Silver Creek, a tributary to the West Walker River in Mono County, is a Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT) Recovery water that was illegally stocked with brook trout. Brook trout were discovered in Silver Creek in 2004, during a survey intended to collect baseline population information to support opening the stream to regulated angling. Unfortunately, lack of budget, low staff levels, and lack of ability to utilize efficient methods of brook trout removal (piscicide) that could be completed within two or three seasons have resulted in the lost opportunity of angling for a native Walker Basin cutthroat trout in this mountain meadow stream.
The International Federation of Fly Fishers and its local clubs and members mobilized volunteers and funds for three successful years so far of electrofishing support to provide a refuge for the LCT. This coming season is Year Four, and approximately four miles have been treated. This grassroots effort will continue until the refuge is cleared for the LCT to survive. Electrofishing is being conducted with California Dept of Fish and Wildlife as the lead, CalTrout and Trout Unlimited providing both funds and volunteer time.
The grant is to fund an interpretive panel design and construction to reach out and educate to people the negative impacts of illegal stocking on native ecosystems, and urge fishermen to participate in the Heritage Trout Program, a program designed by CDFW to restore opportunities for anglers to catch California’s native trout. International Federation of Fly Fishers and Southwest Council are providing matching funds for the project.