During a Drought…Save a Trout!
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking recreational anglers to voluntarily change how, when and where they fish to minimize stress and mortality among fish populations suffering due to drought conditions.
CDFW is advising anglers to fish before noon on certain inland waters home to trout and other coldwater fish species. This self-imposed action is known as a “Hoot Owl Restriction,” referring to limiting fishing to hours when the hoot of owls can be heard.
CDFW’s new “Water Watchlist,” which lists specific waters anglers should avoid fishing past noon, will be updated as conditions change. Sustained afternoon water temperatures on a waterway exceeding 67 degrees Fahrenheit for trout fisheries could trigger addition to the list.
Anglers can help decrease fish stress by using fish’friendly techniques such as handling fish as little as possible, avoid fighting fish from cool deeps where they cross temperature gradients of 10 degrees or more and using coated nylon nets to protect a fish’s slime layers and fins. More angling tips can be found on CDFW’s Hoot Owl webpage.