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.
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/
James Erdman, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (760) 873-6071
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944