DFG Reports Successful and Safe Trout Opener
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) held another successful opening of the general trout season in the eastern Sierra last weekend. Department and local officials said that although the overall number of fishing enthusiasts was down from last year, the quality of the fish caught was outstanding.
Because of the introduction this year of the Automated License Data System, DFG’s new computer database that facilitates license and tag sales, DFG made an extra effort to help anglers by setting up a license sales branch in the Bishop Chamber of Commerce for the opening weekend. More than 365 licenses, tags, enhancements and drawings were sold onsite, generating more than $12,000 in sales.
“Having DFG here in the chamber was a huge benefit for the town of Bishop and the anglers,” said Chamber Director Tawni Thompson. “We had nothing but positive comments from the public and community leaders about DFG.”
An estimated 5,000 anglers came to cast a line in local waters this weekend. Game wardens were out in force with 19 officers patrolling the lakes and streams from Bridgeport to Big Pine. The most serious resource crime discovered was an overlimit violation, as wardens observed a group of fishermen catching their limit of five in the lakes about Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and then returning later in the day returning to the same lake and catching additional fish. The wardens detained the group as they left the fishing area and the investigation found that the group had 58 fish in their possession, well over the limit of five per day per person and the 10 each is allowed to possess. The case is still under investigation and will be forwarded to the Mono County District Attorney for prosecution.
Wardens also wrote more than two dozen citations for various violations including fishing in a closed area, not having a valid license or an additional pole validation, and even littering. One citation was also issued for illegally hunting a non-game bird (a seagull) with a slingshot.
Officials report no serious injuries or accidents over the weekend.
The opening of trout season is historically one of the largest fishing weekends of the year in California with thousands of anglers from across the western United States converging on the area for the good fishing and beautiful scenery of the eastern Sierra region.