Countdown To ‘Fishmas’ In The Sierra

Bridgeport Reservoir is looking good as the Eastern Sierra prepares for the April 29 trout opener. (JEFF SIMPSON/MONO COUNTY TOURISM)

The following press release is courtesy of Mono County Tourism;

MONO COUNTY, Calif. –The official start to the fishing season in Mono County has been dubbed “Fishmas” because it’s the most wonderful time of the year for anglers. Another reason to celebrate: Mono County in partnership with Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Inyo County, has just released a new Fishing Map outlining top fishing destinations in the front country of both Inyo and Mono counties.

Mono County is well known as an exceptional trout-fishing destination, and the 2017 season, starting on April 29, is following a historical winter that will fill lakes and streams to levels that haven’t been seen in years.

“We are looking forward to the best opening day conditions since 2012, both in terms of the amount of fish being planted and the healthy water levels of our lakes,” said Jeff Simpson, Mono County’s economic development manager.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has planned 660,000 pounds in fish stocking allotments for Mono County and Inyo County, currently scheduled for every other week along with holidays and local events, according to James Erdman, an environmental scientist with the department.

In addition to CDFW’s allotments, Mono County plants 3,200 pounds of fish, with the majority of the six-to-nine-pound trophy trout arriving before opening day, and an additional 21,200 pounds of fish before the end of the season in the fall. In total over 675,000 pounds of fish are stocked in tandem with Mammoth Lakes, Inyo County, Bishop and private marinas and resorts along with the CDFW.

Some of the Mono County streams and lakes regularly stocked throughout the fishing season include Rock Creek, Rock Creek Lake, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin (which includes Twin, Mary, Mamie and George), the June Lake Loop (June, Gull, Silver and Grant), Saddlebag Lake, Lundy Lake, Big Virginia and Little Virginia Lakes, Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, Bridgeport Reservoir, Robinson Creek and the West Walker River. CDFW staff attempt to visit waters prior to opening day to generate a list (including photos) of waters that are ice free and accessible to fishermen.  Please visit the CDFW website to find a list of open waters in Inyo and Mono counties. At the time of this release, the following fishing hotspots are thawed and road accessible: Crowley, Convict, June, Gull, Silver, and Grant lakes, Bridgeport Reservoir, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, the East Walker and West Walker rivers, as well as parts of the Lower Owens River.

Fishing Opener Events:

The official Mono County Fishing Opener kicks off on April 29 with numerous events, derbies and festivities, including the classic Fishmas Day Celebration at Tom’s Place, Crowley Lake’s Big Fish Contest, Round-up at Convict Lake, the Monster Trout Contest in the June Lake Loop, and the WON 395 Big Fish Sierra Trout Opener.

For a complete list of fishing events all season long at Mono County, visit MonoCounty.org/Fishing or contact Mono County Tourism at 800-845-7922.

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