In 1980, concerned fishermen, business people and the Chester/Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce formed the Almanor Fishing Association. The main purpose of the Association is dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of a high quality fishing resource in Lake Almanor and assuring its continual availability to everyone wishing to enjoy the sport of fishing.
For those who may have never given trout fishing at Lake Almanor a try, here’s an extra 50,000 good reasons. Every year for over 18 years, approximately 50,000 eagle lake trout have been reared by volunteers of the Almanor Fishing Association (AFA) to supplement the Department of Fish and Game plants. To date over 1,000,000 Eagle Lake Trout have been released into Lake Almanor.
The cages that you see in the Hamilton Branch are used to rear the trout. The California Department of Fish and Game deliver the trout to the AFA fish cages in early November. Pictured is the transfer cage which is attached to a pontoon used to move the eagle lake trout from the DFG truck to the waiting AFA cages.
Once again, in October 2012, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) will deliver 50,000 healthy Eagle Lake trout fingerlings to the Almanor Fishing Assoication (AFA) pens in the Hamilton Branch. This year's fingerlings were rather large and should be 10-12 inches by the time they are released in late May 2013. Almanor Fishing Association's pen project has planted well over one million Eagle Lake Trout into Lake Almanor.
As some of you may know, we stared a refurbishment project on the pen's last summer. These pens/platforms have been in the water since 1988 and were in dire need of refurbishment. Each platform supports two pens that are each capable of holding 5,000 trout. With finanical assistance from California Inland Fisheries Foundation, Inc. (CIFFI) of $15,000 and Kokanee Power (KP) assistance of $7,500 plus an additional $7,500 from AFA, we were able to commence the project which involved the refurbishment of five wooden platforms - each platform containing two 7 ft. X 10 ft. X 7 ft. deep aluminum pens. Unfortunately, we ran out of money after completing only three platforms due to the severly deteriorated support beams which meant that the platforms had to be disassembled, new beams inserted and reassembled. The six aluminum pens were re-drilled and new stainless steel bolts and washers were installed by AFA volunteers. The platform work was performed by Almanor Dock Supply at the old Lassen View Resort Boat Ramp.
Almanor Dock Supply will again be performing the refurbishment with help from our AFA volunteers.
On August 4th, 2011, the Plumas County Fish and Game Commission approved a sum of $8,000.00 to complete the refurbishment of the last two platforms and cages. The refurbishment of the final platforms will begin the week after Labor Day. We now have five completely refurbished platforms containing 10 cages ready to receive the 50,000 Eagle Lake trout in October.