California fishing season opens Saturday |

California fishing season opens Saturday

Doug "Mac-the-Naw" Busey shows off the 7-pound rainbow he caught last summer on the East Carson River. Saturday marks the opening of California's fishing season, which includes local streams and rivers in Alpine, Mono and Inyo counties.
Special to The R-C |

Hello, fellow anglers. We have less than one week to go before the opening day of California’s fishing season.

On Saturday, the lakes and steams in Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties will open for fishing. On a special note, rivers leading into Lake Tahoe do not open until July 1. These waters would be the Upper Truckee River, Trout Creek and Taylor Creek.

For those who would like to enjoy a nice breakfast before venturing out on that Saturday morning, there will be a pancake breakfast held at the Woodfords Firehouse at 60 Diamond Valley Road from 7-11 a.m. The cost is $5 per person and all proceeds go to the Eastern Alpine Fire/Rescue.

The weather is looking good for this year’s opener. I would just like to issue one note of caution to all anglers while fishing on our local waters. With our recent snow fall and slightly warmer temperatures, there will be higher than average run off this year.

As of April 20 the Carson River’s East Fork was running at 1,200 cubic feet per second. The river has changed its course in many of the areas and a couple of the levees have been breached and split the river into two paths. For instance, the area known to many as Pebble Beach, located south of the Carson River Resort, now has a stream running right through the middle of the camp area. Up higher on the East Fork is a new addition, a large boulder that came down from the mountain side and lodged itself right in the middle of the river.

Yes, the river has changed a little, but that only means more slack waters in other areas giving us all more areas that will hold fish. The Carson River’s west fork, as of April 20, was running high and clear in Hope Valley — one of the best flows I have seen there in years. As you get into the Sorensen’s Resort area to Woodfords, use extreme caution as the waters are moving very fast and can be dangerous.

Now, as we go up toward Wolf Creek, the road is closed due to major mud slides in the area. Silver Creek is flowing high but and will most likely have muddy water due to the runoff.

I was informed this week by CalTrans that it plans to open Highway 4 from the Monitor Pass junction to 2.4 miles west toward Ebbetts Pass, approximately to the Wolf Creek turn off. Highway 89 over Monitor Pass may also be open. With changing weather, however, that can change at any time, so always check ahead of time by going to CalTrans website to reduce delays. For those planning on camping in the area, Carson River Resort, Grover Hot Springs and Turtle Rock Park camping areas will be open for tent and RV camping. For those anglers looking for more cozy accommodations, check out the Creekside Lodge, Sorensen’s Resort, Woodfords Inn or Carson River Resort.

I recommend for all those who wish to huddle around a nice warm campfire, to get your annual campfire permit. Those can be obtained at the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce in Markleeville. For those new to the area, the Alpine Chamber of Commerce has all the information to enjoy the area from fishing to hiking, biking, camping, lodging, or rafting. If you visit the Chamber make sure to say thank you for providing funding to plant Alpine County with thousands of pounds of rainbow trout each year. For opening day, the Chamber will provide 1,800 pounds of catchable to trophy rainbow trout.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake is still iced over with snow drifts. The resort has no scheduled date for opening at this time.

RED LAKE: The lake is iced over and has snow drifts. Melting quickly and is dangerous to venture out on.

UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER, TROUT CREEK, TAYLOR CREEK: All located on the south end of Lake Tahoe are closed until July 1.

BLUE LAKES: Road is closed.

WOODS LAKE: Road is closed.

BURNSIDE LAKE: Road is closed.

WEST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA: Opens for fishing April 29. Will be stocked by Alpine County.

EAST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA: Opens April 29. Will be stocked by Alpine County.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: Opens April 29. Will be stocked by Alpine County.

SILVER CREEK: Opens April 29. Scheduled to be stocked by Alpine County. Subject to road closures.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake level is up, the water is mostly clear. Fishing has been fair for shore anglers. Reports last week from one angler of a couple 13-inch rainbows and a 5-pound rainbow caught on green Gulp Powerbait. The camping area is scheduled to open in May. Boaters can launch on the unimproved launch area by the dam. For boaters, I recommend a slow troll with a Thomas Buoyant spoon or a bead head wooley bugger fly. The paved road and the dirt road are open.

TOPAZ LAKE: The derby ended last Sunday. There were approximately 1,800 fish weighed in with many tagged fish caught this year. Fishing has slowed down for boat anglers. The shore anglers have been doing very well on the California side. Chartreuse or rainbow Powerbait have been the most productive.

JUNE LAKE LOOP: The loop consists of June, Gull, Silver and Grant lakes with Rush Creek running from the back country through Silver and Grant. All lakes are ice free at this time. All of these waters are planted regularly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in addition to private stocks by the lake marinas. Large “native” rainbows, browns and cutthroats also inhabit these waters. The loop offers all types of fishing from float tube to trolling, ship (boat) to shore, bait to fly fishing. Each year they have the “June Lake Loop Monster Trout Contest” held only on opening day this Saturday. In this event you do not have to be the biggest to win. They have a wide range of categories ranging from, of course, the largest overall to the ugliest, type of fish, location caught, and a kids category. There is no entry fee. Just bring your trophy trout to any marina weigh station or Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop. Call Ernie’s at 760-648-7756 for more information.

If you see an angler taking too many fish, snagging, or any wildlife violation also know as poaching, call the CAL-TIP in California at 800-952-5400 or Operation Game Thief in Nevada at 800-992-3030. These phone numbers are printed on the back of every fishing license.

I hope to see you on the waters. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to and if you have a question or a report in our local fishing area, call the Naw line at 267-9722.

Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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