sampling. The July sampling periods provided some consis- Lit tle La st Restricted Area Boundary Fishing Access Ch Launch Ramp Campground an ce Private Ownership (No Trespassing) Cr ee k To Chilcoot & Highway 70 tency for the two sampling years, in regard to time of year. “The overall CPUE was greater in 2016 (3.97 hours of electrofishing at 57.93 fish per hour) than the previous sampling effort in 2008 (9.4 hours of electrofishing at 46.5 fish per hour). The most notice- able fish capture result was the decrease in brown bullhead. CPUE from 39.3 fish per hour in 2008 to 1.01 fish per hour in 2016,” she said. She also stated, “It is possible that the result is a natural population swing, an impact from the past couple years of drought conditions, or the result of variances in electrofishing conditions. There were also significant CPUE increases of rainbow trout and Lahontan redsides from 2008 to 2016. This may have been a result of the different times of the year when sampling occurred. More fish were congregated in the shallow water due to cooler temperatures in April as well as the general breeding season.” Chilcoot Campground “Monitoring will be continued in subse- quent years. A repeat springtime sampling may prove to find more consistency in the capture results across the years. Angling surveys, creel surveys, angler survey boxes, or gill netting may help to obtain more information on the salmonid populations inhabiting the lake. A coop- erative effort with DWR during future Recreational Use Surveys may prove beneficial in collecting valuable creel data. These sampling timeframes and methods will be applied to future evaluations of the Frenchman Lake fishery.,” Mouser concluded. Unlike nearby Davis Lake, most trout caught at Frenchman by anglers range from 12 to 18 inches, with fish measuring 18 to 22 inches topping the catches most years. But as many anglers, including Cal Kellogg and I, can attest, these fish are among the hardest-fighting and most acrobatic rainbows that one may ever hook in Northern California. Not only is Frenchman a great rainbow trout fishery, but it features beautiful Northern Sierra Scenery. Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff.