Water flowing back into Shaver Lake

FRESNO, Calif.

The Sierra Marina in Shaver Lake is gearing up for the fishing season after crews had to take apart a portion of the docks when the lake was drained last year. "Now we're in the process of reassembling it as the lake comes up, then we're putting the tresses and the cable irons back on," said Jerry Sandstron, owner of the Sierra Marina.

Crews began filling up Shaver Lake with water last month when Southern California Edison completed retrofitting the dam. "It's been coming up quickly for about the last three weeks and it's currently about halfway up," said Rich Bagley with Southern California Edison.

While a dry winter has hurt many businesses, the community is looking forward to a great fishing season. Edison has paid to stock 40,000 pounds of trout into the water.

"Knowing that the town and some other folks had some concerns about tourism because people knew about the drawdown to the lake, there's going to be far better trout fishing than there ever has been at Shaver Lake," said Bagley.

Fish and Game will also be releasing 20,000 pounds of fish, more than in previous years. "Hopefully people come up and rent fishing boats because it's going to be a really good opportunity to get some trophy trout," said Sandstron.

The more than 20,000 pounds of catchable fish that will be going into the lake will be coming from the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery, which includes around 5,000 pounds of trophy trout. "We raise them from eggs here, these fish happen to be 3 years old," said Greg Paape, manager of the hatchery.

The trophy trout weighing about 5 pounds each were grown especially for Shaver Lake. "We're putting more fish in and we're putting bigger fish in so it should be the best year they had in a long time," said Paape. And that won't just be good for the Sierra Marina, but for the entire community.

"It will be really good for the community also because these people come up, they stay in the hotels, they buy gas, they east at the restaurants," said Sandstron.

Officials say the fish won't be released until after April 1.

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