More than 150,000 pounds of trout have been added to Lake McClure, the Merced Irrigation District said Monday.
The addition of the trout is part of long-term environmental stewardship efforts, which include restoring the Lake McClure trout population which was impacted by the recent statewide drought, MID said in a news release.
More than 150,000 pounds of rainbow and brook trout were stocked in the lake last week in what the MID called a “crucial and immediate step to recovery.”
According to the MID, the trout stocked in the lake include thousands of pounds of “trophy-sized” fish that can reach up to 18 pounds. More than 6,000 trout weighing over four pounds and measuring more than 20 inches in length, as well as more than 1,500 trout weighing at least 8 pounds and measuring up to 30 inches were also planted, according to the news release.
An average trophy trout weighs about 10 pounds and measures about 2 feet in length, the MID said.
Additionally, six fish were tagged during the trout plant and each is said to be worth a significant cash prize that will be announced in the coming days, according to the MID.
Prior to drought conditions, Lake McClure which had both a stocking program and natural fishery, was a premier trout fishing destination, MID said. Since the drought, the reservoir has recovered but the trout population has not yet re-established itself to pre-drought conditions.
“The stocking is an absolutely superb step in restoring Lake McClure’s fishery, supports MID in meeting numerous objectives and restores an incredible opportunity for fishing on Lake McClure,” said MID General Manager John Sweigard in the news release.
Stocking of the trout will also help recreation and trout management at the reservoir as part of a relicensing process through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to the MID.