Planting Kokanee and Coho?

Photo Credit: Courtesy of CDFW

by California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Question: When I was young, I remember Kokanee being planted in Lake Arrowhead, and Coho in Big Bear Lake. This all ended a few decades ago. Can you tell me why this happened and if there is a chance it could ever occur again in the near future? (Gabe P.)

Answer: CDFW no longer plants Lake Arrowhead with any fish because Lake Arrowhead is a private lake. Access and use of the lake is restricted to homeowners who belong to the Arrowhead Lake Association.

CDFW no longer stocks any lake or reservoir with Coho salmon because they are listed as either threatened or endangered on the federal and state endangered species lists. Commercial sources of a semi-domesticated strain of Coho from captive populations are available but often have a bacterial pathogen detrimental to trout and salmon and prohibited for importation into California.

Inland salmon fisheries for recreational angling are provided by strains of Chinook salmon native to California, and Kokanee salmon, which are the landlocked version of Sockeye salmon native to the Pacific Northwest.

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