If you're an angler who likes to fish California waters, you should be aware that a large number of nearby fishing waters will be closing in the near future.
On Oct. 31, all applicable waters in Inyo and Mono Counties in California will close for the 1999 season.
Those fishing waters include such popular destinations as the East Walker River, the West Walker River, the Little Walker River, Lobdell Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir, Kirman (Carmen) Lake, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Robinson Creek, Buckeye Creek, Green Creek, Dynamo Pond, Poore Lake, Secret Lake, Roosevelt and Lane Lakes, the Virginia Lakes and the Virginia Creek Area, Lundy Lake, the June Lake Loop (Grant, Gull, June and Silver Lakes plus Rush Creek), Convict Lake, the Mammoth Lakes area (George, Mamie, Mary and Twin Lakes plus Mammoth Creek)), Crowley Lake, South Lake, North Lake, Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek, the Hoover Wilderness Area, etc.
If you like to fish any of those waters, be advised that once they close, they will not re-open to fishing until the last Saturday in April.
So, if you want one last chance to fish your favorite location in either Mono or Inyo County for 1999, you had better hurry, because you're rapidly running out of time. You only have 11 days left.
Many of those Inyo and Mono waters have become very attractive to anglers during the past few years. That popularity is primarily due to an aggressive planting program by a number of prime fishing locations.
At places such as Lower Twin Lake, the Virginia Lakes area, Lundy Lake, the June Lake Loop, the Mammoth Lakes area, Convict Lake, etc., the local communities or the county stock their waters with a very special type of rainbow trout.
That special type of trout is known as an Alpers Trophy Trout. What makes those rainbows so special is their size. When they are planted, they weigh pounds. That's correct, pounds.
Compare that to the size of the fish that the Nevada Division of Wildlife and that the California Department of Fish and Game plant and you'll see why they are so popular. There is no comparison. NDOW planters are usually in the 6-9 inch class. Calif. F&G planters are comparable in size.
But, the Alpers rainbows are a different story.
Those trout are raised at the Alpers Owens River Ranch hatchery, just east of U.S. 395 near Mammoth Lakes.
The ranch and hatchery are owned and operated by Tim Alpers, who discovered a long time ago that fishermen like to catch big fish and to brag about it. Based on that knowledge, he has capitalized on those two important facts. And so have the various locations that receive those Alpers Trophy Trout.
In fact, one lodge owner told me several years ago that he had shifted a considerable amount of money (five figures!) from advertising to planting Alpers Trophy Trout. As a result, his business has grown in a spectacular manner!
According to him, the best advertisement in the world for his fishing resort is the huge Alpers trout that fishermen catch. Why? Well, when they catch one of those trophies, they go home and brag to their friends, neighbors and relatives.
And then guess what happens?
Those same friends, neighbors and relatives flock to that fishing resort with the hope of also catching a big rainbow trout. And, quite often they do!
That is a real win-win situation for the many fishing destinations in Inyo and Mono Counties, the various locations and counties which receive the tourist dollar, the fishermen who catch the trophies and Tim Alpers who raises the big rainbows.
it's a great combination for everyone.
So during the next 11 days, take the time to travel to your favorite fishing water in either of those two counties.
Who knows, you just might catch one of those Alpers Trophy trout.
If you do, it should remain as a pleasant memory during all the long months that you will spend waiting for opening day on the last Saturday in April in 2000.
Finally, you are also reminded that when fishing in California, you must wear your fishing license above the waist, where it is readily visible. if you don't, the "friendly old game warden" will issue you a citation if he catches you. That could ruin a fun day of fishing.
For information, call the Region No. 2 Office of the California Dept. of Fish and Game at 916-358-2935 during regular business hours.
Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't name the headwaters of Desert Creek in Douglas County.
If he gets a big grin and answers, "Lobdell Lake, near Bridgeport, Calif.," you just lost another bet.