Upper Owens Report & Outrage

Tom Loe

Report Date:


Upper Owens River:

The bigs are finally on the move and we are seeing increasing numbers of fall run trophy sized fish moving into spawning areas. The numbers of browns remain on the skinny side due to the warm weather, however it will not be long until their maternal alarm goes off and we see good numbers move upstream out of Crowley Lake. The flows have come down for the time being and water conditions are excellent both above and below the confluence of Hot Creek.

The section DOWNSTREAM from the fishing monument (third dirt turn-off south of the campground on Hwy 120) to Crowley will remain open until November 15th with special regulations. The section from the Benton Bridge down to this monument is now CLOSED to all fishing.

Upstream from the bridge will remain open year around with special regulations. Debarb your hooks, NO BAIT, and don't keep any fish and you will be fine in the open areas. This time of year it is possible to fish streamers, nymphs, and dries here. Loebergs, leeches, Punk Perch, and Spruce-a-bu's will all get grabs when used with a light to moderate sinking tip line. Flashback PT's, bird's nest, broken back midges, crystal olive caddis larva, San Juan worms #14-20 are all solid patterns for nymphing with or without an Under-cator. Para midge adults, hoppers, and BWO imitations are also good choices when you see the hungry little snouts poking up late morning and mid-day.

Cattle Rancher Outrage
Tom Loe believes this to be an absolute outrage! The annual occurrence of cattle ranchers blocking and bypassing the many irrigation canals along the Upper Owens stranding and killing hundreds, if not thousands of "wild" juvenile trout and allowing cattle inside the fences during spawning periods or at any other time as they spread mud snails by trampling the stream bed is beyond me. He has contacted both local & state DFG biologists, and a LADWP supervisor to look into this matter and resolve it before we lose these valuable wild fish. He will keep us posted as to the outcome of this matter and if need be ask you all to contact the necessary agencies and demand that this and other areas be policed for the protection of wild trout and the streambeds they inhabit.

See the pictures above for one of the many "de-watered" irrigation canals and cattle discretions occuring on the Upper Owens River above the Benton Crossing Bridge.

Ton Loe estimated in this one pool alone that 200 TWO HUNDRED juvenile rainbow and brown trout are stranded and destined to die without continuous flow. Wild trout are a valuable and precious resource that needs to be enhanced in fisheries that are managed as such. How can this be allowed to happen? It makes him sick. What the hell good is this fence? Cattle trample streambeds spreading MUDSNAILS and causing bank erosion especially during the spawn. All of Long Valley to graze and they have to use the riverside as well!

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