Sarah prepares to deploy a plankton tow net.Sarah prepares to deploy a plankton tow net.

Fish tagging is an important program at Pyramid Lake Fisheries. All tagged fish have an adipose fin removed. They may have a visible floy tag as seen in this photo, a visible elastomer marking or a micro-nose tag. Anglers are asked to provide us with information on any tagged fish they encounter.Fish tagging is an important program at Pyramid Lake Fisheries. All tagged fish have an adipose fin removed. They may have a visible floy tag as seen in this photo, a visible elastomer marking or a micro-nose tag. Anglers are asked to provide us with information on any tagged fish they encounter.

Nancy lowers a water bottle to collect samples for water quality.Nancy lowers a water bottle to collect samples for water quality.

Resources and Biology

» Departments » Resources and Biology

The Resource/Biology Department coordinates the scientific management and study of hatcheries, wild fish populations, and aquatic environment of the Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River. Our fisheries biologist manages the laboratory, a field crew of two fish technicians, and creel census program to keep a pulse on the success of stocked cutthroat trout and their interactions with the other fish and biota of Pyramid Lake and the lower Truckee River.  Population sampling with experimental gillnets is conducted at 6 established sites on Pyramid Lake on a quarterly basis. 

Pyramid Lake Fisheries (PLF) has maintained an active micro-tagging program through 2005, marking 10 to 15% of all fish reared. From 2000 to 2005 over 830,000 cutthroat trout were tagged and released to Pyramid Lake. Micro-tagging was not done from 2005 through 2010.  During this period, the US Fish and Wildlife Service were floy-tagging all of the Pilot Peak strain fish released in the lake.  From 2006 through 2010, 334,399 Pilot Peak strain fish were released to Pyramid Lake or the lower Truckee River.  All fish that are tagged and released to Pyramid Lake, also have clipped adipose fins to assist in tag recoveries. The Resource Department is responsible for tracking tagged fish that are returned in the spawn channel or through angler surveys.  

Monitoring the annual recruitment of Tui chub, Tahoe sucker and Cui-ui are done through beach seining transects during the period from June through August.  The fisheries biologist also coordinates annual fish disease sampling between PLF and the US Fish and Wildlife California-Nevada Fish Health Center in Anderson, California.

Monitoring of water quality is an important task of the Resource/Biology Department. The lake Water Quality Monitoring Program began in 1986. Two sites were selected for long term monitoring with Station 96 located in the deepest water and Station 93 is located within the shallow basin of Pyramid Lake.  An SBE SEACAT Profiler is used to measure and record temperature, pH, specific conductivity, total tissolved solids(TDS), dissolved oxygen, and a light profile from surface to bottom.

As this basin is influenced by the Truckee river, especially during moderate to high flow events, quarterly water samples are collected at discrete depths from surface to 5 meters above the bottom at station 93. Water samples are processed, preserved, and analyzed following protocols in the Tribe's Quality Assurance Project.

The Water Quality Monitoring Program was expanded in 1999 to include streams and 5 sites along the lower Truckee River.  With the increase in scope of water quality sampling the Resources Department teamed with the PLPT Environmental Dept. to collect and analyze samples.

Also see The Water Quality Laboratory and the Pyramid Lake Pauite Tribe Water Quality Monitoring Website.