Following a year-long project in which PG&E drained Lower Bucks Lake in order to perform repairs to its concrete dam, the lake has been refilled and is ready for people to visit once again.
Lower Bucks Lake sits deep in the wilderness of the Plumas National Forest, about 32 miles east of Oroville, providing visitors a great place to hike, camp and fish. When PG&E announced the draining of the lake in 2020, many were concerned about the fish die off that would occur. PG&E consulted with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on the matter and concluded a fish rescue was not a viable option. With the steep terrain and limited access of the lake, it was deemed too dangerous.
Instead, PG&E and the CDFW decided a full stocking of the lake post-drain would provide a brand-new, flourishing fish ecosystem in the lake. The first iteration of that stocking occurred last week with 5,000 rainbow trout being put into the lake, all of them 12 inches and larger. Future stocking plans call for the planting of brown trout, kokanee salmon and trophy-sized rainbow trout through 2022. PG&E’s aggressive stocking plan hopes to double the number of catchable fish in the lake.
Ultimately, the dam repair work on Lower Bucks Lake had to be completed and this seems like the most viable option to keep its budding fish population thriving into the future.