Northern CA Freshwater

Truckee: DFW launches angler survey for kokanee, inland Chinook

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 20, 2019

TRUCKEE — James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service said he has been urging the DFW to stock Stampede with kokanee less intensively because the fish are smaller every year, suggesting overpopulation.

NON-STOP ACTION — Roscoe and Leici Webb of Lincoln, Bryan Webb of Sacramento, Nanette Jones of Folsom, Thomas Barnes of Penn Valley, Wayne Whetman of Midvale, Utah, and Sharla Webb of Sacramento booked with Tight Lines Guide Service for a kokanee trip on Stampede Reservoir. It was non-stop action from the top to 50 feet and they stopped counting after 75 fish, most of them catch-and-release.

“We’re catching 70 to 80 fish a day but you have to weed through a lot of smaller ones to get a few good ones,” he said. Netzel believes if overstocking is halted, the average kokanee size in Stampede would be significantly larger. He said data collected by a new DFW angler survey for kokanee and inland Chinook may be able to determine the ideal level of fish stocking at Stampede and 26 other north state lakes. The survey was launched by DFW Senior Fisheries Biologist Kyle Murphy.

The survey, designed to be quick and easy to fill out, is available online at, and the meat of it asks anglers to record the number and sizes of the kokanee and landlocked king salmon caught by a given fishing party.

Netzel said he supports the survey, as does Kokanee Power and the California Inland Fisheries Foundation. “It might take a little time to measure each fish, but every little bit of info helps. For 70 to 80 fish, that’s quite a lot of measuring,” he said.

Stampede continues to fish extremely well for numbers. Netzel said he has been starting on top early, then transitioning his gear to 50-60 feet as the sun hits the water to get through some of the smaller kokanee.

“Paulina Peak Tackle Purple Haze and Green Dream Spinner are probably the top baits for me,” he said. Netzel fishes them with a 30-foot setback at 1.2 to 1.5 mph.

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