California pushes back trout season to May 31 |

California pushes back trout season to May 31

Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers, I had the privilege to sit in on the three and a half hour California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday morning.

The topic was the California trout opening season for 2020, which is usually due to open on the last Saturday in April each year. After pro and cons from the public and many California county officials. They unanimously decided to delay the opening season for Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties to May 31 at sunset.

Many other counties are looking to follow with the commissioners request. As of right now, these three counties are officially delaying the 2020 opening trout season to May 31 at sunset.

I recommend to check the CDFW website for any other closures that may occur in the state. The CDFW will be updating their each evening at 7 p.m. So before you head out to that special lake or stream, check the website first.

One also important issue that was raised during the meeting, was to extend the season for one month. The commission said they would strongly consider that option. As a fellow angler, I fully agree with the commission and their decision. These are small communities that fully support the angler and the recreationist. With the limited resources they have to take care of their own community, we do not need to further tax them with a possible spread of this virus.

I have also spoken to a few of the officials in these counties. As of right now in Alpine County, all campgrounds for RV or dry camping, lodging, restaurants are closed until further notice. They are asking everyone to stay home until, the season opens on June 1. The Alpine County Fish Commission or the CDFW will not be planting any of the rivers until the official new start of the season.

I received a letter from the guys at Ernies Tackle Shop down in Mammoth Lakes, It read: “Normally at this time in April all of us in The Loop would be preparing for and counting down the days to “Fishmas.” The Eastern Sierra Trout Fishing Season Opener scheduled for Saturday, April 25. Well, we all know things are not normal this year due to COVID-19 responses. Not here, not in the state, not in America, not in the world. In our little tiny part of this world like many small towns everything is pretty much shut down. The only businesses open are the General Store and the gas station at The Junction. Oh, and the Post Office. This will be the case until at least May 1 after the opener. It’s very likely closure orders will be extended and as I believe already have for short term rentals (motels, hotels, vacation rentals, etc.) till May 31. All Inyo National Forest campgrounds are also closed as well as The Loop lake’s marinas. Even the Tiger Bar is closed which never happens. And yes, even Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop. Here’s what’s in the works as part of the local COVID-19 responses as related to fishing and tourism: Mono County officials and residents are strongly urging out of area visitors to stay at home! With limited resources and a very small hospital in Mammoth Lakes we can ill afford further COVID-19 cases. As the Mono County Public Health Official, Dr. Tom Boo put it, “It’s about a little mountain town and its little hospital on the verge of getting crushed.”

So let’s all do the right thing and stay at home to ride this out. I’m confident that if the season is delayed, as it should be, when it does open it’ll be great!

As a reminder and clarification, this special regulation does not shut down all waters in the state of California to fishing. Check the CDFW website before you venture out. Stay safe and be well. Good fishin’ and tight lines.