The fish are jumping at Cachuma Lake after Santa Barbara County Parks Department planted 4,000 pounds of triploid rainbow trout there just before the Veterans Day weekend.
A Parks Department spokesman said the trout ranged in size from half-pound “catchable” to 8-pound “trophy” fish and were trucked in from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms Inc. in Paynes Creek.
Because the trout are triploid — meaning sterile — they put the energy they would normally use for reproduction into growing and muscle development, the spokesman said.
The result is fish that will put up a real fight when hooked and provide “meatier” meals when cooked.
Last week’s plant was the first of four planned for the 2017-18 season, with additional plants tentatively set for December, March and May.
In cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, County Parks was granted a private stocking permit for up to 16,000 pounds of triploid rainbow trout — twice as much as was granted in 2016, the spokesman said.
Cachuma Lake is also home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie and channel catfish, and it’s open for fishing year-round, from the shore or a boat, with a valid state fishing license.
Because a quagga mussel quarantine is in effect at the lake, boats must be inspected and tagged by the Cachuma Lake staff at least 30 days prior to launching, the spokesman said.
However, kayaks, outboard boats and pontoon boats are available for rent at the Cachuma Lake Marina, where bait, tackle and fishing licenses are also on sale.
To see the Cachuma Lake Weekly Fishing Report, visit www.countyofsb.org/parks/cachumafishing.sbc.
For more information, call the marina at 688-4040.