MONO COUNTY, Calif. – The 2018 Mono County trout fishing season officially kicks off on Saturday, April 28 this year and wraps up Nov. 15. Mono County is well known as an exceptional trout fishing destination, and the opening date has been dubbed “Fishmas” because it’s the most wonderful time of the year for anglers.
Another reason to celebrate: winter snow pack in Mono County is nearly 100 percent of normal, which is great news for the water supply, fish and anglers alike.
“The late snow we received this year will certainly help the snow pack and keep our lakes and rivers full – we won’t see the CFS and runoff that we experienced last spring, but we still have so much water left from last winter that our lakes and reservoirs will be full well into late fall,” said Jeff Simpson, Mono County’s economic development manager. “With spring’s warming temps, we will likely have early access to some of the higher elevation lakes like Virginia Lakes, Tioga Lake, Ellery Lake, Saddlebag Lake and Rock Creek Lake.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has planned 630,000 pounds in fish stocking allotments for Mono County and Inyo County, currently scheduled for every other week along with holidays and local events, according to James Erdman, an environmental scientist with the department.
Mono County is committed to stocking approximately 20,000 pounds of rainbow trout this year. Some of the Mono County streams and lakes regularly stocked throughout the fishing season include Rock Creek, Rock Creek Lake, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin (which includes Twin, Mary, Mamie and George), the June Lake Loop (June, Gull, Silver and Grant), Saddlebag Lake, Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Lake, Big Virginia and Little Virginia Lakes, Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, Bridgeport Reservoir, Robinson Creek and the West Walker River.
CDFW staff attempt to visit waters prior to opening day to generate a list (including photos) of waters that are ice-free and accessible to fishermen. Please visit the CDFW website to find a list of open waters in Inyo and Mono counties.
Businesses now open:
With the opening of fishing season, visitors will also be able to take advantage of the various roads and businesses opening for the season. June Lake Loop, Monitor Pass and Highway 120 East are now open to traffic, and Bodie Road (SR270) is expected to open by the start of fishing season. Beaver’s Sporting Goods in Lee Vining, the Bridgeport Inn, Mono Inn (now open Saturdays and Sundays) and Twin Lakes Resort have opened in anticipation of fishing season. Also, Whoa Nellie Deli,Epic Café, Mono Cone (Lee Vining), High Sierra Bakery (Bridgeport), Silver Lake Resort (June Lake) and Annett’s Mono Village will be open in time for Fishmas.
Fishing Opener Events:
The official Mono County Fishing Opener begins April 28 with numerous events, derbies and festivities, including the classic Fishmas Day Celebration at Tom’s Place, Crowley Lake’s Big Fish Contest and the Monster Trout Contest in the June Lake Loop.
Free Eastern Sierra Fishing Map:
Mono County, in partnership with Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Inyo County, publishes a comprehensive Fishing Map outlining top fishing destinations in the front country of both Inyo and Mono counties.
About Mono County:
Located approximately 315 miles north of Los Angeles, and 280 miles east of San Francisco, Mono County accesses the east entrance to Yosemite National Park and beckons visitors in all seasons. The Eastern Sierra’s vast playground is an easily reached destination whether arriving by car on the all-weather US Highway 395, or taking advantage of convenient direct flights to Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) on Alaska from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). US Highway 395, which traverses Mono County from north to south, is a State-Designated Scenic Byway offering motorists tremendous vistas right from the steering wheel and countless side-roads, hiking trails, lakes, and roadside villages to explore. For more information or to request guides, visit MonoCounty.org or call 800-845-7922.