The Current Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 46

More water equals more fish

For a period in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Pit 3 had hardly any water in it at all. The water was diverted around Pit 3 and released back into the river further down for power. It was CalTrout that got involved in the FERC relicensing process and helped advocate for fish flows in the early 80’s. Once water started flowing in the Pit 3 reach anglers started to see almost immediate results. Over the next few decades the reach blossomed into an incredible fishery and started to gain attention from fly-fisherman statewide. CalTrout once again entered the next round of FERC relicensing in 2011 and advocated for better fish flows in the Pit 3, 4 and 5 reaches.

In the end a compromise was struck between recreational boating interest and anglers. The result was base flows were bumped up from around 250 cfs summer flows to an average of 350 cfs. Some anglers complained that it makes the wading even more challenging but my opinion is how can any trout angler or true naturalist complain about having more water in a trout stream.

More water equals more fish and that certainly has been the case. It goes back to what I mentioned above, that you have to cover less water to have shots at the same amount of fish now. And if you can cover more water, you will encounter that many more fish.

Also the higher flows have opened up the option of floating the Pit 3 reach and parts of the Pit 5 reach and even Pit 5 in small water craft such as a ducky or small raft. I would only recommend this option for experienced white water boaters. Especially Pit 4 and 5. Both can get a little rowdy on the whiter water.

(continued on page 61)