Inyo, Mono, Alpine counties may delay trout opener to May 31 |

Inyo, Mono, Alpine counties may delay trout opener to May 31

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
A rainbow trout.

Hello fellow anglers.

I had the privilege to sit in on the three and a half hour California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday morning.

The topic was the California trout opening season for 2020, which is usually due to open on the last Saturday in April each year.

After pros and cons from the public and many county officials, the commission granted emergency powers to Director Charlton Bonham to delay the openers in Alpine, Mono and Inyo counties.

Bonham may officially delay the season opener for the three counties until May 31 at sunset. That decision could happen this week.

Many other counties may follow the commissioners request.

I recommend checking the CDFW website for any other closures that may occur in the state. The CDFW will be updating there each evening at 7 pm. So before you head out to that special lake or stream, check their website first.

Another important issue that was raised during the meeting, was to extend the season for one month.

The commission said it would strongly consider that option. As a fellow angler, I fully agree with that decision. These are small communities that fully support anglers and recreationists. With the limited resources they have to take care of their own community. We do not need to further tax them with a possible spread of this virus.

I have also spoken to a few of the officials in these counties. As of right now in Alpine County, all campgrounds for RV or dry camping, lodging, restaurants are closed until further notice. They are asking everyone to stay home until the season opens on June 1.

The Alpine County Fish Commission nor the CDFW will be planting any of the rivers until the official new start of the season.

I received a letter from the guys at Ernie’s Tackle Shop down in Mammoth Lakes, it read; “Normally at this time in April all of us in The Loop would be preparing for and counting down the days to ‘Fishmas,’ the Eastern Sierra trout fishing season opener scheduled for Saturday, April 25. Well, we all know things are not normal this year due to COVID-19 responses. Not here, not in the state, not in America, not in the world. In our little tiny part of this world like many small towns everything is pretty much shut down. The only businesses open are the general store and the gas station at The Junction. Oh, and the post office. This will be the case until at least May 1 after the opener. It’s very likely closure orders will be extended and as I believe already have for short term rentals (motels, hotels, vacation rentals, etc.) till May 31. All Inyo National Forest campgrounds are also closed as well as The Loop lake’s marinas. Even the Tiger Bar is closed which never happens. And yes, even Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop.

I believe we can all adjust to this delay. It will be a tough one. I personally, was looking forward to five days on Bridgeport Reservoir with friends and fellow anglers.

Let’s do this for the communities that have taken care of our angling needs for so long. It’s time to give back fellow anglers. Show them the respect they are asking for and stay home so that we can “live” to fish and camp another day.

As a reminder and clarification, this special regulation does not shut down all waters in the state of California to fishing. Check the CDFW website before you venture out.

Stay safe and be well. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the three counties have not officially delayed the trout opener, but it is being considered, and say it will likely happen this week.

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