SCE Restocks Mammoth Pool Reservoir With Rainbow Trout

This is the second year the utility is bringing in new trout to the lake, a popular destination for Sierra fishermen.
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Stories : Environment
Stories : Environment

SCE Restocks Mammoth Pool Reservoir With Rainbow Trout

This is the second year the utility is bringing in new trout to the lake, a popular destination for Sierra fishermen.
Photo Credit: Julianne Stewart and James Snyder

James Snyder remembers his first trip to Mammoth Pool Reservoir about 30 years ago when his father’s buddy introduced him to fishing at the popular lake in the Sierra east of Fresno.

“I like it because it’s out of the way,” he said. “There is usually less people and better fishing.”

Over the years, it’s become a family affair with Snyder now taking his 10-year-old son Jamie and 5-year-old daughter Janie up to the lake to enjoy the fishing. Their first trip is usually on Fourth of July.

“My kids are avid fishermen,” he said. “We fish just about every week.”

Jamie Snyder had a good day fishing at Mammoth Pool Reservoir last year.
Jamie Snyder had a good day fishing at Mammoth Pool Reservoir last year.

So Snyder welcomed news that Southern California Edison is restocking Mammoth Pool Reservoir this month with 10,000 pounds of rainbow trout.

“We like the brownies — that’s what we go for,” Snyder said, referring to the brown trout in the lake. But he said they like the rainbow trout, too.

“Last year, I think we got two,” Snyder said. “My son got a bigger one — 3½ to 4½ pounds.”

It is the second year in a row the utility has restocked the lake, which is part of SCE’s Big Creek hydroelectric system.

In 2017, SCE had to draw down the reservoir to install gauges on the lake’s shore. After the project, SCE and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife discussed ways to address the loss of adult fish that likely resulted from the drawdown. SCE agreed with the department’s recommendation to stock 10,000 pounds of catchable-size trout in the reservoir in 2018 and 2019.

Rainbow trout are released through a plastic tube into SCE's Mammoth Pool Reservoir.
Rainbow trout are released through a plastic tube into SCE's Mammoth Pool Reservoir.

The native rainbow trout come from Mt. Lassen Trout in northern California. This year the trout are being trucked the nearly 400 miles down to Mammoth Pool in two trips — 4,000 pounds this week and 6,000 pounds after Memorial Day — in advance of the June 15 opening date for fishing at the reservoir. The U.S. Forest Service delays the opening until after the local deer finish swimming across the lake in their annual migration.

In addition to stocking the trout at Mammoth Pool, SCE is helping the Forest Service rehabilitate the campgrounds in the area, which suffered damage during the snowy winter of 2017. The campgrounds lost a lot of trees, which SCE plans to replace with seedlings from its nursery in nearby Auberry. Over the next few years, SCE is also making other improvements to the facilities.

“Restocking the lake with trout and rehabbing the campgrounds is part of SCE’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Wayne Allen, an SCE principal manager who oversees the team handling the trout restocking. “It’s always gratifying to hear from people like the Snyders about how much our work means for them and their families so they can enjoy fishing, camping and the other recreational opportunities there.”

Rainbow trout being released into SCE's Mammoth Pool Reservoir.
Rainbow trout being released into SCE's Mammoth Pool Reservoir.