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

110430-DFG-8708-1275

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

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