DWR Owes Silverwood 5 million Trout


Mar 11, 2001
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Jim Matthews


Outdoor news Service

    The way Pat Marley figures it, the Department of Water Resources owes Lake Silverwood about five million trout, and he's on the verge of filing a lawsuit to see the state agency meets the terms of an agreement it signed in 1981 to mitigate for the construction of the lake.

    "It's our intention to enforce the rights of the resource user," said Marley, who's the general consul of the Southern California Bass Council and a perennial thorn in the DWR's side on fishery issues.

    Marley said that the 1981 agreement calls for the DWR to fund the stocking of 250,000 trout a year in Lake Silverwood. Under an agreement with the Department of Fish and Game, DWR currently only funds about 20,000 pounds of trout a year to Silverwood, and there have been years when no fish were planted.

    The lack of plants and their poor timing have all but killed winter visitation to this once-popular reservoir. Most of the trout are planted in mid-spring or early winter. No trout are planted from January through March when water conditions would be ideal for the trout, and predation on these popular gamefish would be minimal from largemouth bass and striped bass.

    Marley and the Bass Council already have the DWR jumping through hoops to mitigate for the drawdown that all but destroyed the Silverwood fishery when the outlet tower was replaced. Marley will be going back to court in the coming week to ask the DWR to complete three parts of a mitigation plan at Silverwood:

    1) Remove 100,000 pounds of rough fish, mostly carp, from the lake to clear the habitat for game species like trout, panfish, catfish and bass.

    2) Build and place 1,500 hardwood habitat modules in the lake to improve the survival of young panfish and bass.

    3) And stock the lake with 5,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass 12-inches long or larger to help jump-start the recovery of this fishery.

    The combination of this mitigation and the DWR meeting its originally mandated trout stocking regime would go a long way toward returning Silverwood to one of the area's premier fisheries.

    The drawdown did have one positive result. It reduced the striper population in the lake so that returns on planted trout are now higher at Silverwood than most other reservoirs in the region, according to Terry Foreman with the Department of Fish and Game.

    "The DWR has argued that we're not getting enough of a return on the trout to justify that level of stocking, but Silverwood stacks up favorably with many places we plant trout and it's probably a bit better than a lot of places," said Foreman.

    Marley and the Bass Council are simply getting tired of the DWR foot-dragging -- or maybe knuckle-dragging -- and they want all of the mitigation measures for the original construction of the project and the recent drawdown implemented.

    "If we do not receive a satisfactory solution -- soon -- I've been authorized by the Bass Council to file another lawsuit to force the DWR to meet its mitigation obligations," said Marley.

    With the state budget crashing, the DWR would be far better served to spend money on trout rather than lawyers -- especially since the terms of mitigation are already spelled out and were agreed upon a long time ago.


Well-known member
Mar 18, 2001
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Silverwood could definately use some help. Its so dismal they let you in free.

Sky Buster

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2001
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no kidding, i remember when it used to be somewhat descent, but that was years ago.  i havent caught a trout out of there for a long time...

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