|May 6||Office opens for summer hours|
|May 13||Fishing season opens!|
|May 27||Guest fishing opens (Memorial Day weekend)|
|June 24||Fishing Member meeting, Community Building, 10AM - noon|
|June 29 -July 1||Ramona is closed to fishing, in preparation for the Kids Fishing Contest|
|Oct 31||Fishing season closes|
Fishing Plans for 2017 Crystal Springs Trout Farm will be supplying our fish for 2017. We try to maintain a balance of fish varieties (brooks, browns, cuts) through our stocking program which is dependent on availability from our supplier and the health of our lake fishery. In 2017, we'll be stocking catchable and trophy Rainbow in all lakes during the April and June stockings. 12-15" brooks will be stocked mid-year and Cutbows in the fall stocking in all lakes. Cutbows are a cross between cutthroats and rainbows and are more disease resistant. Last October we stocked 7"-9" walleye at Apache to help biologically control the perch (see the rules about catching walleye). We experienced a great year of fishing last year and expect this year will be equally as good, with a good carry over of trophy fish for the 2017 season.
Crystal Springs Trout Farm is experimenting with raising Yellow Rainbow (Palomino) trout. The Palomino are a hybrid rainbow trout that are not a Golden Trout. By genetic cross-breeding of rainbows; the Palomino colors will range from light green to yellow. The Palomino grow as fast as regular rainbow and seem to be more disease resistant. We will stock a few in Letitia and Nokomis this spring and if fishing member feedback is positive, next year's stocking will include additional Palominos with a uniform yellow color.
We received a considerable amount of positive feedback for the new fly and lure / one fish limit regulations implemented at Nokomis in 2016. It will be one or two more years before we can expect to see a consistent trout population greater than 18", but we're off to a good start.
The Board will be hosting a meeting for all initiated and non-initiated fishing members from 10:00 AM-Noon on Saturday June 24th at the Community Building. Topics will include the changes at Nokomis, stocking program, boat storage, construction plans, and an update on Shagwa. The board is very interested in feedback from fishing members on any subject related to our fishing program. Please join us!
Shagwa - We kept Shagwa closed this past year and conducted water quality tests at 5 locations every two weeks during the summer through our consultant, Aquatics Associates, Inc. The aerators were left off to help localize the sample results. The tests were run on many parameters, but of particular concern is that they showed E.coli was present throughout the summer. The level of E. Coli was always well below the State and EPA standard of 126 cfu/100ml, however the level increases from 0-9 in May up to 40 during mid-summer, and then returned to 0-4 by the end of August. This indicates the levels increased with cabin usage and that some sewage is entering the lake. While this is not at the level to be a human health hazard, it is sufficient to impact the fishery.
We took the next step in our investigation by retaining the services of Farnsworth Group to investigate the hydrogeology of the area and provide recommendations on a path forward. We contacted 70 neighbors surrounding Shagwa, to request they allow us to learn about their wells and sewage systems, including what testing had been done. We received cooperation from 25% of the cabin owners that were sent letters and none of them had identifiable issues. We'll reach out again to the remaining neighbors this summer. RFSI does not have any authority to inspect on private property without permission, nor to impose any repairs. We understand this issue is a major concern for neighbors & members, and we are wanting to help get any existing issues corrected. This summer we'll drain the lake to sample the lake bottom to understand its role in the problem. Until we can complete a plan that lays out the actions, costs and timeline that improves the water quality at Shagwa, we'll hold off restoring the fishery. More details and background information on Shagwa.