More Than 12,000 Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Released Into Lake Tahoe

The Lahontan National Fish Hatchery has successfully stocked 12,144 Pilot Peak strain Lahontan cutthroat trout into Lake Tahoe over the past three weeks. The stocking took place at three primary locations: El Dorado Beach, Zephyr Cove Marina, and Kings Beach State Park.

This effort is part of an ongoing initiative to enhance Lake Tahoe’s trout population, with updates and additional stocking scheduled to continue bi-weekly throughout the summer. The trout are being released at various publicly accessible locations across both California and Nevada.

To aid in the evaluation of this stocking program, approximately 25% of the trout have been tagged with a T-bar anchor tag. Each tag features a unique ID and phone number, encouraging anglers to report their catches. This data will help biologists assess the success of the stocking, as well as the growth, survival, and distribution of the fish.

Lahontan cutthroat trout have been stocked intermittently in Lake Tahoe since 2011, although in smaller numbers. They are the only trout native to the Tahoe Basin and the largest cutthroat trout species in the world. The fish being stocked are the Pilot Peak strain of the species, which is known for its fast growth rate and achieving exceptional size. The Pilot Peak strain is also found in Nevada’s Pyramid Lake, which attracts anglers from around the world hoping to catch one of the lake’s giant Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Lahontan cutthroat trout are listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Their original listing in 1970 predates the modern act itself, which was passed in 1973. The native trout eventually disappeared from Lake Tahoe due to overfishing, damage to spawning tributaries caused by pollution, logging, water diversions, and the introduction of nonnative species. Federal and state efforts are underway throughout the fish’s native range in California and Nevada to restore the species and its habitat.

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