For many freshwater anglers across California, trout stockings has been considered a dispute for many years. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has minimized the frequency of the trout stocks throughout the state and the size of the fish it delivers for a decade or so.Many lakes have been dependent on seasonal or year-round trout fishing to get Rainbow Trout at an affordable cost from private hatcheries in Northern California, Idaho, Oregon, and Nebraska.
Now, the Big Bear Municipal Water District is removing the middleman as they announced the plan of building a $3.5 million hatchery facility. This will offer Southland lakes and other reservoirs, quality Rainbows bred right in Southern California’s backyard.
Here’s what to expect:
- The new facility is predicted to be one of the largest in the state — measuring up to 13,000 square feet and will produce approximately 150,000 pounds of Rainbow Trout every year.
- Trout production will expand and some of it’s homegrown fish will be sold to other known fishing lakes in Southern California. These places include Santa Anna River Lakes and Lake Arrowhead. This will help offset the operating costs for the facility.
- Scheduled to begin operations in early 2018, the hatchery will be constructed on four acres of district property which is, at the present time, being utilized as an RV park.
- To accommodate projects from universities and different agencies, the hatchery is planning to expand its production.
- A $250,000.00 budget is expected to kick in annually which will fund a visitor’s center. This center will be used to inform and educate the public about the life cycles of fish and other ecological needs which are essential to the Big Bear Valley ecosystem.
- Future projects that are in relation to the construction of the new Big Bear hatchery include breeding of threatened or endangered species like Sacramento Perch and Steelhead Trout.
- At the moment, there are numerous Rainbow Trout targets swimming around in Big Bear Lake after the massive load of trout that were delivered prior to the May Trout Classic. So fishing could especially great in early summer!
Big Bear Lake will continue to stock the lake two to three times a year with Rainbows from Mt.Lassen Trout Farm, a private hatchery which is 600 miles to the north in Paynes Creek, California until this new facility opens.Now if you are staying at one of the Big Bear Lake Cabin Rentals, you can relax, sit back and soak up the scenic pine trees and experience Rainbow Trout heaven!