Drought conditions could impact trout planting in Tuolumne County streams, rivers and lakes later this year.
Fish are moved out of a tube at Moccasin Fish Hatchery Thursday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Low flows and water levels would prevent stocking in some area reservoirs and sections of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers at the start of open-fishing season April 26, according to Justin Kroeze, assistant manager of the Moccasin Creek Trout Hatchery.
In normal years, the Department of California Fish and Wildlife plants 400,000 pounds of trout grown at the hatchery.
“We’re currently evaluating our fish allotments and how many fish we have on hand to see if we need to start getting rid of some now,” Kroeze said.
The Moccasin hatchery is now holding about 1.5 million trout, including rainbows, browns and cutthroats. Most fish are planted in Tuolumne County, the Central Valley and Bay Area.
The Fish and Wildlife Department is doing weekly plantings in reservoirs and lakes, including New Melones, Don Pedro, Woodward, Lake McClure and Lake McSwain.