Trout opener delayed for Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties | RecordCourier.com
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Trout opener delayed for Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties

Doug Busey
Bridgeport Reservoir.
Chad Woods

Hello fellow anglers, As per my last report, the California Fish Commission voted to delay the season opener for Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties. That vote was then sent to the CDFW for approval.

In which the commissioners have approved the delay for these three counties which expires as of right now on May 31.

The release states: “As requested by county officials, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham delayed the start of the trout opener in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. The director made this decision in consultation with California Fish and Game Commission President Eric Sklar. The trout season was scheduled to open in these three counties this Saturday, April 25. The delay to the opener in these counties expires May 31.

“‘After talking with the county representatives, we agreed this was a necessary step toward being responsive to local needs in this public health emergency,” said CDFW Director Bonham. “These counties asked for our help, and we responded.’”

“Specifically this means all waters in these three counties not currently open to fishing will remain closed to fishing until May 31.

“After local government coordination in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties, CDFW is also making minor adjustments to bag and possession limits in waters that are currently open for fishing to protect and conserve the existing fisheries that may be affected by increased angling pressure or harvest. These modifications will also expire May 31.

“Pursuant to the emergency regulation approved by the Commission, CDFW will provide accurate information for the angling public online or by phone at (916) 445-7600. Today’s decision does not affect the trout season in any other county. Early this week, CDFW had discussions with county leadership regarding trout fishing, which typically draws a high tourism influx to these counties. Local officials are concerned that people traveling to these areas to fish would exacerbate the transmission of COVID-19 and put a strain on their healthcare systems.

Further, all non-essential businesses in these counties including lodging, dining and camping options are closed in compliance with state and local public health officers’ orders.

On April 15, the California Fish and Game Commission authorized CDFW to temporarily delay, suspend or restrict recreational fishing if the director of CDFW, in consultation with the president of the Commission, finds that such action is necessary to protect against the threat from COVID-19 based on state, federal, local, and tribal public health guidance and public safety needs. At the request of counties or tribes, CDFW will consider action to address needs regarding fishing seasons amongst the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a county or tribal representative with questions or would like to provide input on potential angling related delays or restrictions, please contact Roger Bloom, Acting Branch Chief, Fisheries Branch, by email at Roger.Bloom@wildlife.ca.gov.”

This delay is now official and these three counties are asking for all anglers to avoid driving to the area until the season opens back up potentially on June 1.

Depending on how this pandemic plays out, they may open sooner. In which I will let all fellow anglers know.

As a note, all BLM and Forest Service Campgrounds as well as private camping facilities are closed. All unessential businesses are closed, including restaurants, bars, bait and tackle shops, boat ramps public and private, motels, hotels. Now for those of you that have that little hide away favorite camping spot that is just off the road along a river or a lake in these areas. You will be asked to move on by the local authorities. Now even thought this pertains to only three counties as far as fishing season. All areas outside of these areas for camping will also be closed, which was mandated by the governor of California. Although fishing may be open on waters not included in this delay, the access may be. I talked with the Douglas County Parks department this week. They have told me that the campground at Topaz is closed. The day use facilities and the county boat ramp are open. But, there is no overnight camping aloud in the day use area until further notice. On another note, I spoke with my cousin in Oregon the other night about a future fishing trip this year. He told me right now, the state was not issuing any non resident fishing licenses. I have heard that a couple other states are doing the same. As of now, California and Nevada will continue to issue all anglers a sport fishing license.

Fellow anglers, if we work together. We can through this to “live” and fish another day. Good fishin’ and tight lines.