The reason that Lahontan cutts were planted in Lenore originally was that it was too alkaline to support fish life. There were a few stunted yellow perch near the inlet, as I recall, but that was it. Lahontans are desert trout, used to alkaline lake chemistry, and were thought to be able to survive-- which fortunately they did.
The chain of lakes becomes increasingly alkaline from the northernmost to Soap Lake, which I understand barely supports insect life. Lenore is one up from that, so...
Alkali Lake, the one north of Lenore, had tremendous populations of yellow perch at one time, and I imagine it still does have a fair number. It undoubtedly feeds some into Lenore. How long they live is another question. Of course, in the 15 years since I've fished it, the chemistry could have changed. It would be interesting to find out.
Last April I fished Lenore and I caught a ton of fish on a Denny Rickards chub minnow and on other similar whitish marabou baitfish. Whether or not there are baitfish in there (I doubt there are any but don't know), minnow patters definitely work there.
Occasionally you'll catch perch in Lenore, sometime good size ones that apparently come thru inlet from Alkali. Several years ago Alkali was a good trout fishery because the game dept. planted fingerlings in an attempt to provide food for bass planted earlier. For some reason they survived and for about 2 years it was fished heavily for 12-16 inch rainbow, primarily by the Russians out of S.L. Currently there should be a few trout, crappie, bass, and bluegill remaining in Alkali but I haven't talked to anyone that's fished it recently. 3-4 years ago when the trout fishing was good it was rumored they were fish meant for Blue or Park planted in error but Jeff Korth confirmed the fingerling plant. Incidentally, Blue & Park have been good flyfishing but the bass and perch are flourishing again and they're candidates for rehab. again this fall if WDFW can get clearance.
I would like to confirm that there are still some waterdogs left in Lenore and that the fish do eat them. The one I witnessed last week ended up on a chromomid the lady fishing next to me was using. The waterdog had been eaten by the big cutt and was regurgitated in the fight. Ended up on her hook. It was at least six inches long and about an inch and a half thick. I certainly won't be afraid to throw huge bunny leeches at those fish. How prolific they are I'm not sure. Those fish seem to be very predatory in nature. I'm going to tie some big patterns to try next time I go. Will post results.