Feather River Hatchery stocked 10,000 steelhead in the Thermalito Afterbay in February. This follows the stocking of 5,000 steelhead last year as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife strives to improve recreational fishing opportunities and provide a unique fishery in the Thermalito Afterbay near Oroville. All the steelhead released were raised in the Feather River Hatchery and have two fin clips to identify them.
“The fish stocked this year should provide fast action through the spring months and trophy fishing opportunities over the next several years,” said CDFW biologist Jay Rowan. “We have double-marked these fish so there will be no question as to where they were planted and what the limit is.”
The shallow, productive nature of the Thermalito Afterbay allows these native fish to grow rapidly, providing a unique fishing opportunity for trophy class trout. Fish planted last year have grown significantly and are currently running between 2 to 4 pounds. CDFW staff placed $10 reward tags on a number of the steelhead planted along with non-reward tags on others. Anglers are encouraged to send these tags in to help biologists calculate and track catch rates.
The raising and release of these steelhead is coordinated through a partnership between CDFW and the California Department of Water Resources to provide recreational fisheries in the Oroville-Thermalito complex.