In the late 1930s, three fish rearing ponds were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era public work program, just below MMWD’s Lake Lagunitas to raise steelhead trout. The ponds were operated by MMWD until some time during World War II, when the lakes were temporarily closed to the public. The care of the fish—including monitoring the water flow and temperature, feeding and pen cleaning—proved costly, which combined with the closing of the lakes during the war probably led to the abandonment of the hatchery program. The fish rearing ponds are still visible at Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area and seem out of place but a curious relic from the past.
Although the MMWD hatchery program is history, you can still fish for trout at Lagunitas and Bon Tempe lakes, which are stocked annually by the California Department of Fish and Game between October and May. All seven of the district’s reservoirs are open for fishing year round. Read our recent post to learn more.