Rotary hosts meeting to make fishing great again at Lake Siskiyou

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
A photo of a rainbow trout submitted by four-time national outdoors Writer of the Year Tom Stienstra, who will lead a presentation about starting a net-pen rearing program for Lake Siskiyou during the April 18 Mount Shasta Rotary meeting at Lalo's Restaurant.

A proposal to make trout fishing great again at Lake Siskiyou will be showcased during a Mount Shasta Rotary meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, at noon in the banquet room at Lalo’s Restaurant in Mount Shasta. The public is invited to attend and participate.

Four-time national outdoors Writer of the Year Tom Stienstra will lead a presentation about the proposal.

“Many of us remember when the trout fishing at Lake Siskiyou was fantastic,” Stienstra states in a press release. “In the past few years, trout stocks have been too few for the number of people fishing to sustain excellence. We want it to be great again and we know how to make that happen.”

He says the heart of the proposal is to start a net-pen rearing program, where, in a six-month span, trout could be grown from 12 to 18 inches, and bigger than that over longer time periods.

“Some of the best trout fishing I’ve ever had is at Rufus Woods Lake in north-central Washington,” said Stienstra, who is a member of Mount Shasta Rotary. “They have a sensational net pen program. At Rufus Woods, the fishing can be as good or better as anywhere in Alaska, Canada and California. We want it to be great here too.”

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has given a go-ahead for Mount Shasta Rotary to propose a program for DFW approval that could be funded, maintained by volunteers, and is sustainable, according to the release.

As described by Stienstra, with the trout pens in place, the DFW would then provide hatchery trout to be placed in the pens. Solar-power feeders would automatically feed the fish. The large fish are eventually released and quickly become naturalized to their habitat and take on the characteristics of wild fish.

The program, if approved, would be a cooperative venture between volunteers, Camp Sis (Lake Siskiyou Marina and Reynolds Resorts), the Department of Fish and Wildlife, with additional oversight from the US Forest Service and its Shasta Lake district office.

“We want the trout fishing to be a lot better in our area,” Stienstra states in the release. “Many of us have fished across the western US and have seen how well net pen programs can work. We want that for Siskiyou.”

By improving fishing at Lake Siskiyou, Stienstra says fishing pressure could be reduced at other lakes in the region, which would improve fishing there as well.

Other lakes with net pen trout rearing programs include Lewiston, Almanor and Shasta.

For information, go to the Mount Shasta Rotary website: