The doubt in this year’s trout stocking plans continued through the week-end. The Department of Fish and Game did clear more than 40 creek’s and reservoirs for trout plants in Inyo-Mono, but issued a statement on what amount to delays for trout plants all over the state.
On the DFG website, this statement appeared:
“DFG recently responded to a legal action challenging its hatchery and stocking operations, and completed an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) that considers species and habitats affected by hatchery-raised rainbow trout. One of the conditions of the EIR/EIS is that each water planted throughout California must go through a Pre-Stocking Evaluation Protocol. This evaluation requires DFG to consider each sensitive or listed species in each water relative to the stocking of trout. DFG fisheries staff have made the evaluations a top priority, but until the review is completed and approved by our administration, rainbow trout or channel catfish cannot be stocked.”
The statement does not give a deadline for the review of waters or for trout plants. The DFG website does include a list of waters cleared for trout planting. 14 waterways in Inyo are clear, including Bishop Creek and what appears to be all southern Inyo creeks. 29 waterways are clear in Mono, including Crowley Lake and many creeks.
The Center for Biological Diversity and others sued Fish and Game with allegations that rainbow trout eat the same insects needed by many species of birds.
Dan Lyster, Director of Economic Development for Mono County, had said last week that he would work to hire assistants for Fish and Game to help get the waterways evaluated and cleared for trout plants.
Fish and Game officials say they will update the situation on the Department website at www.dfg.ca.gov.