Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Three Rivers,Bonito Creek-White Mountain Wilderness, Lincoln National Forest

It looks like Three Rivers Creek and the main Bonito Creek( above the lake) are no longer viable fishing streams. The damage done by last summer's flooding has left them with either very few or no fish and ridiculously wide channels that are stripped to the bare gravel and boulders. I visited Three Rivers last fall, and the Bonito earlier this week. The campground host at Three Rivers said there may be a few brookies left, but now after a very dry winter and spring it seems unlikely,but I will check. He also told me that the stream might be re-stocked with rainbows at some point. We'll see. Bonito looks like a gravel desert wash( similar to Percha Creek directly above Hillsboro) . It's only running above ground in a few spots, and then it's just a few inches of water. The South Fork of the Bonito still has a few fish. It's pretty mucky with silt and algae right now, but it certainly is the least altered of the three.Three Rivers had so many trees uprooted as the soil was washed away that much of the lower stream is now exposed to the afternoon sun-not good for water temperatures or trout. I saw many people along Bonito, those that I chatted with, I told what a nice little fishing stream it used to be. Maybe it will be once again but it's going to be awhile.

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