Saturday, September 10, 2016

Moccasin Creek Fish Hatchery Part 2

OK, no comments on part 1. Must not have been very interesting even with that little cliffhanger at the end.

So here is part 2. I'm sure you'll find something interesting.

I continued down the "cement ponds" and took another photo of planters.

Big enough to plant
At the far end, this is actually the beginning if you come in that way, The sign below is where and what they stock.
You've got to remember that the hatchery at Nimbus Dam has had numerous problems in the last three years so to see this many fish ready to stock makes one feel good.

Then at the very end I found this little pool. Look closely, there are some mongo Rainbows and Browns. Some I would guess upwards of 23"-24". Makes one want to fish right there, but they don't see the humor of fishing in the hatchery.

Really big Rainbows and Browns. 

I noticed one of the rangers taking some pictures over by a gate near the egg hatchery building. Nosy me, I walked over and found one of the places they stock, when they stock.

The first thing I noticed was a LOT of fishing line hanging from the surrounding trees. Some of the trees even had bobbers like the one below.

Can't catch any fish way up there.
The pipe in the next picture is an inlet of sorts, but the greatest amount of water running into this creek (by the way this is Moccasin Creek) is coming from what looks like a drain from the hatchery.

The water runs down the creek and eventually into Don Pedro Reservoir which is just downstream.

The way to Don Pedro
So, back to the first picture where I said I scared the hell out of that ranger. As I was walking back from the creek, the door to the egg hatching room was open and I walked in. He was standing with his back to me and when I said Hi, that was the time.

The first tank had these fish. Anyone want to take a guess what they are? Tell you later.

Not the same two.
To the end of the last post. "Rainbows and I'm sure that they also plant, in those High Sierra lakes, those beautiful______________________.

I'm only guessing because there are many High Sierra lakes that have absolutely no access by anything other than air (or maybe horseback) that have fish in them. Some are Rainbows and some are the beautiful Golden Trout.

Image result for golden trout
Golden Trout
In the picture below are Golden Trout Fry. One would assume that these are destine for High Sierra Lakes. 
Baby Golden Trout

Here are a couple bullet points.

  • They are doing some really good stuff at this hatchery.
  • They mentioned that the problems at Nimbus Hatchery are not limited to the last couple years. 
  • They stock the area in the pictures above and along the rest of Moccasin Creek to Don Pedro. 
  • If you're out this way (it's near Yosemite) stop in and check it out. 
  • Fishing that spot in the pictures above is next to impossible with a 9' fly rod. Note to self: take "3" the next time. 
And finally, you guess what the fish are? They are Albino Rainbow Trout. Nope, didn't know such a thing existed either.

Hope this peaked your interest.


  1. Mark, clearly I’m catching up on posts, hence my comment on Part 1. FYI, there's a better place to take a fly rod along Moccasin Creek. It's where I cut my teeth fly fishing - it's encouraging when starting when one actually catches fish - and over the years it's been a place to take newbies. In fact, you can use nymphs and, during certain times of the day, even dry flies.

    It used to be that every few years the hatchery would use brook trout as a sort of bio-filter. Apparently, for an unknown reason, placing brook trout in the raceways helps control/clear out a parasitic copepod to which rainbow trout (and other trouts) are susceptible to, something more common to West Coast trout (and brook trout is native to the east…). From what a hatchery biologist told me, when these copepods attach themselves to brook trout they don’t produce eggs, as they do when attached to rainbow trout.

    A bit of trivia: the settlement pond outside the hatchery (on the north side, outside the fence and near the creek) is home to small freshwater worms and, once and a while, a private company will harvest those worms for aquarium fish food.

    Glad to enjoyed your visit. Just up Priest Grade, about 2½ miles (as you likely know, a 13% grade and 1,500-foot gain in elevation), the Priest Station CafĂ© is supposed to put out a decent breakfast. I haven’t been yet, but if someday I decide breakfast is more important than wetting a fly.

    1. Next time I'm out that way, I'll take a look at the cafe. We find Copepod slime on a lot of trout in Camanche in the Fall. Interesting about the Copepod not producing eggs on Brook Trout. Wonder why. Maybe Marisa will know.

  2. Actually Mark, I found these last two posts extremely interesting. I don't always agree with how our game and fish departments do things, but I applaud their efforts. I certainly enjoyed our tour. Thanks!

  3. Mark, I've never been to a hatchery. This post is very interesting.

    1. If you get the chance, I highly suggest you go. If they allow feeding the little fish, do so. They are really appreciative. They jump all over the place.