Fishing starts at Marina, delayed on Truckee

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- As a sign of a (hopeful) change in seasons, the Nevada Department of Wildlife stocked 5,000 fish into the Sparks Marina March 7, 2017.

"It is a great time for people to go grab their licenses and head out here to catch some of these fish," said Travis Hawks, Regional Fisheries Biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Ahead of the stocking, extensive testing was done to ensure fish don't die like they have in seasons past.

"The reservoir did not see that dramatic turnover and oxygen levels were good for fish all winter long," said Hawks.

Good conditions for fish, like those seen in the marina, are limited to just a few waterways right now. Other waterways, like the Truckee River, are too cold or flowing too fast.

"You know with those water temperatures and those high flows, we would put the fish in and nobody would be able to really catch them," said Chris Healy, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

"We don't want to dump a bunch of fish in the river that are just going to get washed downstream," said Hawks.

As a result, the Department of Wildlife is delaying fish stocking in the Truckee until conditions improve.

"We do not have a definite date as to when that water level will get to the point where we are… positive that we can put those fish in," said Hawks.

There is a benchmark. The last big winter, 2011, saw only one stocking prior to mid-July. The late start to the season, however, will be worth it. The flood we experienced will improve Truckee River fishing for years to come.

"The river will be different. It is going to be cleared out. The holes that anglers are used to over the last few years will be changed. I mean a flood, by design, changes how a river behaves and it is a good event for the river."