California Department of Fish and Game News Release
April 24, 2012
Annual General Trout Opener Coming Soon in the Eastern Sierra
The general trout opener in many counties throughout California will
commence on April 28, one hour before sunrise. In Inyo and Mono
counties, all waters are open to fishing on this date.
Because of the popularity of this annual event with the angling public,
DFG is making every effort to stock trout in all accessible waters
approved for planting prior to the season opener. Lingering winter
conditions could play a major role in how many rivers, creeks, lakes and
reservoirs can be stocked before April 28.
Most lakes, rivers and streams have a limit of five trout per day and
10 in possession. However, regulations differ on season opening and
closing dates, bag limits, minimum and maximum size limits and gear
restrictions. Anglers are advised to check the 2012-13 California
Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulation booklet, found online at
www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations, for regulations specific to each body of
This year DFG regional staff created the Eastern Sierra Back Country
Fishing Guide to provide anglers with a quick, informative and accurate
account of the distribution of fisheries in back country high elevation
lakes. This guide does not address front country waters, defined as
lakes and streams that are accessible by vehicle. Most of the lakes lie
within U.S. Forest Service lands managed as Wilderness and usually
require back country permits for overnight use. Most back country
fisheries are based on self-sustaining populations of trout and do not
need regular trout stocking to maintain fish populations. The guide can
be found at http://dfg.ca.gov/regions/6/.
Crowley Lake in the Eastern Sierra is expected to be one of the most
popular opening day destinations for anglers from around the state. In
past years, an estimated 10,000 anglers have turned out for the opener,
and approximately 50,000 trout are caught during the first week of the
season. Typically Crowley is planted with hundreds of thousands of small
and medium sized trout, and because of excellent food sources in the
5,280-acre lake, these trout grow to catchable sizes and weigh at least
three-quarters of a pound by the opener. About 10 percent of the trout
caught at Crowley during opening weekend weigh over a pound and a half.
These fish are from stocks planted in previous years or are wild fish
produced in Crowley’s tributary waters.
Anglers are asked to be particularly vigilant when cleaning fish and
fishing gear at Crowley Lake and in the upper and lower Owens River
Drainage. The New Zealand Mud Snail was discovered several years ago in
the Owens River Drainage and DFG is trying to keep the snail from
spreading into other waters. To avoid spreading New Zealand Mud Snails
to other waters, anglers are advised to clean and dispose of their fish
guts in trash cans, rather than throw them back into the water. Wading
gear should be properly cleaned before using in new waters.
All persons age 16 and older must possess a valid California fishing
license to fish within the state’s borders. Freshwater fishing license
can be purchased online at www.dfg.ca.gov/OnlineSales or at regional DFG
offices or other authorized dealers. Anglers no longer have to display
their license visibly above the waist but they must have it in their
possession while fishing.