Fish and Game staff, along with a number of volunteers, counted fish at Hot Creek recently. People with backpack-mounted electro-fishers waded out into the creek and stunned the fish.
Fish and Game Biologist Roger Bloom explained that the idea of the project was to check the status of the fish population in Hot Creek as well as to figure out how many fish are in the creek.
Bloom said that there are about 15-17,000 fish per mile on Hot Creek. Of the 575 fish pulled out so far, some of which were quite large, about five have died in the process. The crews have found rainbows, browns, Owens Valley Suckers, and tui chub in the survey.
Bloom says that its important to see how many fish are in the creek. In case something happens, the department has a thumb on the pulse of the creek. The idea is to gauge a problem when it occurs, whether its over harvest or the hotter temperatures in the creek, Bloom explained.
Volunteers were crucial to this effort. Kevin Peterson with the Mono County Fisheries Commission explained that fishing is an important part of the local economy that people depend on. He says that he would like to see more people involved. If people work together we can make a big difference on whether these fisheries flourish or not.
With fish of all sizes, including some lunkers, there are other reasons to volunteer besides economic reasons, Kevin Peterson says that counting the fish is educational and a lot of fun.