Tag Archives: Bishop

Annual General Trout Opener Coming Soon in the Eastern Sierra

The general trout opener in many counties throughout California will commence on April 26, one hour before sunrise.

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Because of the popularity of this annual event with the angling public, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is making every effort to stock trout in all accessible waters approved for planting prior to the season opener. Lingering winter conditions and this year’s unprecedented drought could play a major role in how many rivers, creeks, lakes and reservoirs can be stocked before April 26.

Most lakes, rivers and streams have a limit of five trout per day and 10 in possession. However, regulations differ on season opening and closing dates, bag limits, minimum and maximum size limits and gear restrictions.

Anglers are advised to check specific area regulations and opening dates in the 2014/15 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulation booklet, found online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations, for regulations specific to each body of water.

In 2012, CDFW regional staff created the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide to provide anglers with a quick, informative and accurate account of the distribution of fisheries in back country high elevation lakes. This guide does not address front country waters, defined as lakes and streams that are accessible by vehicle. Most of the lakes lie within U.S. Forest Service lands managed as Wilderness and usually require back country permits for overnight use. Most back country fisheries are based on self-sustaining populations of trout and do not need regular trout stocking to maintain fish populations. The guide can be found at http://dfg.ca.gov/regions/6/

Crowley Lake in the Eastern Sierra is expected to be one of the most popular opening day destinations for anglers from around the state. In past years, an estimated 10,000 anglers have turned out for the opener, and approximately 50,000 trout are caught during the first week of the season. Typically Crowley is planted with hundreds of thousands of small and medium sized trout, and because of excellent food sources in the 5,280-acre reservoir, these trout grow to catchable sizes and weigh at least three-quarters of a pound by the opener. About 10 percent of the trout caught at Crowley during opening weekend weigh over a pound and a half. These fish are from stocks planted in previous years or are wild fish produced in Crowley’s tributary waters.

Anglers are asked to be particularly vigilant when cleaning fish and fishing gear at Crowley Lake and in the upper and lower Owens River Drainage. The New Zealand Mudsnail was discovered several years ago in the Owens River Drainage, and CDFW would like to prevent the snail from spreading into other waters. To avoid spreading New Zealand Mudsnails and other aquatic invasive species to other waters, anglers are advised dispose of their fish guts in bear-proof trash cans, rather than throw them back into the water. Wading gear should be properly cleaned before using in new waters.

All persons age 16 and older must possess a valid California fishing license to fish within state lines. Freshwater fishing licenses can be purchased online at www.dfg.ca.gov/onlinesales or at regional CDFW offices or other license agents. Anglers no longer have to display their license visibly above the waist but they must have it in their possession while fishing.

Media Contacts:            
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
James Erdman, Environmental Scientist, (760) 873-6071

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CDFW Hunter Education Courses Offered for Eastern Sierra Youths

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a series of hunter certification classes in Inyo and Mono counties for teenagers who would like to learn to hunt. Students who successfully complete a class will earn a lifetime hunter education certificate, necessary for purchasing a hunting license.

“Last year we brought the hunter education to several schools in the Eastern Sierra and every one of them asked us to come back this year,” said Lt. Bill Daily, CDFW supervising warden for the area. “It’s very encouraging to see how many of the students took an interest in not only the hunting but the conservation as well.”

The courses will be offered at no charge for seventh and eighth graders in Bishop, Big Pine, Round Valley, Mammoth Lakes and Coleville schools. Parental or guardian approval is required for all students.

In addition to serving as a prerequisite to purchasing a hunting license, hunter education programs are a valuable education tool for beginning hunters to learn about firearm and hunting safety. The hunter education program produces responsible, knowledgeable and involved citizens – young men and women who understand the importance of complying with hunting laws, behaving ethically and wildlife conservation.

The one- or two-hour daily classes are taught by CDFW officers during the regular school day or immediately afterward. Classes will be offered at the following locations:

  • Jan. 6-17 at Mammoth Lakes Middle School
  • Jan. 21-Feb. 2 at Big Pine Middle School
  • Jan. 27-Feb. 7 at Bishop Middle School
  • Feb. 4-21 at Round Valley Middle School
  • Feb. 24-March 7 at Coleville Middle School

Youth interested in attending the classes must attend seventh or eighth grades at a participating school. Parents may register their child through the school administration office.

Media Contacts:
Bill Dailey, CDFW Law Enforcement, (661) 203-6380
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Hunter Education Courses Available in Eastern Sierra

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division is offering a pair of hunter certification classes in Inyo and Mono counties that will allow residents who have already completed a portion of the mandatory hunter education course online to receive a hunting license.

This will allow residents of Mono and Inyo counties to complete the basic study portion online at their own pace, followed up by a four-hour certification class with wildlife officers.

To register and take the online portion of the course, go to http://www.huntercourse.com/usa/california/

After completing the online course and receiving a passing test score, a $24.95 fee will be charged for a completion voucher. Applicants will need to bring this document to the final certification class in order to receive a final hunter education certificate.

The four-hour follow-up class consists of two hours of review, one hour of gun handling techniques and one hour for the hunter education test. Applicants who completed the online portion of the class must pre-register for the follow-up class. Registration closes one week prior to the class. These will be the only follow-up courses give for this year’s hunting season.

Two classes are scheduled for the Eastern Sierra;

  • Mono County – July 20, 2013 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Mammoth Lakes Fire Station #1
  • Inyo County – August 3, 2013 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Bishop Civic Center’s Counsel

A complete list of hunter education classes statewide may be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/classes-home-study.aspx

Media Contacts:
Todd Estrada, CDFW Mono County Law Enforcement, (760) 937-1668
Shane Dishion, CDFW Inyo County Law Enforcement, (760) 920-7593

CDFW Hot Creek Hatchery to Host First Trout Fest

The Hot Creek Hatchery in Inyo County will host its first family-friendly Trout Fest on Saturday, June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Trout Fest is a free fishing celebration that introduces people to the sport of trout fishing and gives the public a close up view of the millions of trout on site and hatchery operations.

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CDFW staff and volunteers teach attendees the basics of trout fishing from knot-tying to catching, cleaning and cooking trout.  Fly-fishing groups will demonstrate the art of fly-tying, casting and catch-and-release techniques.

Children can feed the fish in the raceways and try their hands (literally) at catching a trout in the either the raceway or the onsite ponds. Art activities will run continuously, including gyotaku, the traditional Japanese art of fish printing, wildlife stamp tattoos and face painting.

The trout tasting booth features grilling demonstrations, free recipes and samples of foil-wrapped barbecued trout.  CDFW will also feature its 1928 Dodge Hatchery Planting Truck, and wildlife officers will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how their K9 units operate. Visitors  will be able to see various life stages of trout up close in the living stream display.

Admission to the Trout Fest and all related activities are free. All tackle is provided. No outside tackle or rods are allowed. Children 15 and under can fish with a one-fish limit.

The Hot Creek Hatchery is located about 37 miles north of Bishop, or 3.5 miles south of the junction of U.S. Highway 395 and State Route 203, near the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport, follow the signs for parking.

Media Contacts:
Jana Lerian, CDFW Region 4, (559) 539-6644
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW Law Enforcement Active at Eastern Sierra Trout Opener

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers contacted more than 3,000 anglers while patrolling the local waterways in Inyo and Mono Counties during the trout season opener that started April 27. Over the opening weekend, 17 CDFW wildlife officers issued 60 citations, 43 warnings and made one arrest.

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Violations included over-limits of trout, fishing closed waters, fishing without a license, use of prohibited gear and bait, fishing out of season, angling in a hatchery, snagging, boating without a fire extinguisher, no life jackets, boating under the influence, excessive speed and use of multiple poles.

Officers also conducted a wildlife checkpoint operation to promote safety, education and compliance with law and regulations through education, preventative patrol and enforcement.

On Tuesday, April 30, the southbound lanes of U.S. 395 were reduced to one lane and all vehicles traveling south on U.S. 395 were screened by the Department’s law enforcement officers.  Screening consisted of an introduction and brief questions.  Approximately 2,000 vehicles were contacted. Of those, 250 vehicles submitted to an inspection. A total of 14 violations were found which included 11 over-limits of trout, one driving without a valid driver’s license, one unregistered vehicle and possession of scales and drug paraphernalia.

Average screening took less than 20 seconds per vehicle and the average inspection took about 2 minutes, 20 seconds per vehicle.  If violations were found, the occupants were detained for an average of 28 minutes to conduct the inspection, interviews and issue citations.

Anglers found in violation of the trout limit were returned their legal possession limit of 10 trout per person; the excess trout above the legal limit were seized.  A total of 88 seized trout were donated to the California Department of Forestry conservation camp.

The Department provided informative literature about the invasive quagga mussel and New Zealand mud snail to help reduce the spread of these invasive species.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Bill Daily, CDFW Law Enforcement, (760) 872-7360
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Lakes and Streams Looking Good for Eastern Sierra Trout Season Opener

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) anticipates good fishing for the eastern Sierra trout opener due to early spring conditions and rising temperatures.

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Warm weather has been melting snow and ice on lakes that often are still frozen in late spring, giving anglers more access to lakes, streams and waterways for the Saturday, April 27 season opener. Lakes below 8,000 feet have already thawed and higher lakes could thaw considerably more prior to opening day.

Warmer water often means the fish have had more time to forage and add some weight after the winter. Hatcheries have begun to stock the open waters.

CDFW biologists have been surveying the waters and have made the following observations:

  • Crowley Lake is ice-free and has been open for two months.
  • Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, Lundy Lake and the Twin Lakes in Bridgeport are all open and ice-free.
  • The entire June Lake Loop, including June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Reservoir are all ice-free. Water level at Grant Reservoir is very low.
  • East Walker River is at very low flow but fishing is good with no ice or muddy areas. East Walker River is open to catch-and-release fishing all winter.
  • Monitor Pass is open.
  • The Bishop Creek drainage roads are open and the roads are snow-free, the creek, south and middle forks will be fishable. North Lake and Weir Pond are ice-free and open.
  • In the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Twin Lakes are open, no update on Mamie, Mary or George Lakes.
  • Rock Creek Lake is 50 percent open and melting. The road is open and all shoreline is accessible.
  • In Virginia Lakes, road is still closed due to highway work.

Anglers are reminded that anyone over 16 must have a valid California fishing license in their possession while fishing and that the limit for trout is five fish per day and 10 in possession.

CDFW wildlife officers will be in the area for the opener and enforcing the laws and regulations. On opening weekend last year wardens contacted 3,355 anglers, gave 73 warnings and wrote 91 citations for fishing without a license, catching more than the limit and other Fish and Game Code Violations.

The eastern Sierra trout season officially open at one hour before sunrise on Saturday, April 27. Check the CDFW freshwater fishing regulations for specifics on individual lakes at http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/FreshFish-Mar2013/

Media Contacts:         
James Erdman, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (760) 873-6071
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Eastern Sierra Lakes

DFG Makes Fishing Licenses Easy to Purchase for Anglers at Bishop Trout Opener

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944
Richard Reyes, DFG License Branch, (916) 928-6899

DFG Makes Fishing Licenses Easy to Purchase for Anglers at Bishop Trout Opener

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is taking steps to ensure that the 2011 trout fishing opener runs smoothly for anglers in the eastern Sierras. DFG is sending personnel and equipment to Bishop beginning Thursday, April 27, to assist local officials and businesses in making sure that anglers are properly licensed prior to the always popular opening day, which falls this year on April 30.

DFG personnel from the Southern California Regional office and the Licensing and Communications branches in Sacramento will be onsite with mobile licensing terminals featuring the newly launched Automated License Data System (ALDS).

ALDS is an online license service that provides new features and capabilities to make licenses more accessible, enhances DFG’s law enforcement and resource management capabilities and ultimately improves customer service.

“We are encouraging everyone who plans to fish the opener to go the DFG website and get their 2011 California fishing license before they head into the Sierras,” said DFG Director John McCamman. “For those who can’t make the purchase online, we will be in Bishop for opening weekend. But to avoid lines and get out ahead of the crowd, early purchase is your best bet.”

There are four ways to purchase a 2011 California Fishing License for the Trout Opener.

  • Go online to http://dfg.ca.gov/licensing
  • Go to one of the authorized license agents around the state
  • Visit a DFG License Sales Office
  • Visit the Bishop Chamber of Commerce

DFG personnel will be selling 2011 fishing licenses at the Bishop Chamber of Commerce office located at 690 North Main Street in Bishop on Thursday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 30 from 6 a.m. to noon.  The Chamber can be reached at (760) 873-8405.

“We are thrilled that Fish and Game is bringing people and resources to Bishop,” said Tawni Thompson, Executive Director of the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will be great to have DFG license experts here to answer questions about fishing and licensing from locals and visitors.”

Licenses are also available for purchase now at the following locations in Inyo and Mono counties:

  • Bishop Creek Lodge, 2100 South Lake Road, Bishop
  • Cardinal Village Resort, 321 Cardinal Road, Bishop
  • Carroll’s Market, 136 South Main St., Big Pine
  • Gardner’s Home & Sport Center, 104 South Main St., Lone Pine
  • Hi Country Market, 101 North Main St., Big Pine
  • High Sierra Outfitters, 130 South Main St., Lone Pine
  • Independence Shell & Mini Market, 350 South Edward St., Independence
  • Kmart, 1200 North Main St., Bishop
  • Lone Pine Sporting Goods, 220 South Main St., Lone Pine
  • Manor Market, 3100 West Line St., Bishop
  • Parcher’s Resort, 5001 South Lake Road, Bishop
  • Valley Market, 130 South Edwards St., Independence
  • Value Sport, 1331 Rocking W Drive, Bishop
  • Annett’s Mono Village, 13425 Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport
  • Bell’s Sporting Goods, 51328 East Side Highway 395, Lee Vining
  • Convict Lake Resort Inc., 2000 Convict Lake Road, Mammoth Lakes
  • Crowley Lake Fish Camp, 1149 South Landing Road, Mammoth Lakes
  • Ernie’s Tackle & Ski Shop, 2604 Highway 158, June Lake
  • Gull Lake Marina, 47 West Granite St., June Lake
  • June Lake Marina, end of Brenner Street, June Lake
  • Ken’s Sporting Goods, 258 Main St., Bridgeport
  • Kittredge Sports, 3218 Main St., Mammoth Lakes
  • Mammoth Sporting Goods, 1 Sierra Center Mall, Mammoth Lakes
  • Adventure Center, 2 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes
  • McCoy Sports, 80 Canyon Blvd., Mammoth Lakes
  • Rick’s Sport Center, 3241 Main St., Mammoth Lakes
  • Silver Lake Resort, 6957 Highway 158, June Lake
  • Troutfitter/Trout Fly, Highway 203 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes
  • Walker Country Store, 107700 Highway 395, Coleville
  • Walker General Inc., 106651 Highway 395, Coleville

Three traditional locations in the Bishop area — Culver’s Sporting Goods, Mac’s Sporting Goods and Brock’s Flyfishing Specialists — will not be selling licenses in 2011. There will also not be a license retailer at the shore of Lake Crowley.

A resident sport fishing license is required for California residents 16 years of age or older to take fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, amphibians or reptiles in inland or ocean waters. Additional validations and report cards are required for certain species and areas.

Licenses are valid from the date of purchase until Dec. 31, 2011.

For specific license fees and descriptions see http://dfg.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/fishdescrip.html.