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Outdoor Notes / Pete Thomas : Fire, Rain May Ruin Trout Stream

August 28, 1987|PETE THOMAS

Federal officials fear that a recent 1,500-acre brush fire in the San Bernardino National Forest may damage one of Southern California's best trout streams.

A U.S. Forest Service biologist and geologist touring the fire area reported that winter rains could wash soil and sediment from the blackened, denuded hillsides into Deep Creek, threatening its trout population, Forest Service dispatcher Albert Solorio said.

Deep Creek is one of the best trout streams in Southern California and the surrounding area is home to mountain lions, coyotes, deer and bobcats, Solorio said. The area has been closed since Sunday, when the nearby brush fire prompted the evacuation of about 100 swimmers, hikers and fishermen.

Forest Service spokesman David Behrens said that if soil is washed into the waters by rain, it could suffocate the fish.

"The debris from the sediment will get into the channels feeding the creeks and will get trapped in the fishes' gills and this will suffocate them," Behrens said.

Department of Fish and Game personnel are predicting fair prospects at best for dove hunters when the season opens Tuesday.

Warden Rusty McBride reported from the Bard-Winterhaven area in the southeast corner of the state that there are few mourning doves along the Colorado River and even fewer white-winged doves. That area produced the best shooting for dove hunters last season.

McBride estimated that dove populations are down about 60% from last year and speculated that the elimination of sesame seed and milo crops there as the primary reason.

Similar prospects are expected elsewhere in Southern California, the DFG said.

The Wildlife Conservation Board has approved the expenditure of $5,138,000 from various sources dedicated to the enhancement of wildlife in California.

WCB executive officer John Schmidt said that 17 projects were presented for statewide financing and that all but one were approved by the board at its meeting Aug. 18 in Sacramento.

Of the total, $2,191,000 was earmarked to implement fish- and wildlife-related construction and acquisition projects in Southern California. The three-member panel approved seven projects in Riverside, San Diego, Orange, Kern and Fresno counties.

Almost 82% of Californians spend some or most of their leisure time outdoors, most participating in fish- and wildlife-oriented recreation, according to a survey recently conducted for the DFG by the Survey Research Center at Cal State Chico. And 72.3% of Californians agreed that people who enjoy the state's outdoor resources should contribute financially to preserve fish and wildlife, even if they do not hunt or fish.

The telephone survey of 2,526 residents was designed to determine the public's attitudes about fish and wildlife, including financing, management and program alternatives.

Briefly Hiroki Matsukata took 1 1/2 hours to land a 503-pound Pacific blue marlin on 50-pound test line to push the Takachiyo Fishing Club of Japan into the lead going into Thursday's action in the 29th Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. . . . John Randolph, editor of Fly Fisherman magazine and author of books on fishing and backpacking, will be the guest speaker for the Sierra Pacific Flyfishers dinner meeting Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Odyssey Restaurant in Mission Hills. Call (818) 783-5436 for more information. . . . The Remington Arms Co. has put out a booklet entitled "Shooting Steel Shot With Confidence," designed to help waterfowlers hunt more successfully with steel shot loads. The booklet's publication was prompted by the Department of the Interior's mandate to use steel shot for all waterfowling by 1991.

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