Big Bear, Ca Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:00 pm – Friday, April 15, between 50 and 100 rainbow trout were rescued from culverts and ditches beside the Big Bear City Airport by the California Department of Fish and Game. Because of the abnormally high water levels in Big Bear Lake, mature trout have been swimming into normally dry creek beds to spawn. Many times the fish are unable to return to the lake and would die without the help of department game wardens, volunteers, and biologists. Between 400 and 500 fish have been returned to Big Bear Lake in two rescue missions. In Friday’s operation, Mike Giusti, Senior Environmental Scientist for the department donned waders and carried a machine on his back that gently shocked the fish for a short time. Assistants were then able to safely scoop the stunned fish into a holding tank for their short trip back to the lake. Many of the captured fish were estimated to be in the 3 – 4 pound range. The public is reminded that fish seen in local streams may not be caught or handled during spawning season. Local streams are closed to fishing through May 27.
Additional pictures and information is on the CA DFG News website