Fishing for tips, July 29, 2020

Marley Keller caught her first fish, a trout, during fishing trip on Big Bear Lake July 22. Marley caught the fish on the North Shore near the SS Relief. The trout weighed about a pound.

Trout trouble for state

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife plans to euthanize 3.2 million trout at three hatcheries because of a bacterial infection outbreak. The affected facilities include the Mojave River Hatchery, Black Rock Hatchery and Fish Springs Hatchery, which usually provide fish for stocking waterways in the South Coast and Inland Deserts regions. The facilities had been under quarantine for more than a month.

Sad news for anglers, for sure, but the good news for Big Bear Lake fishermen and women is that none of the trout in Big Bear Lake are infected. There have been no fish plants from these facilities into Big Bear Lake, says Big Bear Municipal Water District General Manager Mike Stephenson.

“Euthanizing our hatchery stocks was not a decision we came to lightly, but it had to be done,” said Jay Rowan environmental program manager for CDFW hatcheries. “This bacterium is resistant to all the treatment options we have available for fish. The fish losses were getting worse despite our treatments. The best option we have available that will get us back to planting fish from these hatcheries in the shortest time is to clear the raceways, thoroughly disinfect the facilities and start over.”

The MWD is moving forward with plans to build its own hatchery for Big Bear Lake, which, once completed, will provide the lake with locally-grown trout. The ability to raise trout on site gives control to the local community. The ability to raise and conduct our own fish plants means the MWD doesn’t have to rely solely on the state for fish.

Infected fish show symptoms such as bulging eyes, lethargic or erratic swimming and

increased mortality. Some may be asymptomatic and show no signs of infection, according to the CDFW.

For more information, visit

Big fish

We know anglers love to talk about the ones that got away, but the Big Bear Grizzly wants to know about those big catches. You can claim your bragging rights by sending your photo and story on how you caught your big fish to the Big Bear Grizzly. We are more than happy share it with our readers.

Share your photo and story. Submit photos in JPEG format by email to Be sure to include first and last name of everyone in the photo, where the people reside, the date and location of the catch, and weight of fish, if available. Deadline is the Friday before the publication date.

—Kathy Portie

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