Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planting Trout

On the way back from Monroe, I decided to take a detour by Blackman's Lake in Snohomish. I found the public access boat launch and was sitting there when a guy (shown in the picture with his little granddaughter) asked me to move my car. He pointed to a truck and said they were about to plant some fish. I moved and got out of my car to watch.

Talking to the guy-- his name is Ralph-- I learn he's a member of the private non-profit "Snohomish Sportsmen's Club". He said the club plants salmon fingerlings and grown trout in the local lakes and streams and rivers to supplement the planting done by the state. The state plants smaller fish. The club also sponsors fishing derbys for kids and sets up "special needs" fishing derbies. It sounds like a good organization. Ralph mentioned that the club has been in existence for more than 50 years. They plant several times a year. Anyway, the truck pulled up and put a soft plastic gravity-fed tube which dumped the fish-- in this case fish about 14-16 inches long-- directly into the lake. The driver said he was dumping 800 pounds of fish, which probably meant about 400 fish.

The fish came out pretty fast and hit the lake. They had a tendency to try to swim back upstream trough the plastic tube and back into the truck. We had to tap a few off the beach into the water. The club dumps the fish into an area of the lake with Lilly pads so the fish have a chance to get oriented and then disperse. The fish that's shown upside down recovered and swam away. If not planted in the lake weeds, the fish would hang around the boat launch and public fishing dock and be easy pickin's for anglers. Ralph said that as soon as the truck is seen dumping the fish into the lake people start calling their buddies on the cell phone to come catch some easy fish. That's why the club was planting on Monday rather than on a weekend. Otherwise "... half the fish would have been caught by the bums ..."

It was pretty interesting.

1 comment:

  1. When you toss em in by the bucket load, it's more like "What the heck!" for them.
    I like to watch my neighbor's kid, David, catch and release. He revs em up. Kinda like those toy cars. He moves em backwards in the water quickly about three times... it fills their gills like CPR.
    And away they go.................