Region angles for return of Fishmas

By: 
Register Staff
Staff Writer

Eastern Sierra locals and visitors alike are gearing up for “Fishmas” on Saturday, April 24, the official start to regular fishing season.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife changed many of the fishing regulations this year, opening many area streams and backcountry lakes to year-round fishing.
The agency did, however, keep the traditional Fishmas Day celebration in place for all of the major resort lakes in the area after months of lobbying from local resort owners, guides and government officials.
There are 19 lakes that only will be open for fishing during the traditional season. These include Lake Sabrina and South Lake in Inyo County. Most of the lakes listed for traditional Fishmas are located in Mono county.
“The best part about dropping a line in our friendly county is just being outdoors in this spectacular landscape,” said Jennifer Kreitz, chair of the Mono County board of supervisors. “Opening weekend is always highly anticipated, and we look forward to enthusiastically welcoming anglers on April 24.”
With the relatively mild winter this year, most front country lakes, rivers, and streams should be thawed by Fishmas, so there is much for anglers to celebrate.
The 18 “resort lakes,” located in Mono County, including Crowley, Rock Creek (Lake), Convict, Lundy, Virginia Lakes, Bridgeport Reservoir, Twin Lakes (Bridgeport), the lakes of the June Lake Loop, and Mammoth Lakes Basin, will retain the traditional Fishmas opening and closing dates (the last Saturday in April through Nov. 15).
However, all rivers and streams in the Eastern Sierra now have special regulations pertaining to season start and end dates, hook and lure restrictions, fish size limits, and possession limits.
For a comprehensive list of the new regulations, anglers should visit the CDFW website at: https://fgc.ca.gov/Regulations/2020-New-and-Proposed#3_00 and bookmark the smartphone regulation map: https://apps.wildlife.ca.gov/sportfishingregs.
“We are looking forward to a fantastic fishing season and will be publishing a revised fishing map for Mono County with the new CDFW fishing regulations outlined for popular fishing destinations,” said Jeff Simpson, Mono County’s economic development manager.
Mono County, along Mammoth Lakes Tourism and private marina operators, will be stocking more than 60,000 pounds of trout throughout Mono County this year. Mono County, specifically, stocks 18 bodies of water in the region with almost 18,000 pounds of rainbow trout starting the second week of April.
Anglers are encouraged to join the effort to keep Eastern Sierra fisheries healthy and sustainable by practicing “catch and release” - keeping only the fish they need and releasing the rest to reproduce and grow.

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