Alpine rivers change to catch and fillet

The West Fork of the Walker River passes through Mono, Douglas and Lyon counties.

The West Fork of the Walker River passes through Mono, Douglas and Lyon counties.
Katherine Replogle | Special to The R-C

Hello fellow anglers. 

There will be a lot of people on the roads today because today, the lakes in Mono and Inyo counties will open for fishing

The rivers in Alpine County will change from catch and release to catch and fillet, or catch, measure and fillet. 

I urge all to check your regulations for the body of water you will be fishing. Some rivers and streams will still have certain restrictions of gear and size limits. 

For instance, the East Fork of the Carson River from Hangman’s Bridge out of Markleeville to the Nevada state line is open to artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks, with a daily bag limit of two trout 14 inches or larger. 

But upstream from the bridge you may have a five fish daily limit with no size or gear restrictions. 

Up until Friday, the rivers were open to catch and release artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks. 

Two anglers did not follow my advice and did not read the regulations. They were cited for possession of trout and using bait in a restricted area. 

I would also like to remind anglers, when you practice catch and release, keep your catch in the water, limit your hand contact with the fish, make sure that you wet your hand before you cradle the fish in the water. Use long nose pliers to remove the hook. If the fish has swallowed the hook, cut the line closest to the mouth and release. The don’ts of catch and release are bringing the fish onto the shore, rip the hook out which would cause bleeding. And please don’t put a finger into the gill plate to hold up for a photo op or a selfie. If the fish is injured and cannot survive, put it on a string. 

We are all tired of seeing small dead fish on the bottom of the river because of lack of education on how to properly release a fish unharmed. On another note, many of the camping areas in Alpine County are still closed due to last year’s Tamarack Fire. I would recommend calling ahead. Whenever you camp, remember that campfires are only allowed in designated camp areas. This does not mean that because there was a fire ring that someone had built on the side of the river it is legal. It must be in a designated campground area. Please, we do not need an early reminder of fire season. If you have any questions for Alpine County, call the Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475. or stop by the visitor’s center on the corner of Webster Street and Highway 89. 

SILVER LAKE KIRKWOOD AREA: As of last weekend the lake was open with no ice. But the ramp had a foot of snow on it with 2-foot berms from the snowplows.

CAPLES LAKE: Our recent storm dumped more snow in the area. The open waters that we had a week ago had frozen back over. But with our warming temps, the lake ice should start coming off pretty fast. Do not venture out on the ice, as tempting as it may be. The ice is too thin to hold any weight. The Caples Lake resort is looking to open in mid May. The Caples Lake Campground is closed as of this week.


RED LAKE: The lake has iced over as of last week. But it is still too thin to hold any weight. The lake should be thawing out this week with our warming temperatures. There is no camping allowed behind the dam and the dirt road is not recommended for vehicle travel at this time.

BLUE LAKES- TAMARACK LAKE-SUNSET LAKES: The road is only open to the first gate.

BURNSIDE LAKE: Road is closed.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground is closed and will remain closed for the year. The water level is good, and the weeds have not started to grow. But there is a little slime on the bottom of the lake. Anglers using green glitter Powerbait caught some nice rainbows in the 13-16-inch class by the dam. Kastmasters or small spinners have been productive as well. The lake was stocked by the CDFW last week with 6200 trout. For more information stop by the Creekside lodge.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The rivers were stocked by Alpine County with 700 pounds of 2-6 pound rainbows last week. The CDFW will be planting the river this week with 1,000 pounds of catchable rainbow trout. The waters have been running good but be cautious of the water temps this time of year.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The river is running clear with a little green tint. The CDFW is scheduled to plant 1000 pounds of catchable rainbow trout this week. Alpine County planted 900 pounds of 2-6 pound rainbows last week. The Carson River Resort is the place to bring in your catch to get a picture taken for the next Naw report. Come celebrate their 100th anniversary with them. Last year was not a good year due to the wildfires, so to make up for all the people and friends they have missed seeing, and those they have not met yet. The resort will be having live music and the return of the Naw-B-Que this summer. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort. 

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river was planted by Alpine County with 200 pounds of 2-6 pound rainbow trout last week. 

MONITOR PASS: Opened on Tuesday. Keep updated on the CalTrans website.

EBBETTS PASS: Still closed. They are trying to open the road up to Wolf Creek by the weekend.

WOLF CREEK: closed


KIT CARSON CAMPGROUND: Scheduled to open April 28 on a first come first serve basis.

NDOW FISH PLANTS THIS WEEK: Wilson Common Pond, Baily Pond,Paradise Pond, Marilyn’s Pond, Mitch Pond, Martin Slough, Seeman Pond and the East Fork of Walker River in the Walker River Recreation area

SUPPLIES AND GROCERIES: Markleeville General store and Carson River Resort.

PLACES TO EAT: Outwest Cafe-Cutthroat Saloon, Stonefly and the Toll Station-Sorenson’s Cafe.

ACCOMODATIONS: Creekside Inn Lodge, Woodfords Inn Motel-Wylders Hotel.

Good luck on your opening day adventure. I hope to see you on the waters soon. If you have a picture of your catch, send it to Let us all take our time getting to our destinations to have a great opening day experience to share. 

Good fishin’ and tight lines.


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