The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced the emergency closure of the Heenan Lake Wildlife Area in Alpine County as firefighting helicopters are using Heenan Lake’s water supply to combat the growing Slink Fire in nearby Mono County.
Heenan Lake itself is a 130-acre, special regulations water popular with fly anglers that opened to fishing at sunrise Sept. 4. Heenan Lake and the surrounding wildlife area is now closed to fishing, hunting and all public use and access indefinitely.
“We’re sorry to shut down this unique fishery on opening day but public safety takes precedence,” said Kevin Thomas, regional manager for CDFW’s North Central Region.
Heenan Lake is home to CDFW’s Lahontan cutthroat trout broodstock. Native to the Sierra, Lahontan cutthroat trout are listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. CDFW uses the Heenan Lake population as a source to stock these native fish for recreational angling and species recovery efforts. CDFW fisheries biologists do not expect any negative impacts on the lake or the fish as a result of firefighting efforts.
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858