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Wednesday, 21 October 2009 02:10

Caples Creek Electro-shocking September 2009

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Rich Lobrovich, Cindy and I joined other volunteers from Trout Unlimited and other fly fishing clubs to assist the Heritage and Wild Trout Program with their electro-shocking of Caples Creek 9/8-9/10.  They split the group into 3 smaller groups and broke the creek down into three sections.  Unlike the shocking in November of last year we only did a single pass this time, though we covered a lot more water.  The flows were too high for the block nets to stay in the stream.  The flow was at ~30 CFS compared to 3 last November.

Tuesday Gathering

 

Cindy and I were in the group on the upper reach of Caples Creek.  Our area covered from about a quarter mile below the overflow from Lake Kirkwood all the way up to the dam.  After we split up on Tuesday our group drove down to the Lake Kirkwood Campground and hoofed it down the steep trail to the creek.  Once there we headed downstream for a little ways before beginning our assault on the fish.  Since the flow was high it made the wading rather treacherous.  One of our team fell in and took water over his waders.  We made it most of the way up the canyon section before stopping for the day.  We hid the equipment and marked the location on a GPS before hoofing it back up that nasty trail we came down.

 

 

Caples Creek

Caples Creek

A pretty waterfall on Caples Creek

Caples Creek in the Canyon

Shocking Team in Action

Shocking Team in Action 2

Cascade near our hiding spot

The second day we entered from  the trailhead at the Kirkwood Inn and walked down the canyon to where we had stashed the gear.  We had fewer people that day, so having the gear down there made the trip in a little easier.  We finished up the canyon and ended the day in the meadow where Gary Slade and I had fished the week prior.  Again we stashed the gear and marched back out.  I made a few degree error in my heading and we ended up having to backtrack a little ways before we found the trail to the Kirkwood Inn.

The third day we walked back into the meadow and shocked our way up to the dam, where we could.  The going got tougher and the entry and exit points fewer due to the flow and the steep banks of the creek.  We ended up at the dam around 1:30 in the afternoon.  We had left a vehicle at the dam and used it to shuttle back to the Kirkwood Inn parking lot.

I was suprised at the number of suckers and non-game fish that we shocked compared to last year.  I guess with the conductivity being low, and the flows high, the trout were better able to get out of the reach of the shocking equipment than the suckers were.  We did manage a few nice brown trout each day.  If you bribe me I might just point out locations...

 

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