Youth fishing day to feature trophy-sized fish

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
This is an example of the quality of rainbow trout the Mt. Shasta Rotary hopes will be pulled from Lake Siskiyou after raising them in pens over the winter.

A first-ever Youth Fishing Day at Lake Siskiyou on Saturday, May 25, will be highlighted by loaner rods, free bait, two trout plants by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the release of trophy-size fish from the Mt. Shasta Rotary trout pens.

The goal is to inspire increased outdoor participation with parents and their children, said Monty Currier, an environmental scientist with a specialty in fisheries for the DFW.

The Mt. Shasta Rotary Club and the California DFW will co-sponsor the event, with support from several foundations, organizations and philanthropists. The Siskiyou Flyfishers will host a booth to showcase proper fish handling.

Rotary’s release of large trout raised over winter at its new trout pens will give anglers, including parents and their children, the chance to catch a fish of a lifetime, said Tom Stienstra, the project manager for Mt. Shasta Rotary. The fish will average roughly three pounds, with some ranging to five pounds.

At the Siskiyou Marina, Rotary designed, paid for and constructed the pens, DFW provided oversight and the fish, and Kokanee Power supplied the food. The fish are fed by automated, battery-powered solar-charged feeders, which volunteers monitor and maintain. The trout, by living in large pens at the lake, have become acclimated to their habitat.

When released, they quickly become naturalized and take on the characteristics and appearance of wild fish, yet they are triploids; that is, they cannot breed with native or wild fish.

In December, a bucket brigade with 30 volunteers, including County Supervisor Michael Kobseff, hand carried 1,000 trout in five gallon buckets from the DFW tanker truck to the pens. Mortality has been less than 1 percent.

Registration for the event will start at 8:45 a.m. at Siskiyou’s North Shore, and free bait and loaner rods will be available through 3 p.m. It is open to youngsters 15 and under, and able to hold a fishing rod and reel. Parents are urged to accompany their children, said Monty Currier of the DFW, but only youngsters will allowed to fish at the event site.

The 100 early registrants with the Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous, Boy Scout Troop 97 and Girl Scout Troop 74 will receive the new 21st edition of Moon California Camping from Avalon Travel Books.

Sponsors, donors and participants include California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mt. Shasta Rotary Foundation, Gary Bechtel,, Kokanee Power, NorCal Guides Association, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Steve Brown, Lake Siskiyou Resort and Marina, Sheriff Lopey Foundation, Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, Campbell Global, Moon California Camping, Shasta Trinity Flyfishers, Siskiyou Flyfishers, Sousa Ready Mix, Mark Foster, NorCal Jr. Bass Club, Yreka Rotary, Dunsmuir Rotary,, NRVP Volunteers, Boy and Girls Club of the Siskiyous, Boy Scouts Troop 96, Girls Scouts Troop 74.

For information about Youth Fishing Day, call Currier at the DFW at (530) 225-2368.

The event will be held at Lake Siskiyou’s North Shore off of WA Barr Road. The North Shore recreation site access on the left. Park at signed parking on left or along shoulder and be sure not to not block road.