Friday, August 15, 2014

State of the Truckee

I know I haven't posted anything in a while, but while I sit on several half finished updates, I wanted to jump into the conversation of what's happening right now on the Truckee river.  For those that don't know I've moved back to Reno since my last blog post. Peripherally, I knew there was some concern about water availability for the Reno/Tahoe area but I didn't realize the full effect until I moved back.

The result of several years of drought,  many of the reservoirs here are at a fraction of their capacity and their contribution to the flows of the Trucke river have been drastically reduced.  This has resulted in some of the lowest flows I've seen on the Truckee river and they are occurring at a time when the weather is still quite hot here in Reno.  The current status, thanks to some rain and overcast skies, is that there is enough water and oxygen to keep the fish alive, but the temperatures are such that the fish are very stressed. In fact anywhere in Reno or East of Reno the conditions are not sustainable for catch and release fishing:

As you can see from these graphs the flows are low and the temperatures are not dropping below the high 60's. And, in fact, we got scary close to lethal conditions on the third of August with flows below 30cfs and peak water temperatures nearing the 80's.  Thank God for rain, it was responsible for the spike you see after August 3rd on the graph.  I should also note that upstream of Reno the truckee stays a bit cooler and the flows are a bit better so catch and release fishing is still viable in the mornings and during the night if you're so inclined.  

In the midst of this drought there is an unprecedented amount of support (to my knowledge at least) for a "hoot owl" closure on the Truckee.  Guys like Donald Zimmerman, Matt Koles, Jan Nemec, and Doug Ouellette, Stefan McLeod and many others have been active voices in bringing awareness of when we need to lay off the fish making it easy for guys like me to comply and spread the word.  In other words, it's working.

Check out the following links and Donald's great video for more:

Lastly here's one more video showing fish being rescued out of some irrigation ditches that are fed by the Truckee river.  It shows some of the large and beautiful fish that this area has that are currently in need of protection from overzealous anglers.  So spread the word and go after some warm water species for a while.


1 comment:

Ryan said...

Welcome back Brian, see you out there soon!

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