I went back to "my" little creek to find a floodgate up. It was down the first time I went there.
This put the water behind the floodgate at over six feet and dead still - like DEAD
still, un-wadeable and impossible to get through unless you swim. The other side of the flood gate, which is the last mile or less of the creek before it dumps into a large body of water , is now running much shallower and clearer, making a very tricky creek (see my previous thread, Little secret local creek Sunday fishing - pics, for reference
) even trickier and just as fun to explore.
The 8-10 inch fish were gone though - either I spooked them or they moved further down than where I waded to escape the shallowness - or both, or whatnot. Everything I caught was 6" or smaller this time. I was glad to wade it - I found some interesting things - springs oozing from the rocky sides of the creek wall, Fossils in the stone creek bed, Caddisfly larva everywhere - the kind that use tiny pebbles to make their case, and some rather alarming scat (mountain lions are frequently spotted in this area, but there are plenty of coyotes too, also raccoons
). I really ought to learn to identify scat!
I have no idea about floodgates and it worries me for the fish and habitat's sake. This is an historic and forgotten spot. I have read newspaper articles about the fish in this creek (the fish have historically been small - 12-14" fish being considered monsters
) and other details about the town that used to be there from over 100 years ago. It was agricultural then, and is now - so floodgates have probably been used there for eons, plus the creek has historically flooded - and the fish survive. I doubt that fish have ever been stocked here - but I am interested to know if that is the case.
I have a few questions if anyone has answers.
-Do the fish just move above the dead still water to better oxygenated water up higher? Maybe if I move above the flooded portion it would yield some great fishing?
-Are the farmers required to respect spawning fish? Or perhaps the seasonal nature of the agriculture blends well with the spawning season?
-Do you suppose the floodgate will stay up for the summer - or will they let it down periodically?
-Since it is public water do they have to make the floodgate details available to the public? and who would I contact for such info?
-Are they required to slowly let the floodgate up and down?
-How can I find out the stocking history, if any
Any other details or light to shed on this topic would interest me greatly.
Other than this floodgate the habitat seems rich - I've seen mayflies, caddisflies and lots of little gnats/midges as well as the rather abundant aforementioned caddis larva. I have seen Craw-dads in other nearby creeks but haven't spotted any here so far.
Here are a few photos from my trip last Sunday, May 27,'12. I wish I had taken more - shots of the floodgate and scat would have been nice.
Caddisfly Larva - in picture 2 you can see how the water level went down: