It seems like old times these days at Lopez Lake.
For the first time since 2008, the lake received 900 pounds of triploid trout plant May 28 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
These are, however, different trout than the rainbows that were introduced into the South County lake on a regular basis for a number of years.
Here’s the definition of triploid trout offered by Carrie Wilson, a CDFW marine biologist based in Monterey:
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“New legislation that went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, requires the CDFW to sterilize nearly all fish planted for recreational purposes.
“Triploid fish have an extra set of chromosomes as a result of pressure treatment combined with carefully monitored temperature and time precision during egg fertilization. The resulting fish are sterile, making them a more ecologically sound option for recreational fishing in many waters across the state.
“These vivacious, catchable, sterilized rainbow trout are produced in CDFW hatcheries. The sterile fish may grow larger than fertile diploids and they are increasingly being produced for recreational stocking in many states.”
Enabling Lopez Lake to once again have a trout fishery is a project that San Luis Obispo County Parks Superintendent Larry Iaquinto and others before him have been working on for a long time.
“I’ve been working on this since my appointment 18 months ago,” Iaquinto said.
The quest has involved a number of agencies including the County Public Works Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service with County Parks taking the lead.
“There has been a great multi-agency team effort by all folks involved,” Iaqunito said. “The stocking of triploid trout is a trial project. One of the concerns is that the triploid trout might make it through the outlet pipe from the lake into the Lopez outlet pond. We have installed a custom-made screen just downstream of the Lopez Lake dam outlet pond. The intent of our testing is to learn if it’s possible for the planted triploid rainbow trout to make it through into the outlet pond. If so the manufactured fish screen will prevent the introduced triploids from getting downstream and interfering with the native steelhead in Arroyo Grande Creek. The CDFW will be monitoring the site and collecting the data for the test to present to NMFS.”
Iaquinto is hopeful another 900-pound fish plant will be made in a week or so and perhaps an additional plant before the lake water gets too warm.
“We (County Parks) are always looking for ways to provide additional recreational opportunities for the public and trout fishing is certainly one of them,” he said.
Marina Manager Aaron Boyd is aware that trout are being caught at the dam, by the bridge at the entrance to the park ad the ranger boat dock. People are using PowerBait and nightcrawlers.
This weekend’s overnight trip is completely booked, but there are openings for the next one — July 6-7. Cost is $205. For reservations, call 772-1222 or visit www.virgs.com
The Black Pearl has weekly overnight trips leaving at 10 p.m. Mondays and returning by 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Cost is $165. Passengers fish for live squid prior to targeting lingcod and rockcod.
Sundowner trips from 3:30 pm. to 7:30 pm are offered Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $49.
Last week’s jackpot winners include: Remington Westlund, Kingsburg, 13-0 ling, Adam Boyd, Los Osos and Robert Suzen, Fresno, both 11-0 lings, Weston Rhodes, Arroyo Grande, 10-0 ling, George Rameriz, Orange, 9-0 ling, Carl Anderson, Selma, 8-0 ling, Leonard Alves, Coalinga, 7-0 ling, and Gus Stevenson, San Luis Obispo, 7-0 red rockcod.
Last week 249 anglers caught 65 lingcod, 622 red rockcod and 1,086 assorted rockfish.
Port San Luis Boatyard
Santa Maria’s Barbara Carter earned Whopper of the Week honors for the second time this year. On Sunday, she caught a 20-pound, 8-ounce salmon. Her catch of a 22-pound, 8-ounce salmon April 22 was her earlier weekly winner.
In June and July, salmon are off limits Mondays and Tuesdays.
Winds kept private boat owners from launching Monday through Thursday last week. Forty-nine boats were launched, four Friday, 25 Saturday and 20 Sunday. There were full rockcod limits Sunday, three-quarter limits Saturday and half limits Friday.
The week’s catch included 10 salmon, 53 lingcod and two halibut.
An all-day trip to Pt. Purisima or Pt. Sal is scheduled for Sunday. Fares for the 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. trip are $82 for adults and $60 for youngsters 12 and under.
For reservations and complete schedules, call 595-7200 or visit www.patriotsportfishing.com.
Last week’s catch by 246 passengers included 63 lingcod, 652 red rockcod, and 848 assorted rockfish.
Sixty-two anglers turned out last week but caught only three trout. James Taylor, using PowerBait, landed a 16-inch fish May 29. On June 1, Dick Sharp and Josh Hanson each caught 13-inch trout with worms.
The reservoir is open for fishing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Glen and Helen Johnson, who have a summer home at Heritage Ranch, fished Monday and Tuesday with their grandsons, Brogan and Casey. The group caught 45 whites and 25 spotted bass.
Dave Rymal reported Bunky Charles, Jack and Brad Foster and two friends caught limits of spots (25) and white bass (60) using live shad.
Santa Margarita Lake
Marina Manager Don Lopez said: “Bass, bluegill, redear and crappie are being caught all over the lake.”
Marina Manager Ken Hemer notes: “Bass fishing has been good all over the lake. Topwater baits are working early while jigs, Texas-rigs and drop-shot tactics are productive midday. Trout fishing improved with fish up to four pounds weighed at the marina. Rainbows have been holding in 30 to 50 feet of water in the main channel. Dodger/crawler combos and C.D. Rapalas have been productive. Cut mackerel has been enticing catfish in The Narrow and Cachuma Bay.”