Bakersfield area trout plants reduced dramatically by budget

By: Jim Matthews

This year’s cuts in trout stocking by California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) are already starting to show up in dramatic fashion, especially in the Bakersfield region.

Greg Kollenborn, senior hatchery supervisor for Region 4, said the decline was due to “reduced statewide fish production and distribution… due to budget shortfalls.”

Kollenborn said: “Lakes in the Bakersfield area are being stocked every two weeks or so, but with less fishing than normal. River Walk (Park) and Ming lakes, which are the most popular, are receiving about 400 to 600 fish per plant. Truxton and Hart Park lakes receive about 200 to 300 fish per plant.”

DFW had hoped it would be able to maintain catchable trout stocking in urban lakes at the same levels this year — both in size and number of fish — as the previous three years, but that has obviously not happened in the Bakersfield region.

The original plan was for DFW to reduce the poundage of fish planted in larger reservoir (which can support trout year around), but plant more small fish which could grow into catchable size in the lakes. By doing this, the agency staff said it felt it could maintain the catchable program in urban waters at levels similar to the past three years. It looks like that part of the “plan” was overly optimistic.

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