Eastern Sierra Gearing Up For ‘Fishmas’ Trout Opener On April 27

Bridgeport Reservoir photo by Jeff Simpson/Mono County Tourism

Look for our “Countdown to the Trout Opener” stories from our April issue next week. Here’s a press release from Mono County Tourism previewing the April 27 Fishmas opening day event:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Reel in the Fun this Fishmas; Opening Day of Regular Fishing Season set for April 27th

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (APRIL 17, 2024) – Eastern Sierra locals and visitors alike are gearing up for “Fishmas,” the official start to the regular fishing season on April 27, 2024.  Lakes, streams, and reservoirs will be at very healthy levels, and most will be ice-free following a strong winter and mild spring.  Unlike most of California, the majority of the lakes in Mono County are natural, fed by spring snowmelt and surrounded by the jagged landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

“Opening weekend is always highly anticipated, and we look forward to enthusiastically welcoming anglers on April 27th,” said Jeff Simpson, Mono County Economic Development Director. “Mono County Tourism’s Facebook and Instagram pages are the best resources for real-time updates and conditions as the season approaches.”

Fishmas is among the most important days of the year in Mono County, for both locals and visitors who come to cast a line in one of the region’s scores of alpine lakes and streams.  More than a dozen bodies of water are stocked by Mono County, along with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Bishop Chamber of Commerce, Inyo County, and private marina operators.  Mono County, specifically, will stock 17 bodies of water in the region with almost 18,000 pounds of rainbow trout starting mid-April through the regular season, which ends on November 15th.

Throughout the regular season, 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.

To encourage beginners, the state holds two “free fishing days” per year, typically the first Saturday of July and the first Saturday of September (all other regulations still apply).  A free Mono County Fishing Map can also help navigate the fishable waters in the area.

For more information about fishing regulations, anglers should visit the CDFW website here,  and bookmark the regulation map here.

Between now and April 27, select year-round fishing spots are still under catch-and-release rules.

Because of the location of Mono County’s fishing hotspots, there are plenty of opportunities for non-fishing family members and friends who prefer to hike, explore nature, do a little boating, or delve into the region’s rich history.

Visit MonoCounty.org to learn more about fishing in Mono County, as well as other things to do and see, lodging, and much more.