Less Than a Week Before The California Official Opening Day of Fishing Season

Photo Credit: Twin Lakes Resort

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. We have less than a week before the California official opening day fishing season. There will be a lot of people on the roads starting Friday. Take your time and we will all make it to our destinations. Because on April 30th, the lakes in Inyo and Mono Counties will open for fishing. While the rivers in Alpine county will change from catch and release to catch and fillet, or catch-measure and fillet. I urge all to check your regulations for the body of water you will be fishing. Some rivers and streams will still have certain restrictions of gear and size limits. For instance, the east fork of the Carson River from Hangman's bridge out of Markleeville to the Nevada state line is open to artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks, with a daily bag limit of two trout 14 inches or larger. But upstream from the bridge you may have a five fish daily limit with no size or gear restrictions.  Right now up to the 29th of April, the rivers are open to catch and release artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks. Two anglers did not follow my advice and did not read the regulations. They were cited for possession of trout and using bait in a restricted area. I would also like to remind anglers, when you practice catch and release. Keep your catch in the water, limit your hand contact with the fish, make sure that you wet your hand before you cradle the fish in the water.  use long nose pliers to remove the hook. If the fish has swallowed the hook, cut the line closest to the mouth and release. The don'ts of catch and release are,  bringing the fish onto the shore, rip the hook out which would cause bleeding. And please don't put a finger into the gill plate to hold up for a photo op or a selfie. If the fish is injured and can not survive, put it on a string. We are all tired of seeing small dead fish on the bottom of the river because of lack of education on how to properly release a fish unharmed. On another note, many of the camping areas in Alpine County are still closed due to the Tamarack Fire of last year. I would recommend calling ahead. Whenever you camp, remember that campfires are only allowed in designated camp areas. This does not mean that because there was a fire ring that someone had built on the side of the river it is legal. It must be in a designated campground area. Please, we do not need an early reminder of fire season. If you have any questions for Alpine County, call the Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475. or stop by the visitors center on the corner of Webster St and Highway 89. Mention you read this fishing report and receive 10% off all merchandise in the gift shop Friday April 29th through Sunday May 1st.

SILVER LAKE KIRKWOOD AREA: As of last weekend the lake was open with no ice. But the ramp had a foot of snow on it with 2 foot berms from the snow plows.

CAPLES LAKE: Our recent storm dumped more snow in the area. The open waters that we had a week ago had frozen back over. But with our warming temps, the lake ice should start coming off pretty fast.. Do not venture out on the ice, as tempting as it may be. The ice is too thin to hold any weight. The Caples Lake resort is looking to open in mid May. The Caples Lake Campground is closed as of this week.

WOODS LAKE:  Closed.

RED LAKE: The lake has iced over as of last week. But it is still too thin to hold any weight. The lake should be thawing out this week with our warming temperatures. There is no camping allowed behind the dam and the dirt road is not recommended for vehicle travel at this time.

BLUE LAKES- TAMARACK LAKE-SUNSET LAKES: The road is only open to the first gate.

BURNSIDE LAKE: Road is closed.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground is closed and will remain closed for the year. The water level is good and the weeds have not started to grow. But there is a little slime on the bottom of the lake. Anglers using green glitter Powerbait caught some nice rainbows in the 13 to 16 inch class by the dam. Kastmasters or small spinners have been productive as well. The lake was stocked by the CDFW last week with 6200 trout.  For more information stop by the Creekside lodge.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The rivers were stocked by Alpine County with 700 lbs of 2-6 pound rainbows last week. The CDFW will be planting the river this week with 1000 lb of catchable rainbow trout. Catch and release with artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks until April 30th. The waters have been running good, but be cautious of the water temps this time of year.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The river is running clear with a little green tint. The CDFW is scheduled to plant 1000 lbs of catchable rainbow trout this week. Alpine County planted 900 lbs of 2-6 pound rainbows last week. The river is open to fishing for catch and release with artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks until April 30th. This is above Hangman's bridge. Below the bridge is open to artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks with a two fish limit of trout 14 inches or larger. The Carson River Resort  is the place to bring in your catch to get a picture taken for the next Naw report. Come celebrate their 100th anniversary with them. Last year was not a good year due to the wildfires. So to make up for all the people and friends they have missed seeing, and those they have not met yet. The resort will be having live music and the return of the Naw-B-Que this summer. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river was planted by Alpine County with 200 lbs of 2-6  pound rainbow trout last week. Fishing is open for catch and release, artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks until april 30th.

MONITOR PASS: Closed as of April 25th, but is scheduled to be open by the weekend. Keep updated on the CalTrans website.

EBBETTS PASS: closed  at Monitor pass as of the 25th. They are trying to open the road up to Wolf Creek by the weekend.

WOLF CREEK: closed


KIT CARSON CAMPGROUND: Scheduled to open April 28th on a first come first serve basis.

NDOW FISH PLANTS THIS WEEK: Wilson Common Pond, Baily Pond,Paradise Pond, Marilyn's Pond, Mitch Pond, Martin Slough,Seeman Pond and the East Fork of Walker River in the Walker River Recreation area

SUPPLIES AND GROCERIES: Markleeville General store and Carson River Resort.

PLACES TO EAT: Outwest Cafe-Cutthroat Saloon, Stonefly and the Toll Station-Sorenson's Cafe.

ACCOMODATIONS: Creekside Inn Lodge, Woodfords Inn Motel-Wylders Hotel.

Good luck on your opening day adventure. I hope to see you on the waters soon. If you have a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Let us all take our time getting to our destinations to have a great opening day experience to share. Good fishin' and tight lines.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a question. a report in our local fishing area or have a photo of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin' and tight lines.

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