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No shortage of hatchery trout locally or in Eastern Sierra

Native trout such as this one in the San Gabriel River will no longer compete with hatchery-raised rainbow trout in many waters throughout California.

Southern California trout anglers will not experience a shortage of Department of Fish and Game hatchery-raised trout locally or in the Eastern Sierra.

The DFG, which was sued in 2006 over stocking practices environmental groups claim jeopardize native trout and amphibians, is preparing an environmental impact report due by January 2010.

But interim measures were approved Monday afternoon by a Sacramento judge and the DFG has released a long list of waters in which it can and cannot stock hatchery-raised rainbow trout.

In Southern California, the only waters deemed off limits to the stocking trucks are Big Tujunga Creek (Upper and Lower), Little Rock Reservoir, Piru Creek (Frenchman's Flat) and the San Gabriel River (East and West forks).

In the Eastern Sierra, only Pine Creek in Inyo County and Sotcher Lake (in Madera County but accessible via Mono County) cannot be stocked.

That's clearly a relief to such towns as Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake and Bridgeport, whose economies have become largely dependent on visiting anglers seeking hatchery-reared trout.

The list, however, is subject to change.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Native trout such as this one in the San Gabriel River will no longer compete with hatchery-raised rainbow trout in many waters throughout California. Credit: Darrell Kunitomi / For The Times

 
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